Many of you have seen Elwë around the forums here, most recently posting about his new bookstore www.telperionbooks.com. Starting a bookselling business involves a lot of work in building up stock, but more importantly accumulating knowledge about the books and collectors that will be your market. Elwë has done an excellent job getting his store off the ground, and it is well worth a visit for Tolkien collector as well as collectors of other fine Fantasy and SF. I wanted to give a bit of background on Steve and his store, so I had him answer a few questions for all of us, below.
Please note that he is offering a nice 10% discount to all readers, just use the coupon code TCG10OFF when you check out. Happy collecting!
TCG: When did you first discover Tolkien’s writings?
Well, that would technically be back in the late 1970’s when my father first read to
me The Hobbit. I would have been 5 or 6 years old at the time. It wasn’t until I was
a little older that I would read The Lord of the Rings. But honestly, I don’t think I
truly ‘discovered’ Tolkien until I read The Silmarillion in my early 20’s. I was blown away
by the stories in The Silmarillion, and subsequent re-reads of The Hobbit and The Lord
of the Rings got so much better after reading that book.
TCG: Was there one particular book that drew you into collecting?
Yes, it would have to have been the 1999 Harper Collins Deluxe Edition of The Hobbit.
It wasn’t long after buying my copy that I picked up the matching Lord of the Rings and
Silmarillion. I had always loved reading, but having those deluxe editions on my shelf
made me realize how much I enjoyed fine books, not only for the content, but as a piece
of art, if you will.
TCG: Why did you decide to start Telperion Books?
Over the years, my collection grew, and I occasionally found a need to sell books. Most
of the time, I would sell a few books so that I could afford to buy more books. After a
while, I began to realize that I really enjoyed buying and selling, and simply having the
opportunity to see a lot of rare books. However, I grew frustrated with online auctions,
for a myriad of reasons, and decided to look into starting my own web store.
I started my business back in February of this year. It took a little while to get off the
ground, but it’s come along nicely. Telperion Books gives me the opportunity to display
my collection, offer items for sale and trade, and provide a service that is more personal
and friendly than the online auction environment.
TCG: What is your favorite aspect of collecting and dealing Tolkien books?
I really enjoy the details. I love to research, and I am always astounded by just how
much has been uncovered on the early publishing history of Tolkien’s works. These
details are what you need to know as a collector to be successful. I have a deep
appreciation for those who have dedicated so much time to scour archives and records,
and compare countless copies of books to determine all of the defining points. I know
that I owe a lot of lucky finds to the knowledge I’ve gained from such folk.
I’ve met a lot of great people in general through collecting, many through the forum here
at The Tolkien Collector’s Guide. There are some seriously knowledgeable members
here. In my opinion, TCG is the premiere site for serious Tolkien collectors, and an