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Old 01-19-2008, 11:45 PM   #1
snookums
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Who here is a Book Collector?

Outside of eBooks, is there anyone here who likes to collect signed first editions from their favorite authors. I have just gotten into this little habit after reading Book Finds, 3rd Edition. I bought two signed first editions of The Invention of Hugo Cabret on the advice of my sister's teacher friend who has a knack for picking out Caldecott Medal winners. I bought both for $50 apiece, and the book was awarded the 2008 Caldecott Medal just recently. They are both worth at least $100 now. I'm going to hold on to them a little longer since the book has been optioned into a movie. Martin Scorsese is supposed to be directing it for Warner Bros. I figure the books will only increase in value when the movie comes out.

Those were an investment decision. Purely for my own delight I recently purchased a numbered first edition of Libba Bray's Sweet Far Thing. I'm still waiting for it to arrive in the mail.

So is there anyone else here who is a collector? (In the rarity sense, not the keeping enough paperbacks to be declared a fire hazard sense )
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Old 01-20-2008, 05:16 AM   #2
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I used to be, for many years, but about 10 years ago my house was getting full and I just decided "what's the point?". These days I have one "wall" of my very favourite books (eg I'll never get rid of my 36 volume "Complete Works of Dickens") and that's it. I ration myself to that fixed space - if I buy a new book and I want to keep it, something else goes. The very few books that I genuinely do want to keep permanently I try to buy in good-quality hardbacks.
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Old 01-20-2008, 08:36 AM   #3
Razi
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I have had this craze of collecting books at least three times in my life. Libraries were lost at the time of long-distance moves. Now I have only three shelves full of books but they are all specialist stuff, books which are hard to find in ebook format and are bloody expensive if found. Compare the prices here:

Mobipocket format:
Paperback:

How do they justify the double price of an article that costs a fraction in terms of production costs???

When I am a bit time-rich I'll invest in a book scanner (something like this: http://www.amazon.com/Book-Scanner-w...0832006&sr=8-2
and convert my paper books to PDF format and move most of them to the attic (I never sell my books). I have 1st editions of Samuel Becketts Molloy, Malone Dies and The Unnameable. There is a set of the 1st editions of first five Harry Potter books in my children's collection upstairs. I once had the first American edition of Joyce's Ulysses:


and the 1st edition of Finnegans Wake but now I can't even recall where they have gone. Must be worth a fortune.
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Old 01-20-2008, 09:41 AM   #4
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I was used to collect hardback editions, however, I am moving away from this habbit. I cannot afford to pay twice for pbook and ebook and I don't have enough storage place at home. I am still buying hardback editions of the series I have started to collect before I bought Sony Reader, but I have not bought any new books from new series since then.
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Old 01-20-2008, 08:39 PM   #5
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I'm just now getting into eBooks with my purchase of a Kindle. To me not every book is worthy of collecting - only those that are on my top bookshelf. Susanna Clarke and Libba Bray's books make that cut as do many other of my favorite authors. Collecting is also about an investment not merely retaining books regardless of worth. For a serious book collector only a first edition is worth collecting. (As well as having an unflawed dust jacket since that accounts for 80% of the value) Second editions are worth nothing on resale. It should also be signed if it is a modern first. As I've said, collecting is more than indulgence. A signed first not only retains its original value but will most often appreciate in value over time. I liken it to choosing between an inexpensive car that will depreciate in value or a slightly more expensive one that I know I can sell back for at least what I paid for it. In many ways, books are a better investment than stocks. The problem with book collecting is that it is expensive since most collectors buy two copies: a reading copy and one to keep in mint condition. That's where eBooks make a wonderful alternative to buying a reading copy. Not only do they take up less space but they also are usually cheaper.
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Old 01-20-2008, 09:09 PM   #6
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Years ago, I started collecting 19th century science books (I was too poor to afford older ones). I quit when I started a family and one shelf of them survives. I still love to take one down now and then. They have a great look, feel, and smell. And I find that reading an 1850's text on chemistry to be both interesting and entertaining. Some scientists were able to learn a great deal with pretty meager tools. Anyway, I was never into first editions. But I suspect many of us here are real book lovers and you're bound to find some more collectors about.
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Old 01-20-2008, 10:02 PM   #7
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I collect books, buy books (hardcover), and now have added ebooks to my life.

I buy 2 types of pbooks: collectibles (e.g., a first edition in fine condition of Sinclair Lewis' It Can't Happen Here, which is my favorite) and books that I both want to read and want to hand down to my grandchildren. Fortunately, my wife indulges me in this.

What I don't want to happen with my grandchildren is for them to lose or miss the experiences of reading and holding/smelling/feeling a pbook. I fear, especially after reading the frontpage article in today's NY Times about cellnovels, that increasingly we are becoming a world where the extent of reading is a text message, and I'd like my descendants to know a complete sentence.

The bad thing for me about books of all types is the amount I spend on them. I could go on a couple of month-long vacations if I simply stopped buying for a year.
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