Tolkien Collector's Guide
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HarperCollins paperback collection

Oct 12
2020/10/12 1:13:42 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Hi everyone!

I wanted to share some information on my HarperCollins paperback collection that I recently completed to help people looking for books at the lower end of the price spectrum and (like me) had trouble finding the correct books (style, size, spine design) while looking for used copies online (I'm new here and I hope this is the right place to post this):

After 5 years I finally finished my HarperCollins paperback collection that you can see in the attached photo. Sorry for the poor lighting and quality. Below you can find closer looks at the three different sets (which I called "B-format", "black spine", and "mass market").

I initially tried to find a single set of paperbacks that 1) are about Middle-earth and 2) share the style of the B-format "History of Middle-earth" series by HarperCollins. Since I live in Germany, the best option to get my hands on (used) English paperbacks was online shopping. But even with the help of sites like tolkienbooks.net and pictures of other people's collections I found it hard to find the correct dimensions, cover artworks and spine designs beforehand. Duplicate ISBNs complicated things further and I ended up with a bunch of B-format and mass market paperbacks that didn't fit the style I was looking for.

Over the years I built up three sets of paperbacks:

  • "B-format": B-format paperbacks (12.9 x 19.8 cm) that show a smaller version of the cover art in the middle of the spine (lower row in the picture, image and image).

  • "black spine": B-format paperbacks with mostly black spine design with one accent color on the bottom (upper right row, image)

  • "mass market": mass market paperbacks (11.1 x 17.8 cm) that somewhat match in style (upper left row, image)

Since the collection took a long time to come together, I ended up completing all three of those sets with all books I could find that fit the style. Even if those were not about Middle-earth.

As I said, I found it hard to find the correct information on all those books online. That's why I compiled a Google Sheet with some more information for everyone looking to build a similar collection.

You can click on the ISBN of a certain book and find images of the cover, back, spine and edition notice.

5104_5f83a9f48e094.jpg 4032X3024 px
Oct 12
2020/10/12 2:12:31 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Well, next year the illustrated edition of Unfinished Tales is due out, and I don't see Jemima Catlin's Hobbit paperback there either ;P :D Just kidding of course - looks nice and comprehensive. But if interested, do look into those.
Oct 12
2020/10/12 2:47:50 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

boscawinks wrote:

Hi everyone!

Hi boscawinks! Thanks for joining, and sharing your great collection. I think you picked a great theme to focus on for your collection.
Oct 12
2020/10/12 4:45:24 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Nice work tracking all those down. There was also the B-format History of the Lord of the Rings boxed set which includes The End of the Third Age (Part I of Sauron Defeated).

http://tolkienbooks.net/php/details2.php?id=1237
Oct 12
2020/10/12 5:18:39 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Welcome to the forum. That’s a lovely collection.

Concerning the upper left set, that is the one I first started with, and my LOTR and TH is a bit different. As far as the spines are concerned, my HC logos are white (not coloured) and the motifs are different too. I can upload a pic if you’re interested and haven’t seen these. I believe the ones you have here are a slightly different edition.

My LOTR was supposed to have come in a box but I had no clue and bought the books separately. Ugh!

And if I mistake not, there was also a box with Roverandom, Tales From the Perilous Realm and TH.

Your Sil and Unfinished Tales match the ones I have.
Oct 12
2020/10/12 15:49:54 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Boscawinks - Saw this post on Reddit, but I'll ask here: are you the one who snagged that Blue Wizards UT on eBay a week or so ago?
Oct 12 (edited)
2020/10/12 16:50:14 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Caudimordax wrote:

Boscawinks - Saw this post on Reddit, but I'll ask here: are you the one who snagged that Blue Wizards UT on eBay a week or so ago?

Yes, I am. I just couldn't stand the sight of my collection with this book missing :D
Oct 12
2020/10/12 19:41:56 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Karl wrote:

Nice work tracking all those down. There was also the B-format History of the Lord of the Rings boxed set which includes The End of the Third Age (Part I of Sauron Defeated).

http://tolkienbooks.net/php/details2.php?id=1237
I have missed that one! Thank you for the recommendation!
Oct 12
2020/10/12 20:23:59 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Eorl wrote:

I can upload a pic if you’re interested and haven’t seen these.

Yes, please! Always looking for more editions that might fit.
Oct 15
2020/10/15 7:17:21 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Here’s the LOTR box set: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lord-Rings-Bo ... collsguid-21&linkCode=osi

And here’s the set with TH, Roverandom, and Tales From the Perilous Realm: https://www.bookdepository.com/Hobbit- ... R-R-Tolkien/9780007156993

And here’s the one with Sil, CoH, and Unfinished Tales: https://www.flipkart.com/children-hurin-box-set/p/itmczymazsz9smez

These are nice cutesy sets, mostly matching, save for the spines which sometimes are mismatched (but that can hardly be helped given how thin some of them are). 🙂
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