Tolkien Collector's Guide
All the New Books
By Ulmo

All the New Books

Sep 6

2007. The Children of Húrin
2009. The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún
2013. The Fall of Arthur
2014. Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary
2015. The Story of Kullervo
2017. Beren and Lúthien
2018. The Fall of Gondolin

I’d like to collect a matching set of just the standard (HarperCollins) hardcovers or just the deluxe hardcovers. I am sure several of you have both, but if you had to pick one, which would it be and why?

FWIW the rest of my collection is Houghton Mifflin. But for these the HM editions are dinky, so I must go British.
Sep 6
I'd probably get the standard trade editions. They are cheaper, arguably better looking (have dust-jackets, largely matching) and are more usable (don't have stiff spines and slipcases, etc). I don't think the deluxe editions represent particularly good value, especially given the reprints are typically Chinese printed.
Sep 6
I was also going to ask - are you interested in first impression collecting, or just nice copies? I think the deluxe ones are probably only worth it for first printings, and as Stu says they are probably overpriced on the secondary market, for those you can still find. For reprints, I agree that the trade editions are quite nice to collect.
Sep 6
Thanks. Definitely I would hope to collect first impressions. I’m not in any particular hurry, just formulating a long-term strategy. Are there any which are going to be near-impossible to get a first impression of, in either format?
Sep 6
(edited)

Ulmo wrote:
Thanks. Definitely I would hope to collect first impressions. I’m not in any particular hurry, just formulating a long-term strategy. Are there any which are going to be near-impossible to get a first impression of, in either format?


The only trade edition that had a small print run was Kullervo. That went to a second print very rapidly. I don't think you would have any problem acquiring any of them, though.

Deluxes are more of a hassle. Tales from the Perilous Realm might be tricky. You also have to be careful because many of the second impressions from China are still given a "1" in the number line, so you need to pay attention to the number line AND where it was printed. This means they are often listed as first impressions when they are not.

If there were four or five deluxe editions, I'd say go for it, but we now have 16 or thereabouts (including the three volumes of HoME), and some of them just aren't that great. If I had not started collecting them at the start, I would not collect them now.
Sep 6
My personal preference would be the deluxe editions :)

I agree they aren’t superior enough to warrant the “deluxe” tag, but as someone who likes beautiful and well-produced objects, including books, it’s either these or the true leather bound deluxe editions. My thought is I’m going to buy these books once, and as I’m never going to be able to afford those true deluxe editions, these are a good compromise.

However, as others have mentioned, getting first editions/impressions isn’t going to be an easy task unless you’re willing to pay inflated prices, so that will be a challenge, but a fun one it will be.

By the way, I personally don’t count the HOME delixe editions a part of this series because, well, they don’t match the series.
Sep 6
I have both sets and enjoy them for different reasons. Since you are most interested in the "new" books here I think the trade route is a good one. In addition to your list, you can add A Secret Vice and The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun, both of which will likely never have deluxe editions. One other book I would include in this series of recent trade editions is the Alan Lee illustrated Tales from the Perilous Realm. This ten-book series, then, has three subsets in terms of jacket design, which are easily seen when the spines are lined up. The four Alan Lee illustrated volumes form the first subset, Arthur and S&G the next, and the remaining four the final subset. The three jacket variation compliment each other well. Since I am not a huge stickler for first impressions of these books, I opted for a recent printing of CoH, which has a white HC spine logo to match the other nine volumes. Earlier printings had a gold logo.
Sep 6

Karl wrote:
I opted for a recent printing of CoH, which has a white HC spine logo to match the other nine volumes.


Does anybody which impression the logo changes to white on CoH?
Sep 6
Mine is a 16th. I don't have any idea when it switched.
Sep 6
(edited)
I appreciate all the info and opinions. For what it’s worth, I am not contemplating getting Tales from the Perilous Realm, The Complete History of Middle-earth, A Secret Vice, or The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun. Right now I am only focused on assembling a complete collection of what I think of as the canonical list.

[Admin edit] - cannot link to unsecure (http) images on other sites so I've attached below

My intent is to assemble first printings of all of those, though for most books whose publication predates my 1979 birthdate, I’m content with the edition that was most recently printed prior to my birth, if that makes sense.

1_5b917391acc1d.png 437X768 px
Sep 6
Karl wrote:
I have both sets and enjoy them for different reasons. Since you are most interested in the "new" books here I think the trade route is a good one. In addition to your list, you can add A Secret Vice and The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun, both of which will likely never have deluxe editions. One other book I would include in this series of recent trade editions is the Alan Lee illustrated Tales from the Perilous Realm. This ten-book series, then, has three subsets in terms of jacket design, which are easily seen when the spines are lined up. The four Alan Lee illustrated volumes form the first subset, Arthur and S&G the next, and the remaining four the final subset. The three jacket variation compliment each other well. Since I am not a huge stickler for first impressions of these books, I opted for a recent printing of CoH, which has a white HC spine logo to match the other nine volumes. Earlier printings had a gold logo.


Karl you wouldn't happen to have a picture of the spines all together and some ISBN info would you?
I've just about given up on matching B-Format paperbacks so figure I might as well try my hand at finishing the "trade" route (I've got a few already that I picked up for cheap in eBay auctions - an older CoH, Kullervo and Lay of Aotrou and Itroun)
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