Tolkien Collector's Guide
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The Tolkien Bookshelf Custom Slipcases: The History of Middle-earth

Jan 21
2020/1/21 18:35:02 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Hey all,

so I'm a newcomer to this site, and as such, I apologize if this has been posted before. Feel free to delete this post if it's a duplicate or something.

I was browsing for some custom Tolkien slipcases (thinking of making my own 'Great Tales of Middle-earth' set) and I've found these for The History of Middle-earth.

I have the books as 3 omnibus editions, with dustjackets (not the deluxe edition). I saw that the publisher's supplied slipcase (for that and the 2017 deluxe) is underwhelming in design - it just has the JRRT monogram on two of the sides, and nothing else.

Well, if you want something a little nicer to house them in....

- 12 separate UK hardbacks (these looks like the HarperCollins print-on-demand editions though I'm not 100% certain): https://www.tolkienbookshelf.com/pages/books/762/j-r-r-tolkien/custom-leather-slipcases-for-the-history-of-middle-earth-uk-12-volume-series

- 3 omnibus editions (with dustjackets), the same editions I own: https://www.tolkienbookshelf.com/pages/books/1515/j-r-r-tolkien/custom-leather-slipcase-for-the-3-volume-history-of-middle-earth
Jan 21
2020/1/21 22:38:04 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
I've bought slipcases from David Miller (Tolkien Bookshelf) in the past & was very impressed. They remain the best slipcases I have on my shelves. (Not that I've shopped around mind.) At the time (and I'm sure it depends on how busy he is; he's on here, & may respond) he basically made bespoke cases for my signed Silmarillion's; very accomodating, willing to work on different ideas if you don't quite like some aspect of the ones he has already made. I've attached a photo of one of the ones I bought. Admittedly he was making ones like this at the time, but I was pretty picky about how I wanted that marbled paper to look! ;)

Not everyone's cup of tea, I know; but exactly what I wanted at the time. They're very sturdy too. Can't vouch for the various HoME ones as I have never handled them. Those are some big, heavy books...

125_5e277cb9be582.jpg 2041X3065 px
Jan 21
2020/1/21 22:49:43 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
I can't really see the point of slipcasing the 12 volume HoME. That said, all his slipcases look nice and solid, and I have only ever heard good things.
Jan 22
2020/1/22 2:03:23 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
I find books in boxed sets tend to be better supported on a bookshelf without the need of bookends.
Jan 22
2020/1/22 2:23:35 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

insurrbution wrote:
I find books in boxed sets tend to be better supported on a bookshelf without the need of bookends.

Fill your bookshelves with more books! I have no bookends whatsoever and no lack of support for the books as each shelf is full. Multi-volume slipcases are mostly just a pain, I find. Instead of being able to just select the book, you need to tip the books out, especially when there are no cutouts on the sides (and even then for the middle volume, you are hosed). I understand that publishers created them to encourage buying whole sets rather than individual volumes (they are great marketing), but I don't think they afford any great practicality.

Obviously as a collector, if books shipped in a slipcase, I want to have the slipcase. I don't feel the need for extra ones, unless to protect something special -- in which case a traycase is going to win every time.

Four volumes in a slipcase is just whack. Although those awful Millennium Editions had seven, I suppose....
Jan 22
2020/1/22 3:18:55 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
I understand the pros and cons of slipcases haha. The only two Tolkien 'boxes' (or slipcases. Not counting things like deluxe editions, 'Art of...', etc) I have is my LotR 60th (with Readers Companion) and the revised 2017 Hammond & Scull 3-book set.

Speaking of slipcases....

If one has more than two books in it, the easiest way to get them back in is have the slipcase laying down with it's opening facing up. Put the first and last books in first, and ending with the second (middle) one.

I remember Christina gave that very helpful hint a few years back, I think on the Tolkien Society facebook group.
Jan 22
2020/1/22 3:40:45 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Fwiw, David attaches a ribbon to the inside of many of his custom slipcases, it sticks out a little on the side, you pull on it and all the books get nudged out a bit so you can pull them. Works really well.
Jan 22
2020/1/22 6:24:21 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Berelach wrote:
Fwiw, David attaches a ribbon to the inside of many of his custom slipcases, it sticks out a little on the side, you pull on it and all the books get nudged out a bit so you can pull them. Works really well.

Is that much use (i.e. does it really work) on a multi-book slipcase, though? And on a single-book slipcase it isn't really necessary.
Jan 22
2020/1/22 6:28:04 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

insurrbution wrote:

If one has more than two books in it, the easiest way to get them back in is have the slipcase laying down with it's opening facing up. Put the first and last books in first, and ending with the second (middle) one.

I remember Christina gave that very helpful hint a few years back, I think on the Tolkien Society facebook group.

I can't imagine anyone ever doing it differently, tbh. I've been doing it that way since I had an overly tight slipcase of Fighting Fantasy books when I was a kid. No way you would have gotten them in there any other way. Kharé - Cityport of Traps, I really need to play you again.
Jan 22
2020/1/22 10:11:33 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
I am in and out of my books too much to care for slipcases. I get why collectors may like them but I would get annoyed by them. My 3 volume HoME and the 3 volume Companion and Guide have not seen the slipcases or the dustjackets since I bought them. The C&G probably doesn't fit in the slipcase any longer as I have so many extra slips of paper with notes and corrections.
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