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Re: A nice blog on collecting Tolkien books
Home away from home
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2008/8/10 2:07
From Queenstown, New Zealand
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>Even if I were to buy a brand new edition right now that wasn't in a slipcase, it's very likely it would be in bad shape in ten years time, (or I should say 'worse' shape) even if I had looked after it.

If you buy a brand new edition today and it looks *any* different in ten years time than it does today, then IMHO, you don't know how to look after your books!

I have forty year old books that are not slipcased and still look brand new. My 1/1 Sil and UTs (30 years+) look better than most books you would find in the store today. They key is avoiding UV and excessive humidity, plus keeping them nice and straight on the shelf. I personally have mine behind glass, out of direct sunlight and with several large bags of silica gel (originally used to ship large Network switches) on the shelves, but out of sight. Wash your hands before handling them and use appropriate DJ protectors and your books should last your lifetime with nothing more than a bit of toning to the paper if it is of poor quality (e.g. UK HoME 11, 12).

>Not a great investment in my mind.

You will find very few new (or even old, I suspect) Tolkien books that are a great investment, boxed sets included. Buy them because you like them if you can afford them. We are in an economic environment that is very likely to be deflationary for a lot of asset classes, including books, and I don't see this turning around, given that the US economy is about to self-destruct. This may not apply to a few extremely rare and expensive items, but even they are probably not immune from the wider economic climate. If you want an investment, buy gold :)

Cheers
Stu

Posted on: 2010/9/2 23:04


Re: A nice blog on collecting Tolkien books
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'If you want an investment, buy gold' - bit harsh there. I think Tolkien books are a great investment thanks.

Posted on: 2010/9/3 9:05


Re: A nice blog on collecting Tolkien books
Home away from home
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Well, I for one don't buy books because I think their value will go up. (well, I have done that once or twice; bought a duplicate because I thought I could sell one. Still got 'em!)

But in general, I buy what I can afford, as Stu says - because I like them.


Posted on: 2010/9/3 10:38


Re: A nice blog on collecting Tolkien books
Shirrif
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Shirrif
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'If you want an investment, buy gold' - bit harsh there.


It's true though. I collect books because I like them not for value or an investment.

I don't think you can seriously class collecting Tolkien books as a great investment.

Posted on: 2010/9/3 11:39


Re: A nice blog on collecting Tolkien books
Home away from home
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> 'If you want an investment, buy gold' - bit harsh there. I think Tolkien books are a great investment thanks.

My comment was phrased in a glib manner, but it really does stand. Obviously you can get lucky and pick up a treasure for a bargain price and then undoubtedly make money on it. However, if you expect to pay "normal market price" today and then have a book beat inflation in the long term, then I think you are mistaken. Very rare items can evade the normal laws of economics, but there aren't that many Tolkien books that really fall into this category. One thing I have discovered collecting Tolkien Books is that the market that is prepared to pay even moderately large amounts for these books is very, very small. The relative lack of interest in the recent Superdeluxe editions was an excellent illustrator of this fact. Most books listed at very high prices on ABE (or eBay stores) will never, ever sell. Don't be fooled into using these prices as a guide as to how the price for an item has increased over time - only actual sold prices tell you anything, and this information is hard to come by.

Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy my Tolkien book collection (albeit it is just a tiny one @ 150 or so Hardbacks and maybe half that quantity of paperbacks, plus calendars, etc, gathered over about 30 years at a very slow rate), but I do not kid myself that it has been a good investment. Why am I not worried about that? Because other than a couple of "investment copies", I was never kidding myself that I'll make money. I bought them simply because I wanted them. And there is no harm in that.

I'm not kidding about gold, mind. When the crap really hits the fan (and it will), you really do want to have some tucked away!

Posted on: 2010/9/3 14:52



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