Tolkien Collector's Guide
My bookshelves

My bookshelves

May 1, 2010

A friend in another forum asked for some pictures of my bookshelves, and I thought you might like to see them too. I've had problems loading them here, so I've put them up at

- wellinghall
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Aug 21, 2010
So many?? That's not many! I've more copies than that; what kind of a question is that, on a Tolkien collectors' forum, I ask you? *gibber*...
Aug 22, 2010
I guess I collect differently than you, Garm. Unless the book is valuable or a different edition, it seems superfluous to have 10 or more copies of the exact same thing, except perhaps if you are a book seller. Having 10+ copies of various editions of The Silmarillion makes sense, but ten of the first British edition to me seems like a waste of space. That is what I was trying to get at.

How many copies of the first British edition Silmarillion do you have, Garm?
Aug 22, 2010
I guess it depends on what you mean by 'the exact same thing'. I look at that line of blue jackets and see (a) copies with the Allen & Unwin spine imprint, (b) a copy of the Book Club Associates edition with its BCA device on the spine, and (c) a copy of the thin Taiwan edition at far right; and at the same time, I suppose that most, maybe all, of the A&U copies represent variants - domestic and export, cloth or paper over boards, etc. Christina and I have about as many of these ourselves, and many more of the first American edition, where there's even more variation of printing and binding. Ours is a 'bibliographical' collection, which naturally isn't for everyone and does indeed take up shelf space.

Aug 22, 2010
Well, when I said I had more copies, I meant overall; I don't have ten A&U ists.

But all hyperbole aside, I can see around 15 copies of Silm of all varieties, and I know I've got one extra US 1st and another two or three UK 1sts, in boxes somewhere. Let's see:

Nasmith de luxe signed CT and Ted.

Two more Nasmiths, both signed as they were published.

HC de luxe (half leather)
ditto (paper)

Easton Press

Folio (foil)

Folio (half leather)

Guild book club ed. (red)
ditto (green)

Small book club ed.

US 1st (with CT's booklet on the making of the book)

Harper Collins ed (John Howe cover, red border)
ditto (gold border)

Methuen full leather, with bookplate signed by CT.

My half dozen or so Allen and Unwin 1sts include variants of printer (Jarrold, Clowes, and Unwin Bros) and also of cover material, and the colour of the top edge stain.

I don't think of any of my books as a waste of space, and I'm not a dealer. Why have so many? I can't even claim Wayn'e (perfectly legit.) excuse - I'm not a bibliographer. But an interest in Tolkien bibliography is one of the mainstays of my interest in Tolkien in general, so these things (ie books) just sort of sneaked up on me.

Aug 22, 2010
Just to support what garm says, I too have half a dozen A&U 1sts with variations.

I do worry about the shelf space issue but, as with garm, it is part of my interest in Tolkien and it did kind of sneak up on me (and most have only cost a pound or two - literally).
Aug 22, 2010
Reading from left to right:
* Allan Turner, The Silmarillion: Thirty Years On
* Rhona Beare: JRR Tolkien's The Silmarillion
* Clyde Kilby, Tolkien and The Silmarillion
* Paul Kocher, A Reader's Guide to The Silmarillion
* Randel Helms, Tolkien and the Silmarils
* Namsith paperback
* BCA dummy
* 2007 30th anniversary deluxe
* 1982 super deluxe, bound and cased in red leather; not one of the
hundred signed copies, unfortunately
* an individually re-bound copy, in blue leather
* Methuen deluxe edition
* Hawaii knock-off
* US Ballantine - bog-standard, as far as I know
* dummy
* signed by Christopher
* Billings printing
* signed by Priscilla and John
* Clowes printing
* 2nd impression
* one with a label saying "Final Setting"
* Book Club Associates
* signed by Guy Gavriel Kay.
* Tawain knock-off.

Not on that shelf are:
* four paperbacks
* standard Folio Society
* deluxe Folio Society
* orange leather deluxe.

- wellinghall
Aug 22, 2010
I was just trying to find out about all The Silmarillion copies and this has turned in to quite an interesting thread. Thanks everyone for the comments.

Looking over my bookcases, I guess I'm pretty much the same as the rest of you with my duplicate and multiple copies of various books (though I only own a few copies of The Silmarillion).

I do have 4 sets of the Tolkien Companion and Guide, which is rather peculiar. Don't get me wrong; the 2 volume set is indispensable, but do I really need 4 sets? I think I had planned to sell some of these on eBay at some point but never got around to it. I guess that is the case with a number of extra copies I have lying about.
Aug 23, 2010
I'm no Wayne or Christina, & don't claim to be; but my own collecting of The Silmarillion is almost exclusively bibliographical. I'm very interested in its printing, publication, and dissemination 'story' (although I almost exclusively derive this information, with all its pitfalls, from the books themselves; unlike W&C who have examined archives etc); as a result I've bought many, many copies of the 1977 edition.

Although I have one or two 'upgrades' (two I think), none of the rest are 'the same'. Some are bibliographical variants; some are the same (bibliographically), but have some contemporary marginalia, or are signed copies. So, as others have pointed out, a standard Billing UK 1rst isn't really the same as a standard Billing UK 1st signed by CT; I think everyone would view these as two distinct collectable copies.

Numbers? As I've probably mentioned many times on this forum, I don't even have all the nice 'special' editions any 'Silmarillion Collector' would want: Dummy copies, Methuen, 1982 Super Deluxe, 1998 Super Deluxe, Folio Deluxe etc --I have none of these. But, & this includes two or three foreign editions, a few US editions, and probably a few dozen pb's --I have about 90+. And, yes, they do take up quite a bit of room.

I should probably post some pictures, but it's an embarrassing amount...

Aug 24, 2010
Khamul, I would love to see photos of your collection sometime.

I also need to add in two more to my list: first and second illustrated hardbacks by Ted Nasmith.

- wellinghall
Aug 24, 2010
More pictures.

- wellinghall

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