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Re: History of Middle Earth
Thain
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2006/5/26 20:36
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Thain
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Hi Skwish and Khamul,

I'll address the US book collecting here (and start another thread on burnout, good idea!)

In 1982 Richard E. Blackwelder donated to the Marquette library his essentially complete collection of Ballantine paperbacks (every printing up to that point.) It took significant effort (time and money) for him to do this, and was a very significant accomplishment. It has been hailed in multiple venues as an essential tool of research for those interested in textual drift, etc.

However, in today's market, where transparency (being able to see what even obscure/rare items are bought and sold for) is the norm to the point of completely killing many marketplaces, I firmly believe that an astute shopper on eBay could put together a complete run such as the Blackwelder one in about 6 months just by emailing every paperback seller and asking them to tell you what printing is indicated on the copyright page. For a dollar a book or so, plus shipping, a full set could be put together. And it would have essentially no value in the collectibles marketplace - there's probably three people out there who want to have 20 linear feet of shelf space taken up by three books over and over again.

Then again, I have had no trouble finding nice copies of various early printings and finding happy homes for them - there are plenty of collectors out there who want a set from a particular year (when they were born, when they first read the books, when they were married, whatever) so there is still a modicum of a market for them.

I do agree with Skwish saying that the US book market is very different from the UK one - I'm still waiting for a super deluxe anything from Houghton Mifflin. That red single volume LOTR (that has been in print from 1974 until 2004) doesn't count....

But still, there's a place for the TCG to document US editions in some form, just like there is a place for them to be documented at http://www.tolkienguide.us . I am working on it now, and with the cooperation of Deagol will be providing linkages to his data on the UK editions as his site is the best destination for all that. The more sources for information, in various formats, the better for the collector.

Posted on: 2008/4/22 22:23
_________________
- Jeremy


Re: History of Middle Earth
Just can't stay away
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hi, i have a puzzling question (if it has been answered, sorry for not noticing the answer). In the UK HoME collection, is it possible for the dj with no price and an isbn to be book club? the books i have are 'the treason of isengard and sauron defeated', both are un-priced but with an isbn. the other HoME books i have are clearly trade editions. knowing that i have much less experience in most areas (being from the states) of Tolkien collecting (though fervent in desire to learn all i can in this loved field), i appreciate you guys that make this an inviting atmosphere! with all of the discrepancies surrounding the HoME collection (and now the silmariollion ) and extra points of placing a book in the for sure BCE (which if i understand can be impossible to near impossible) area would be appreciated. what actually sparked this question was reading about ISBN stickers on copies of certain HoME books. thanks for the help in all areas of collection, y'all are great!

Posted on: 2008/5/4 2:07


Re: History of Middle Earth
Home away from home
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For the UK HoME Series, I don't think it is possible to distinguish between Book Club and Trade Editions for Volumes 6 thru 12. Book Club Editions of Vols 1-5 are easily distinguished.

Some Book Club Editions even had printed prices on the Dustwrapper (to the best of my knowledge), so even sticking to collecting the Priced Copies does guarantee that they did not originate from the Book Club.

Possibly (maybe someone can contradict this) the only way to absolutely guarantee that any of Vols 6-12 was a Trade Edition is to buy copies with added Price Labels. But I don't think all of Vols 6-12 had price labels added at some stage. I have seen copies of Vol 9 with Publisher Price Labels and I think I remember seeing one on Vol 12.

So basically, for Vols 6-12, I don't think it really matters to anybody if the book came from a Book Club or not - as nobody can tell the difference.

Just my 2 cents on how I understand this at the moment. Maybe someone else can provide futher information.

Posted on: 2008/5/4 3:53


Re: History of Middle Earth
Just can't stay away
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thanks remy, seems you touched on just about everything. i find it very ironic and funny that collectors are forced to acknowledge the possibility of having a bce they paid $100+ for (because of the fact that bce are almost always worthless), and i am one of these collectors. But it does come back to the fact that it is, in most cases, impossible to know for sure if the book is a bce.

Posted on: 2008/5/4 10:45


Re: History of Middle Earth
Home away from home
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Somebody contacted me recently for a valuation on some HOME volumes. They had bought 2 sets of volumes in the 80s, all from a book club, but some of the early volumes (1-5) were Allen & Unwin/Unwin Hyman copies, so it looks like BCA purchased A&U copies when their own editions of 1-5 were sold out and then price-clipped them. Just another complication to add to the mix!

Posted on: 2008/5/4 13:00



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