Unfinished Tales
$100.39
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Tolkien Collector's Guide
May 1
2021/5/1 20:19:43 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

insurrbution wrote:

I understand what you guys are saying. I'm not referring to print run, or different editions, but the fact that the only Tolkien title Longmans has published is The Hobbit. That's all.

Maybe I should have used 'Unique Edition', 'Black Sheep', or 'oddball' instead....

Nope, please stick with descriptive sentences! "Unique", "Black Sheep" and "oddball" would all be less informative (and more confusing) than a simple sentence.
May 1 (edited)
2021/5/1 20:23:52 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Mr. Underhill wrote:

Ligandil wrote:

Beginner's question: why is the Longman's edition of The Hobbit so valuable/expensive among collectors?

I think it's a combination of things.
1. The cover artist is unknown and the cover is so unlike any other Tolkien book
2. These were for elementary schools and libraries, so most got beat up pretty badly and are not around anymore
3. There were only two print runs (I don't know the size) perhaps others do.

This covers the reason this edition is in-demand perfectly. The simple fact is that - unlike the Heritage of Literature edition - there are simply very few survivors. HoL got six print runs and the first run was certainly large, given how easily 1966 1st impressions can be found, even in excellent condition. PiR got two and the only one I have ever seen in near fine condition is the one Deagol used as the source of his image on Tolkienbooks.net.

I suspect this site increased awareness of this edition, somewhat.
May 1
2021/5/1 22:51:19 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Stu wrote:

Mr. Underhill wrote:

Ligandil wrote:

Beginner's question: why is the Longman's edition of The Hobbit so valuable/expensive among collectors?

I think it's a combination of things.
1. The cover artist is unknown and the cover is so unlike any other Tolkien book
2. These were for elementary schools and libraries, so most got beat up pretty badly and are not around anymore
3. There were only two print runs (I don't know the size) perhaps others do.

This covers the reason this edition is in-demand perfectly. The simple fact is that - unlike the Heritage of Literature edition - there are simply very few survivors. HoL got six print runs and the first run was certainly large, given how easily 1966 1st impressions can be found, even in excellent condition. PiR got two and the only one I have ever seen in near fine condition is the one Deagol used as the source of his image on Tolkienbooks.net.

I suspect this site increased awareness of this edition, somewhat.

I was thinking the same, that the chatter on this site does affect demand at least a bit. It would be interesting to test that theory
May 2
2021/5/2 15:21:08 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Berelach wrote:

I was thinking the same, that the chatter on this site does affect demand at least a bit. It would be interesting to test that theory

I agree! 馃榿

Also, and more likely- when a book sells for a high value, it tends to bring out more copies looking to cash in. Case in point:

Seller: thamesdweller100
(172)
Ends 2021/7/2 14:37:28
Buy-It-Now:
拢379.99
Submitted by: Urul贸k毛
May 2 (edited)
2021/5/2 16:23:37 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Urul贸k毛 wrote:

Berelach wrote:

I was thinking the same, that the chatter on this site does affect demand at least a bit. It would be interesting to test that theory

I agree! 馃榿

Also, and more likely- when a book sells for a high value, it tends to bring out more copies looking to cash in. Case in point:

Seller: thamesdweller100
(172)
Ends 2021/7/2 14:37:28
Buy-It-Now:
拢379.99
Submitted by: Urul贸k毛

Acceptable indeed...that's borderline poor.
May 2
2021/5/2 18:51:03 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Let's be honest, if the handful of people who give two hoots about these niche copies on this site would just stop paying hundreds of pounds for copies, prices wouldn't be so ludicrously high!

Seriously guys, just stop buying them.
May 2
2021/5/2 19:52:58 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Kham没l wrote:

Let's be honest, if the handful of people who give two hoots about these niche copies on this site would just stop paying hundreds of pounds for copies, prices wouldn't be so ludicrously high!

Seriously guys, just stop buying them.

I must admit, I do find the sums some collectors are prepared to pay surprising, on occasion. It definitely feels like investing/speculating rather than collecting for fun beyond a certain point (though it may have proven to be a wise investment if current trends are anything to go on). Definitely a few years back, hundreds of pounds for pretty much anything was very much out of the ordinary. For me it all started to go slightly whack when people started paying 拢400 or so for copies of the Purple UT a couple of years ago. Nuts. It definitely doesn't take that many buyers to distort a market for a niche item like this.

Other than new books, I don't think I have bought anything this year. Can't honestly see that changing. Unless I'm considering it an investment (which I'm not), hundreds of pounds per item on things that will sit on a shelf 99.9999% of the time is probably not for me. I'm only looking at eBay/Abe once a week or so these days.
May 2
2021/5/2 20:23:33 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
That H just isn't worth 拢300+. I'm looking forward to getting the popcorn out when a Blackie copy turns up though.
May 2
2021/5/2 21:27:33 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Kham没l wrote:

That H just isn't worth 拢300+. I'm looking forward to getting the popcorn out when a Blackie copy turns up though.

God, that's going to be crazy if it ever happens.
May 3
2021/5/3 8:12:45 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Kham没l wrote:

Let's be honest, if the handful of people who give two hoots about these niche copies on this site would just stop paying hundreds of pounds for copies, prices wouldn't be so ludicrously high!

Seriously guys, just stop buying them.

What happened to 鈥渁 book is worth whatever one is willing to pay for it鈥? I've seen just about every long time member here use that response when collectors are looking for valuations. Maybe added to it should be 鈥渁s long as you don鈥檛 screw with the market.鈥 I find it frustrating too, since a lot of niche copies interest me more than the usual old first editions for several reasons, not least of which is that they're often more affordable.

I have plenty of book purchases I regret, but that Hobbit is not one of them. I鈥榙 wanted a copy ever since I first saw the cover on TolkienBooks.net. Though admittedly the talk on this site is probably the reason I have both printings.

I鈥檓 sure it鈥檚 helpful when it鈥檚 mentioned that these editions aren鈥檛 worth what they're going for. Even if only one person鈥檚 opinion is affected, that鈥檚 still impacting the market. Seems like an uphill battle, but worthwhile anyhow. Though there鈥檚 never going to be a way around the people for whom 拢300 is only a drop in the ocean. I assume they will (for the most part) continue to buy what they want, when they want. What can you do? It takes all sorts to make a world.
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