The Nature of Middle-Earth
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Tolkien Collector's Guide
Feb 8
2021/2/8 18:42:28 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
I haven't been monitoring Peoples, but a quick search showed one sale in the last ninety days that I found:

Seller: benjaminelilevinebnw
(95)
Ended Jan 30, 2021
£125.00
[3 Bids]
Submitted by: Urulókë
Feb 8
2021/2/8 18:52:04 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Okay, "plenty" was maybe a slight exaggeration, but listings (& sales) under £100 was unheard of ten years ago. Now it seems relatively commonplace. Those £150+ copies certainly don't look like they're shifting.
Feb 8
2021/2/8 20:06:14 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Berelach wrote:

Caudimordax wrote:

My priorities as a collector are admittedly pretty warped. I want the original article, but I don't care if they're a little beat up-all the better to read with. And for some reason, I'll pay medium-top dollar for the privilege of living this way. I don't get it either.

I've been stalking PoME for about 6 months now. I've noticed fewer copies hitting fleabay these days, and secondhand sellers tend to price them right at $200 in less than impressive shape (guess I do care about condition a little, so long as it's proportionate to the price), as opposed to $150-ish when I first took an interest. So, I am getting the sense that they're slowly getting bought up and sellers are responding by jacking up the prices. But then again, many of you have been keeping an eye on the market on the order of years, and if you say it's going down and to wait, then I'm inclined to listen.

And hey, I've bought books from TCGers before, so I thought I'd leave a note on the off-chance someone might have a spare.

That's a good idea. But I think we've all seen that these have dropped in price in the last year or two rather dramatically. Plenty of chances to buy nice copies for far less than they went for 10+ years ago. Also, I know a lot of collectors start off just wanting to get their hands on any rare book regardless of if it's ex-lib or beat up.... it's hard to be patient and skip through that phase, but I know, after having done that myself plenty of times, it's really not worth it. Not sure if that's helpful or not, but I hope it is.

I'd second what Berelach is saying. Generally speaking you are better waiting for a decent copy, rather than getting a poor one as "filler" and then having to get rid of it (often being down on the whole deal because of postage costs, etc). Of course, there are the odd things where a poor copy is the only option - or the only affordable option - but PoME is definitely no longer one of those. I's say get a nice copy, stick a jacket protector and read it like you would any other book. And if you want a copy to scribble notes in, get a used paperback.
Feb 10
2021/2/10 17:48:21 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Oh, you're probably right. As usual.

Well, if anyone wants to sell me their NICE copy of PoME... Otherwise I'll just keep looking.
Feb 10
2021/2/10 18:11:44 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
I will say, many of the ~$200 asking prices that aren't locked behind transatlantic shipping priced in GBP (not that I have much room to complain to people in, say, New Zealand or India) have had some compromises to quality. Sunning, significant page tanning, foxing in some cases, even missing dust jackets! Anything approaching fine condition is pushing $300 or more. I say this acknowledging the volume Uroloke posted from eBay, which I admittedly completely missed the boat on.

What would you folks want to pay for a PoME in reasonably collectible condition, given your observations of the market?
Feb 10
2021/2/10 18:31:56 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
The paper stock used by HarperCollins in the 90's was pretty poor. The browning pages are due to the acidity. If you're lucky to find a copy without browning pages they'll deteriorate in your collection soon enough. My point being: I think you should learn to live with these small "age" issues.
Feb 10
2021/2/10 19:09:57 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Khamûl wrote:

The paper stock used by HarperCollins in the 90's was pretty poor. The browning pages are due to the acidity. If you're lucky to find a copy without browning pages they'll deteriorate in your collection soon enough. My point being: I think you should learn to live with these small "age" issues.

We need a like button.

Khamûl is wise.
Feb 10
2021/2/10 19:32:10 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Deagol wrote:

Khamûl wrote:

The paper stock used by HarperCollins in the 90's was pretty poor. The browning pages are due to the acidity. If you're lucky to find a copy without browning pages they'll deteriorate in your collection soon enough. My point being: I think you should learn to live with these small "age" issues.

We need a like button.

Khamûl is wise.

Yep, the paper on WoJ and PoME is abysmal. It *will* go brown, no matter what you do.
Feb 10
2021/2/10 20:12:12 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Well, that is good to know. Really makes you want to shell out on a nice copy, doesn't it? Steeling one's resolve to collect requires material sacrifices at some point, I suppose...
Feb 10
2021/2/10 20:25:41 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Caudimordax wrote:

Well, that is good to know. Really makes you want to shell out on a nice copy, doesn't it? Steeling one's resolve to collect requires material sacrifices at some point, I suppose...

HarperCollins made some material sacrifices, that is for sure:

"Well, we got away with this really bad paper for WoJ, I wonder if we can get away with even worse for "PoME"?

It really is on a par with toilet paper, only it is self-browning.
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