The Lord of the Rings Sketchbook
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By Fledge
Just popping in

Do Lavish Custom Rebound Books Appreciate in Value?

Sep 15
2021/9/15 8:05:05 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Geekify is selling lavish leather rebindings of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt's 2007 Edition Anniversary hardcover books. The rebindings are beautiful (particularly, the Red Book of Westmarch re-styling for LotR is a clever nod to knowing fans), however they are QUITE expensive, and for the amount of money one would drop on these I have to ask the collector's community their thoughts on whether such rebindings would ever actually appreciate in value.

Here's a link to the books: Geekify Tolkien Leatherbound Bundle

Again this looks to be a custom, non-official rebinding of a different publisher's release, which doesn't seem in itself to be illegal but nevertheless isn't produced by the franchise copyright holders. I think they look fantastic but at the asking price it would have to be an investment for me, which I genuinely have no idea whether they would be or not, anyone have experience with something like this?

5238_6141a99157545.jpg 2560X1920 px
Sep 15
2021/9/15 8:21:40 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
It is not illegal to do this as original books are used. Very popular on Etsy but IMHO can't really see these after-market editions being sought out in the future by collectors and probably will not hold the asking price.
Sep 15
2021/9/15 8:29:16 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
I can't personally see those kinds of rebinds holding value in the future. Those are "gimmick" books, not well designed and executed bindings (IMHO).

The BB one, by the way is just a copy of the movie prop.

I think anyone buying these should buy them because they will enjoy them, not because of any likelihood of future value.
Sep 15
2021/9/15 10:39:13 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
I have a BB notebook that was produced as a promotional item for LOTR back in the early 2000s. It’s quite a lovely little thing with the star and BB embossed in silver.
Sep 15
2021/9/15 11:22:44 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Those are too much for my taste. Subtle rebinds can look really great though.
Sep 15
2021/9/15 12:11:15 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
These sorts of rebindings are too bling for my tastes. I want a book I can read, not carry around as a fashion accessory.
Sep 15 (edited)
2021/9/15 12:14:30 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Not my cup of tea, but can definitely see why people would like them. As far as the value, I haven't seen any indication of appreciation over time.
Sep 15
2021/9/15 14:31:54 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Stu wrote:

I think anyone buying these should buy them because they will enjoy them, not because of any likelihood of future value.

Ah, how I wish people would to this with everything.
Sep 15
2021/9/15 20:31:02 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

onthetrail wrote:

These sorts of rebindings are too bling for my tastes. I want a book I can read, not carry around as a fashion accessory.

It's not so much for their fancy looks, so much as it appeals to my inner child. If I was a kid sifting through a dusty library shelf and stumbled upon books that look like this, I'd be a little amazed and think there MUST be something really legendary and mythical inside (which there is). I'd be hoping my kids or grandkids some day could have that kind of magical first experience encountering Tolkien's works, instead of just an obviously commercialized product.

That said, for personal use I always prefer cheap no-frills softcover bindings so they're lightweight and easy to read one-handed on the go without having to baby them, so I totally get what you mean.
Sep 15
2021/9/15 20:42:04 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Fledge wrote:

onthetrail wrote:

These sorts of rebindings are too bling for my tastes. I want a book I can read, not carry around as a fashion accessory.

It's not so much for their fancy looks, so much as it appeals to my inner child. If I was a kid sifting through a dusty library shelf and stumbled upon books that look like this, I'd be a little amazed and think there MUST be something really legendary and mythical inside (which there is). I'd be hoping my kids or grandkids some day could have that kind of magical first experience encountering Tolkien's works, instead of just an obviously commercialized product.

That said, for personal use I always prefer cheap no-frills softcover bindings so they're lightweight and easy to read one-handed on the go without having to baby them, so I totally get what you mean.

Worth saying there are binderies that can do some really lovely rebinds that are not mass-market commercial products. In all honestly, they cost a good bit more than these, but the end-product is night and day. I guess to some degree it is down to whether you are after a "fantasy binding" or a traditional binding. These etsy ones are obviously on the fantasy end of the spectrum. If you like 'em, buy 'em, but don't expect the wider collector market to value them in the future.
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