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
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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.
Jan 22
2020/1/22 15:19:40 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Stu wrote:

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.

It really does! Even better than you'd expect. I love slipcases visually but I also hate trying to coax books out of them... super annoying. If they all had those ribbons I would feel completely differently.
Jan 22
2020/1/22 17:26:04 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
I am crazy about the condition of my books so I had a bindery (the Chelsea Bindery of Peter Harrington Rare Books) make a customized pantheon-style slip casing that could contain all 12 books. It was costly, but I believe it was worth every penny!

I would take a pic, but my wife and son is sleeping... so I will do so tomorrow :)
Jan 23
2020/1/23 2:01:35 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Some pics

4451_5e28fe7312b25.jpg 673X800 px

4451_5e28fe7312e9f.jpg 713X800 px
Jan 23
2020/1/23 2:32:09 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

The_Antiquarian wrote:
I am crazy about the condition of my books so I had a bindery (the Chelsea Bindery of Peter Harrington Rare Books) make a customized pantheon-style slip casing that could contain all 12 books. It was costly, but I believe it was worth every penny!

I would take a pic, but my wife and son is sleeping... so I will do so tomorrow :)

My "A" Set of HoME are essentially perfect (other than the usual page block toning to the last two as they are printed on toilet paper), and I've had some of them since they were first published - No 4 or 12 volume slipcase required for protection! I just keep them in a room without and direct light and behind glass. Seriously, slipcase or no slipcase, the condition of any of my books has not changed over the years, except for very minor fading on two before I realised the dye was unstable - but a slipcase would have made exactly zero difference to that. I've moved 4 times, and have individually acid-free paper wrapped and then bubble-wrapped and boxed them. I'd have done that even if they were slipcased.

I can see that in a library environment where shelves are being continuously reorganised, they would have some genuine utility, of course.

I get that people like slipcases (and that's cool), and they make sense in some environments, but let's not kid ourselves that they are really a good protection for books that are in the hands of a collector that already knows how to look after books. They may even lead to fading on spines going unnoticed, because the sides are less visible for contrast.

Traycases are a totally different kettle of fish, IMHO - I think for anything worth real money, I'd go down that route. Fortunately I don't have any books worth real money, so I don't need to care
Jan 23
2020/1/23 2:35:35 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Berelach wrote:
Some pics

Looks like that works fairly well. Still don't see the point, but horses for courses!
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