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Re: Number of books?
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We too don't have a precise count of our books by and about Tolkien. But a rough estimate, counting bound journals as books and averaging a few shelves at random, would be 4,440 volumes. That's 120 three-foot shelves, with about 37 volumes per shelf. A photo of part of our basement Tolkien stacks accompanied our first blog post.

We also have, at the moment, 19 shelves of Tolkien-related magazines and copies from magazines, newspapers, etc.; 5 shelves of audio-visual recordings; 2 shelves of posters (in flat boxes); 1 shelf of puzzles and games; 13 shelves of reference and working papers; and Tolkien-inspired sweatshirts and tee shirts in boxes and drawers.

Then there are some duplicate Tolkien titles on the 10 shelves of our Pauline Baynes collection, and books partly about Tolkien among books on other Inklings (5 shelves), and miscellaneous mentions of Tolkien in books on children's literature, fantasy, etc. which are shelved in other areas.

We tend to say that we have some 15,000 books in our house, plus CDs, DVDs, LPs, and magazines, but we made that estimate a long time ago, and should probably say around 16,000 now.

Wayne & Christina

Posted on: 2010/6/16 20:16


Re: The wonders of eBay
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To return to the posts by Onónion and Gawain on 2 June about the Sigurd and Gudrun with cover art by Arthur Rackham, we've just had the annoying experience of ordering one of these from a German seller on eBay, only to receive the HarperCollins trade paperback with the standard cover. We complained that the book isn't as represented, and were offered half of our cost as a refund. In an apology, the seller (a firm) said that it relies on its suppliers to provide descriptions and images, rather than producing them from copies in hand. We've suggested that in future they should include a disclaimer to this effect.

Other sellers on eBay have also listed copies with the Rackham cover. We supposed from the location of the sellers, Germany and Australia, that it was either a book club edition or one printed solely for export, but now we wonder if any copies ever had that cover, if the art was preliminary and ultimately rejected but got out for advertising purposes.

Wayne & Christina

Posted on: 2010/6/16 19:04


Re: eBay: "J.R.R. Tolkien 1st LORD OF THE RINGS EXCLUSIVELY BOUND!"
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We agree that this is almost certainly a one-off binding. There's no evidence, in the Tolkien-Allen & Unwin correspondence or anywhere else we've seen, of copies of the one-volume paperback being specially bound for members of the Tolkien family and friends. This seems to be an assumption by Mr. Giusti, blown up further by the present seller and compounding an error by whoever wrote "as issued" in the Current Company memo.

Would Allen & Unwin really have put a fancy binding on a cheap paperback? Would the publisher have instructed the binder unnecessarily to letter "Parts 1 2 & 3" on the spine? Would a special copy not have been signed by the author? Would Tolkien have wanted to present to family and friends a Lord of the Rings lacking the complete Appendices?

Of course there was already a specially bound (genuinely as issued) three-volume Lord of the Rings published in 1964, and the India paper edition, replacing the 1964 de luxe, came along in 1969 -- Tolkien inscribed an India paper copy to his cousin Dorothy Wood. The earliest special binding (for presentation) of a Tolkien work of which we're aware is the one in blue leather for The Silmarillion.

I'm pretty sure some 50th Aniversary editions of LotRs (standard or deluxe --I don't recall) were bound in full leather for a select few i.e. Wayne & Christina, Christopher, & perhaps various other folk involved in the publication.

Yes, there were some copies of the 2004 one-volume edition bound in red leather for presentation, and as its editors we have one.

We're on FlatSigned's e-mail advertising list, and the other day received a message offering for sale a set of The Lord of the Rings, first edition but later printings of the three volumes. These were described as "UK Urwin Allen Published". This will amuse only those who remember Irwin Allen's science-fiction TV series and disaster movies.

Wayne and Christina

Posted on: 2010/6/12 19:29


Re: Silmarillion edition
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Yes, more details, please -- photo(s), if possible. Is there a date on the title-page? Is there a printing code (row of numbers) on the copyright page? Is there a fold-out map, or is the map printed on the endpapers? Presumably all as for the standard hardback, as you say it has all the points. Especially, how is it bound? My first thought was of the first American trade paperback, which is in red wrappers and somewhat smaller than the standard American hardback, but that has always had correct "Farmer Giles" in the list of works. Another thought is that the copy in question has been rebound and, in the process, cut down, perhaps a library rebinding. Are there any library marks? Or there could be a book club edition Christina and I have never seen.

Wayne

Posted on: 2010/6/8 18:42


Re: "Tolkien on Tolkien"
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'Tolkien on Tolkien' freely intermingles Tolkien's ?1955 autobiographical statement prepared for Houghton Mifflin and a December 1963-January 1964 letter to Nancy Smith. Letters publishes the statement on pp. 218-20, and on p. 221 three paragraphs from the letter, not so noted and misdated. We have an analysis of the Diplomat piece in the 'Reader's Guide' volume of The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide.

Wayne and Christina

Posted on: 2010/5/24 4:25



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