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Re: Essais de Philologie Moderne (1951)
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Putting on my special collections librarian's hat:

The correct term for a book with the folds of its gatherings still intact is, as Gawain says, unopened. As John Carter writes in ABC for Book Collectors (available as a pdf here), unopened 'must not be confused, as it often is by philistines, with uncut'. My and Christina's copy of the Essais is roughly trimmed but not unopened; it was, however, once owned and read by someone else, who made a few marginal notes, and he or she may have opened the leaves. It's not at all unusual to find scholarly books of this sort, issued in wrappers and intended to be rebound (and thus trimmed at that time), with unopened gatherings.

Now, then, as to opening unopened leaves, my advice is always to stay well clear of any metal or plastic tool, the use of which, even with care, may bring disastrous results, mainly because it will be so much harder than book paper and have a hard edge. Much better to use a stiff card, for instance an index card (at the library I use old catalog card stock), heavier than the paper to be cut but not too thick, and keeping it and the book flat, address the unopened top or fore-edge with a gentle sawing motion, with just enough force to get the job done.

Wayne

Posted on: 2010/9/6 19:25


Re: A nice blog on collecting Tolkien books
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Christina and I still keep an eye on eBay and very occasionally pick up an item (I just bought an out-of-print classical CD), but the climate of the site has changed, with proportionately many more professional sellers and straightforward commercial goods, which translates into fewer bargains and unusual lots, less fun for the buyer.

As for overpricing - my apologies to those who have heard me tell this story before - there was once a book dealer who had a large number of Tolkien items and priced most of them very high (relative to the time, some thirty years ago, though some of the prices would be high even today). Somehow we came to talk on the phone, and I let him know that all of the Tolkien collectors I knew, as well as my impecunious self, couldn't possibly afford most of what he was offering (I did buy a few things more reasonably priced). He replied that he was deliberately pushing the envelope on Tolkien prices, having bought high at auction and now priced high in his catalogue on the basis of the auction values, so as to make as much as he could - it was going to fund his childrens' education, he said - and he could wait until he got what he was asking. Well, although a handful of very well-heeled dealers have been able to do so, this one couldn't, or wouldn't, wait too long. Within a year or so, I believe, I saw the remaining stock offered at Sotheby's New York, and it sold at a relative loss.

Wayne

Posted on: 2010/9/3 16:56


Re: Farmer Giles of Ham - 50th/60th Anniversary
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The 60th anniversary edition is the 50th, rebranded for the occasion. (When we first saw it, we wondered where the ten years had gone since we worked on Farmer Giles.) No new material was added, and no corrections were made, though we've listed some on our web site.

Sorry, somehow we missed the thread about this in 2009, or would have commented at the time.

Wayne & Christina

Posted on: 2010/8/26 6:04


Re: My bookshelves
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Returning to this thread, while still recovering from a hard drive crash Saturday, our English-language Silmarillions run to about 8 linear feet, not counting working copies and those contained in boxed sets shelved elsewhere. (The Silmarillion in translation runs to about the same extent again.)

JLong:

I do have 4 sets of the Tolkien Companion and Guide, which is rather peculiar. Don't get me wrong; the 2 volume set is indispensable, but do I really need 4 sets? I think I had planned to sell some of these on eBay at some point but never got around to it. I guess that is the case with a number of extra copies I have lying about.


Peculiar? No, no, everyone should have (at least) four sets of the Companion and Guide. Scatter them around the house, so that one is always close at hand for easy reference. We could recommend some other books too, coincidentally by the same authors, that should be bought in multiple copies.

Khamul:

I'm very interested in its printing, publication, and dissemination 'story' (although I almost exclusively derive this information, with all its pitfalls, from the books themselves; unlike W&C who have examined archives etc); as a result I've bought many, many copies of the 1977 edition.

Archives are important, but what you're doing is good, solid 'real world' research, and to be applauded.

Wellinghall:

In your list of books,


* Hawaii knock-off
* US Ballantine - bog-standard, as far as I know

. . .

* one with a label saying "Final Setting"

. . .

* Tawain knock-off.


In regard to the 'Hawaii knock-off', is that not a Taiwanese pirate? Our copy appears to be. For 'Ballantine' you mean 'Houghton Mifflin', as you have a hardcover, though Ballantine did have similar covers for their earliest paperback printings. We're curious to know what the 'Final Setting' label means in that A&U copy, if you know. And to be fair to the publisher of the Taiwanese edition at the end of the shelf - assuming that it's the same edition that we have, and not another variant - it's not a knock-off, since Allen & Unwin gave permission.

Thanks for the photos!

Wayne & Christina

Posted on: 2010/8/26 5:19


Re: My bookshelves
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I guess it depends on what you mean by 'the exact same thing'. I look at that line of blue jackets and see (a) copies with the Allen & Unwin spine imprint, (b) a copy of the Book Club Associates edition with its BCA device on the spine, and (c) a copy of the thin Taiwan edition at far right; and at the same time, I suppose that most, maybe all, of the A&U copies represent variants - domestic and export, cloth or paper over boards, etc. Christina and I have about as many of these ourselves, and many more of the first American edition, where there's even more variation of printing and binding. Ours is a 'bibliographical' collection, which naturally isn't for everyone and does indeed take up shelf space.

Wayne

Posted on: 2010/8/21 19:11



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