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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Gaming & Collecting:
Book Collecting

drogo
Lorien


Feb 17 2007, 7:25pm

Post #1 of 22 (1359 views)
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Book Collecting Can't Post

I am very happy to see a collecting forum here since as many of you know, I have been a Tolkien book collecting fanatic since the early 90s (long before the movies were a germ in PJ's zombie-addled brain)! This thread can be one to post pics or collecting stories about books by and about Tolkien--rare, collectible, unusual, as well as beloved editions you have great sentimental ties to (held together by rubber bands, etc.).

I'll start..

This was the start of my collection, a 1962 9th impression of the first edition of The Two Towers



I was in London in 1992 as a graduate student on some grant money, and I discovered a little street off Charing Cross Rd. called Cecil Court. It is a booklovers paradise! It looks not unlike the Diagon Alley set in the Harry Potter movies, and is crammed full of bookshops and shops carrying antique maps, lithographs, etc. Now being a poor student abroad, I really didn't have the funds to buy a lot, but I decided to sacrifice and bought an 1864 edition of Dickens's Little Dorrit (Victorian fiction was my speciality back then, and I still love the Victiorian novelists) for £50. I was trilled with my purchase and about to head out the door when I spied this copy of Tolkien in the window (worst place for a book with a dustjacket like that, but there it was).

I had long been a fan of Tolkien and read LOTR first when I was 13. My parents gave me a hardcover boxed set (1978 Revised Edition) the next year, and those I had reread several times. I had been a book lover, but mostly 19th-century books up to that point. But seeing that Eye of Sauron hooked me. That book cost £60 -- this was in the 90s long before the movies had come out, so things were not always so inflated as they are now -- but I had to get it. Thank Eru for the Vala MasterCard.

From there I started looking around for old editions of Tolkien, and then when Ebay started up, I was lost! Now I am a librarian at a university library who buys books for our literature collection, and often have to get out-of-print titles. Along the way, I keep finding Tolkien things to buy. Not all are really exotic, but I have some that I really love, and some that are ones only a Tolkien book fanatic can love (like Charlie Brown's Christmas Tree!).

So post pics of your favorite Tolkien books.


(Formerly drogo of the two names!)


entmaiden
Forum Admin / Moderator


Feb 17 2007, 7:36pm

Post #2 of 22 (569 views)
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Re: Book Collecting - my partial inventory [In reply to] Can't Post

I love the idea of collecting Tolkien books and I'm very much looking forward to this discussion.

Drogo - occasionally books come up for sale on e-bay. Assuming we're both not bidding, can I request your professional opinion from time to time? There's a few things I know, but I want to learn more about what makes a book valuable.

Also, are there online sources other than e-bay?

I have many, many versions of Tolkien's works, some of them sentimental favorites and some purchased to add to my collection. I first read LOTR in a cream-colored paperback set of three volumes, and I still have those even though some of the pages are separating from the binding. And while my first copy of the Hobbit is somewhere at my parents' house, I have a replica copy I found somewhere.

I wanted the original, unauthorized ACE paperbacks and finally scored a set on e-bay. I also have the original, authorized Ballantine paperbacks (with the inexplicable swans on the cover of Fellowship).

In my fantasy world I'll find a 1937 edition of the Hobbit at a garage or yard sale and snatch it up for $5.

Each cloak was fastened about the neck with a brooch like a green leaf veined with silver.
`Are these magic cloaks?' asked Pippin, looking at them with wonder.
`I do not know what you mean by that,' answered the leader of the Elves.


NARF since 1974.
Balin Bows


WhiteLadyEowyn
Rivendell


Feb 17 2007, 7:39pm

Post #3 of 22 (561 views)
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I got lucky a few years ago.. [In reply to] Can't Post

And stumbled across a first printing, first edition paperback of Return of the King from the 60's... The first "official paperbacks" that had the message from Tolkien himself on the back cover.

And only paid $ 1.25 for it at the used bookstore.


JPB
The Shire


Feb 17 2007, 8:05pm

Post #4 of 22 (584 views)
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Re: Book Collecting [In reply to] Can't Post

This is an excellent idea for a thread. Smile I am a bit of a Tolkien book nutter, and have been purchasing what books I can about him and his work since the late 1970s. The films caused such an explosion in books about Tolkien, and while so many are garbage, I'd like to suggest some that I really thought stood out. I am sure some folks hate these, but that's what debate is about. Blush
  1. The 3 books by Hammond and Scull (Reader's Guide, Companion, and Guide) are just amazing...
  2. Perilous Realms: Celtic and Norse in Tolkien's Mythology - is some of the best Tolkien scholarship I have read in years
  3. Elves Ents and Eriador: The Environmental Vision of J.R.R. Tolkien covers Tolkien's environmentalism - which we all know is deeply there, but sometimes gets overlooked in scholarship.

As to various editions of The Lord of the Rings... there's always the Holy Grail we all wish for (autographed first edition - LOL) - but my favorite one is a rice-paper edition from England that is, resultingly, nice and thin. You can take it and stuff it easily into carryon luggage - and I have had more than one person comment nice Bible Sly because the thin paper just makes them assume that is what it must be. And of course, I love the Alan Lee illustrated edition (60th Anniversary?)

But as to sentiment, here is one of the most amazing stories... my original copies of Lord of the Rings were the Ballantine Books "in a red box" 4-book edition that included The Hobbit. Various heraldries of the Elven Kings were on it. Some may later remember this box with a gold foil background, but originally it was just a simple red. Mine had been lost for a very long time. The copy I had of Return of the King had a flaw in it - a silver-colored streak in the lower portion of the title of the book.. Years later, a friend of mine gave me their old copy once, after hearing I had lost mine... and it turns out that not only was it the same printing, it had the same error. Now I don't know if every copy of that printing had that error, or just a few... but getting a set of the books back with the same error was rather cool. Evil


drogo
Lorien


Feb 17 2007, 8:46pm

Post #5 of 22 (569 views)
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Re: Book Collecting - my partial inventory [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I love the idea of collecting Tolkien books and I'm very much looking forward to this discussion.

Drogo - occasionally books come up for sale on e-bay. Assuming we're both not bidding, can I request your professional opinion from time to time? There's a few things I know, but I want to learn more about what makes a book valuable.

Also, are there online sources other than e-bay?


Oh sure, please feel free to email me so we don't accidentally get in a bidding war (I'll give you my Ebay name to watch for). I haven't bought many big-ticket ones lately, but the new Ebay system makes hides the bidder IDs when the prices go over $200, so that makes it hard to know.

The Hammond and Anderson Descriptive Bibliography is the best source for things Tolkien. You can also look at http://www.tolkiencollector.com/index.html for some tips and links, and http://www.tolkienlibrary.com/ is a nice site.

That brings up other sites. The one I use the most for used and antiquarian books is http://www.abebooks.com which is a search portal for book dealers. You can specify which edition you want, price range, attributes like dustjacket, etc.

There are several others that are good, but i like Abebooks since you have an easy means of contacting the seller for questions, and can get better descriptions. Alibris is another, but it has some annoying features (like the use of stock photos that has no bearing on the book you are looking at, etc.).

But email me if you have some questions, and I know some Tolkien collectors and Ebay sellers who are happy to give opinions. I used a contact to spot a fake signed Sir Gawain for sale on Abebooks, so caveat emptor!!

And I'll post more of my Tolkien things in this thread. I have an off-print of a philology article that Tolkien owned (with his handwritten note on the cover) and a first US 1938 Hobbit I got as a 40th birthday gift from my significant other--squire has one of those too, IIRC (or is it Curious? They are so alike!
Sly).


(Formerly drogo of the two names!)


entmaiden
Forum Admin / Moderator


Feb 17 2007, 11:43pm

Post #6 of 22 (545 views)
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Re: [JPB] Book Collecting [In reply to] Can't Post

I love your story about getting back the same edition, especially since it's got some rather specific quirks. My sentimental favorite edition is the Houghton-Mifflin hardcovers with the wheat-covered jackets and the fold-out maps. That was the first grown-up copies I had. The Alan Lee illustrated is wonderful, too.

Each cloak was fastened about the neck with a brooch like a green leaf veined with silver.
`Are these magic cloaks?' asked Pippin, looking at them with wonder.
`I do not know what you mean by that,' answered the leader of the Elves.


NARF since 1974.
Balin Bows


entmaiden
Forum Admin / Moderator


Feb 17 2007, 11:44pm

Post #7 of 22 (534 views)
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Re: [drogo] Book Collecting - my partial inventory [In reply to] Can't Post

I think it's Curious who has the letter from JRRT in reply to a letter he (Curious) wrote, and squire's got the 1938 edition. I'm sure they'll be here in no time and correct me if I'm wrong.

Each cloak was fastened about the neck with a brooch like a green leaf veined with silver.
`Are these magic cloaks?' asked Pippin, looking at them with wonder.
`I do not know what you mean by that,' answered the leader of the Elves.


NARF since 1974.
Balin Bows


deej
Tol Eressea


Feb 18 2007, 7:12pm

Post #8 of 22 (500 views)
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Re: [entmaiden] Book Collecting - my partial inventory [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

In my fantasy world I'll find a 1937 edition of the Hobbit at a garage or yard sale and snatch it up for $5.



I have that same fantasy; finding not only The Hobbit but first editions of all of Tolkiens works in mint condition for next to nothing. You never know.

The closest i've come is finding a first edition hardcover copy of Tolkien's official biography in close to excellent condition at a Goodwill store for $1.50.

I also love the illustrated anniversary editions of LotR and The Hobbit that Alan Lee did - the books themselves are so beautiful!

Sincerely, deej - The Artist Formerly Known as djdeathskiss

Atlanta Woot! Moot 2007 - Join us Labor Day weekend; go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/atlanta_woot_moot/

(This post was edited by deej on Feb 18 2007, 7:16pm)


drogo
Lorien


Feb 18 2007, 8:53pm

Post #9 of 22 (533 views)
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My $1 find [In reply to] Can't Post

was a Ballantine paperback of The Hobbit, the Barbara Remington one with the lion on the cover that so bothered Tolkien that they had reissue it in later printings. It was in a little used bookstore in Oklahoma City, and I told the owner that I had seen this book listed for $180 on one of the used book dealer sites. She would only take the buck, though, even though I offered her at least $10 for it out of guilt.




(Formerly drogo of the two names!)

(This post was edited by drogo on Feb 18 2007, 8:55pm)


JPB
The Shire


Feb 18 2007, 9:40pm

Post #10 of 22 (477 views)
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Re: [entmaiden] Book Collecting [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks, entmaiden. Smile I was very surprised to see that flaw. It made the gift very special, and the giver was happy to hear this, too.


diedye
Grey Havens


Feb 19 2007, 3:47pm

Post #11 of 22 (486 views)
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I have a lot of new Tolkien books... [In reply to] Can't Post

... and a few older paperbacks.

A couple of years back, I bought the 50th Anniversary Folio edition of The Hobbit, but I dropped it in rain water. I wiped off most of it and took a plastic eraser to gently remove as much as I could after it had dried. I suppose it's worthless now, value-wise. *sigh*

I also bought a first-edition Canadian Silmarillion with the jacket missing, but there was an interesting newspaper article taped to the inside of the back cover announcing its imminent release, which is kinda nice.



Idril Celebrindal
Tol Eressea


Feb 19 2007, 7:07pm

Post #12 of 22 (458 views)
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Thanks for the book recommendations [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm definitely going to check them out, especially the one on Tolkien and environmentalism.

With caffeine, all things are possible.

The pity of Bilbo will screw up the fate of many.



SandWitch King
Rohan


Feb 19 2007, 11:46pm

Post #13 of 22 (468 views)
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I love this thread! [In reply to] Can't Post

I have many of the new editions of everything Tolkien related from the last 8 or 9 years but I have nothing to speak of in the way of old editions of LOTR and The Hobbit.

Despite this, I have a nice collection of covers from around the world on my computer, and mentally I am collecting these books despite never looking for them and buying them. I guess all it really allows me to do is read this thread and feel connected somehow.

Anyway, great thread and at the rate of change here on the collectibles section, it will stick around a good long while. Cool

Once upon a time I was MrCere. I still am but this name is for posting and being part of the community while that one is for official business. 8-)


Adanedhel
Bree

Feb 22 2007, 4:30am

Post #14 of 22 (451 views)
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Scholar and Storyteller [In reply to] Can't Post

What I had the hardest time finding was Tolkien Scholar and Storyteller from Mary Salu. I had to read Lewis' obituary for Tolkien and this was the only book that had it. I spent about $75 through an online bookstore in England.


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Feb 22 2007, 5:19am

Post #15 of 22 (464 views)
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My local library carries that book. [In reply to] Can't Post

Which is helpful.

Is that the Times "He had been inside language" obituary cited by Carpenter? I understand that although Carpenter attributes the obit to Lewis, there's no proof of that.

Welcome to the new boards. (Welcome to TORN? Or are you an old-timer returning? Welcome, either way!)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Detail from earliest version of Thror's MapTolkien Illustrated! Jan. 29-May 20: Visit the Reading Room to discuss art by John Howe, Alan Lee, Ted Nasmith and others, including Tolkien himself.

Feb. 19-25: The Hobbit.


Adanedhel
Bree

Feb 22 2007, 12:17pm

Post #16 of 22 (445 views)
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Yes the Times article [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't know for sure who wrote the article but if it was Lewis that's very impressive considering he passed away years before Tolkien.

Thanks for the welcome! I am new to the forums though I have trolled Torn off and on for years. I didn't see they had forums before Blush.


grammaboodawg
Immortal


Mar 9 2007, 7:58pm

Post #17 of 22 (463 views)
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My first books of The Lord of the Rings [In reply to] Can't Post

are the same ones I'm still reading now. We found them in 1971, so they're well-loved. Elijah Wood has autographed the cover of Fellowship, Billy Boyd the cover of Two Towers, and Sean Astin the cover of Return of the King. I'm hoping to meet Dom again one day and have him autograph The Hobbit!

I found the first hc US edition of The Hobbit (1954ish) and a first edition of Unfinished Tales at a bookstore in a little town nearby, and bought both for $8 about 2 years ago. I'd mentioned this in a thread up the board a bit and couldn't remember then if it was $8 for just one, but it was combined. :) My 50th anniversary special edition was autographed by Royd Tolkien at ORC!!!

I have about 15 different editions of The Hobbit and about the same number of different editions/sets of The Lord of the Rings.

My very first set (as MANY know already) was found when I was 19 along the curb of a road along with LOTS of household items waiting for a Thrift Shop pickup (I assume). My then husband saw them stacked up along the side of some boxes and picked them up. Handing them to me through the van window, he said he thought I might enjoy them. As we were homeless at the time, I totally threw myself into the story and have been lost in it ever since :)

I have about 6 different editions of the Silmarillion and many other Tolkien works. I'm compiling/updating my list for SandWitch King's Collectibles page right now... so the numbers may be different... but it's a good ball-park range ;)


sample sample
Trust him... The Hobbit is coming!

"Barney Snow was here." ~Hug like a hobbit!~ "In my heaven..."


TORn's Observations Lists


drogo
Lorien


Mar 9 2007, 11:55pm

Post #18 of 22 (418 views)
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That's quite a story [In reply to] Can't Post

Amazing first discovery of the LOTR! Do you still have that curbside set?


(Formerly drogo of the two names!)


Sandicomm
Bree


Mar 10 2007, 12:06am

Post #19 of 22 (452 views)
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My own collection [In reply to] Can't Post

I have that book. I got it for free. :P It used to be my uncle's, and it was kept at my grandparents' country house. When my Nana sold the house a few months ago, Rachel (my sister) and I were able to rescue a few things, including old comic books we had drawn and that edition of The Hobbit. We decided it would be a good replacement for my copy of The Hobbit that Rachel got. She also got me a copy of Humphrey Carpenter's biography for 50 cents at a school book fair. Isn't she a good sister?

As for my LOTR books, I have the Ballantine edition from the early 90s, with the Michael Herring covers. I can't seem to find that edition anywhere, though, which is annoying, because I'd like to have a matching Hobbit some day...


grammaboodawg
Immortal


Mar 11 2007, 2:17am

Post #20 of 22 (448 views)
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Yeppers... [In reply to] Can't Post

They're the ones I had autographed and do my TIME and BS posts out of. Even though I have several editions, they are the ones I still read out of exclusively. The lines from the movies are highlighted, notes in the margins, underlined favourite passages, tear-stained, ripped up a bit, discoloured... and are my cherished treasures :D


http://img.photobucket.com/...phFellowshipbook.jpg


http://img.photobucket.com/...BoydTTcoverORC06.jpg


http://img.photobucket.com/...anAstinRotKcover.jpg


I've also got Peter S. Beagle's and Paul Badali's autographs in them, too :) Cripes, I've had fun!


sample sample
Trust him... The Hobbit is coming!

"Barney Snow was here." ~Hug like a hobbit!~ "In my heaven..."


TORn's Observations Lists

(This post was edited by grammaboodawg on Mar 11 2007, 2:25am)


drogo
Lorien


Mar 11 2007, 3:45am

Post #21 of 22 (417 views)
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Great story [In reply to] Can't Post

Amazing history behind those books! Battered but well loved indeed.


(Formerly drogo of the two names!)


priell3
Lorien

Sep 27 2007, 4:19pm

Post #22 of 22 (1150 views)
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Bringing back an old topic [In reply to] Can't Post

I recently did an inventory of the Tolkien works I've collected in just the past few years:

Audio Book CD

The Hobbit - unabridged, narrated by Rob Inglis

The Lord of The Rings - unabridged, narrated by Rob Inglis

Music CD

The Fellowship of The Ring Soundtrack

The Two Towers Soundtrack

The Return of The King Soundtrack

At Dawn in Rivendell by the Tolkien Ensemble and Christopher Lee

Leaving Rivendell by the Tolkien Ensemble and Christopher Lee

The Lord of The Rings: Complete Songs and Poems by the Tolkien Ensemble and Christopher Lee

Lord of The Rings Symphony - Johan De Meij

The Lord of The Rings - Music Inspired By - David Arkenstone/The Elbereth Orchestra

DVD

The Fellowship of the Ring - Theatrical Version

The Two Towers - Theatrical Version

The Return of The King - Theatrical Version

The Fellowship of the Ring - Extended Edition

The Two Towers - Extended Edition

The Return of The King - Extended Edition

The Fellowship of the Ring - Book Re-edited Version

The Two Towers - Book Re-edited Version

The Return of The King - Book Re-edited Version

Hardback Books

The Hobbit - Collector's Edition

Unfinished Tales

The Children of Hśrin

The Lord of the Rings - Single Volume Collector's Edition

Paperback Books

The Silmarillion

The Hobbit

The Fellowship of The Ring - Illustrated cover by Alan Lee

The Two Towers - Illustrated cover by Alan Lee

The Return of The King - Illustrated cover by Alan Lee

The Fellowship of The Ring - Movie Cover

The Two Towers - Movie Cover

The Return of The King - Movie Cover

Journeys of Frodo - Atlas of Middle Earth by Barbara Strachey



 
 

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