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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
a question for the book collectors/librarians here

a.s.
Valinor


Jan 7 2008, 1:27am

Post #1 of 9 (373 views)
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a question for the book collectors/librarians here Can't Post

Aunt Dora asked a question on Main about the month the Sil came out in the US, and it led me to thinking about how I obained my first edition. I know I "pre-ordered" it because it was eagerly anticipated and arrived by mail.

But I don't remember how I ordered it.

I'm thinking now it was probably Book of the Month Club, which I had joined around that time or shortly before.

Here's my question: is there a difference between a BOTMC first edition Sil and a regular first edition Sil? The book looks exactly the same as far as I can tell from internet searches, and has no notation anywhere, inside or out, that says something like "Book of the Month Club edition".

Or maybe someone else who ordered a Sil in 1977 used BOTMC and we can share details about our books, to see if they're the same?

If no one knows, I'll gladly accept any hints on who I should ask or which reference I should consult. Thanks in advance.

a.s.

"an seileachan"

"Faith, hope, and charity--
These three.
But the greatest of these
Is charity.
~~~1 Corinthians 13:13


drogo
Lorien


Jan 7 2008, 4:32pm

Post #2 of 9 (87 views)
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BOTMC [In reply to] Can't Post

BOTMC editions are generally not as highly sought-after as trade editions (ones that were sold in bookstores), but I don't think it is as big an issue with the US Sils. The only difference, usually, is that books sold in stores have prices on the dust jacket flaps (that's why you see "price clipped" or "price intact" in descriptions--that does affect collectibility for many hardcore bibliophiles) and occasionally have Book Club Edition somewhere on the jacket or the copyright page. There are cases in which there are literally hundreds or thousands of dollars of difference in price on the used market for BOTMC or other editions versus trade editions.

The US Sils were printed in large numbers, so they are not considered the rarest of the rare (hardcore collectors only go for things published during Tolkien's lifetime). Some try to sell US first printings for huge amounts, but they are not really worth more than about $20-$40 or so tops. For BOTMC editions, shave off some of the price. The UK Sils are the most coveted, but they are usually on sale for about $35-50 at most, and the most sought-after are the "export" editions to be sold in Canada and the Commonwealth. But the only Sils that are very rare are the Deluxe editions or the advanced copies or proofs. I saw a copy of a proof at a store in Santa Monica, CA that was $700!

BTW, there is a book club edition of LOTR, the Reader's Union edition, that was printed in 1960. If you find copies of those with dust jackets (they did a special funky design with the Eye of Sauron in purple on gray), they are pretty valuable. But that's the exception since not many were printed; most book club editions are mass produced and it's hard to say when they were printed (hence why collectors look down on them!).

Too much detail, maybe! Wink And thanks for the link--I missed Aunt Dora's thread on Main about the Sil release date!


(This post was edited by drogo on Jan 7 2008, 4:33pm)


a.s.
Valinor


Jan 8 2008, 12:25am

Post #3 of 9 (68 views)
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ah HAH, no price listing! [In reply to] Can't Post

OK, I'm not sure now.

First, my edition is pretty worthless anyway because I wrote notes all in and on it, deep questions like "Is EA the Universe + Arda=Earth?" and "Balrogs were Maier (sic)" next to the last paragraph on page 31.

LOL

My book has the price listing on the inside front dust cover ("$10.95") and says it's published by Houghton Mifflin, but the copyright page says "George Allen & Unwin" 1977, first printing first American edition, etc. There's the number "W 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1" on the copyright page. It doesn't have the rough-cut pages so many older BOTMC books do, they are smooth and even and there is a red stain on the top closed pages. It has the green cloth cover with the gold gilt design on the front cover and spine and silver lettering on the spine. In fact, it looks just like this book here, from what I can tell.

So I'm back to square one, trying to think where I might have ordered this thing from, if not BOTMC.

But that was good information to file away for later. I do like to keep my eye open for unusual Tolkien items in my price range (cheap, in other words!)

a.s.

"an seileachan"

"And we must all bring Provisions."
"Bring what ?"
"Things to eat."
"Oh!" said Pooh happily. "I thought you said Provisions.
I'll go and tell them." And he stumped off.


drogo
Lorien


Jan 8 2008, 3:40am

Post #4 of 9 (68 views)
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Sounds like a first US Sil [In reply to] Can't Post

I am too lazy to dig out the Hammond and Anderson bibliography at the moment to see if there *was* a book club edition of the Sil (I know there was a British book club edition which has some printing variants from other first Sils, and I would assume that HM would issue one given the popularity of book clubs in the US during the late 70s), but it sounds like you have an edition that is identical to a regular first printing of the trade edition since it has the price on the dust jacket, etc. Look to see if in the list of Tolkien's other works it has "Father Giles of Ham" instead of "Farmer Giles"!

And you can say that the notes were written by Christopher! Wink


a.s.
Valinor


Jan 8 2008, 11:06am

Post #5 of 9 (69 views)
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"Father Giles" [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, it does say Father Giles. Why have I never noticed that before?

LOL

Thanks for all your help. I thought I had unlocked a mystery for Aunt Dora (so I could say I had ordered from BOTMC) but instead found another mystery, inside the mystery of what has happened to my memory with each passing decade...

Wink

a.s.

"an seileachan"

"And we must all bring Provisions."
"Bring what ?"
"Things to eat."
"Oh!" said Pooh happily. "I thought you said Provisions.
I'll go and tell them." And he stumped off.


dernwyn
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jan 8 2008, 1:57pm

Post #6 of 9 (56 views)
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It does! [In reply to] Can't Post

I never noticed that before, either - how in the world did it get past the picky Christopher T.!

Memory! *sigh* Ever feel like you're running on 64K while most of the world has upgraded to 2 g?


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"I desired dragons with a profound desire"

"It struck me last night that you might write a fearfully good romantic drama, with as much of the 'supernatural' as you cared to introduce. Have you ever thought of it?"
-Geoffrey B. Smith, letter to JRR Tolkien, 1915


a.s.
Valinor


Jan 8 2008, 2:22pm

Post #7 of 9 (52 views)
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every passing day, sister!! :-) // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

"an seileachan"

"And we must all bring Provisions."
"Bring what ?"
"Things to eat."
"Oh!" said Pooh happily. "I thought you said Provisions.
I'll go and tell them." And he stumped off.


Darkstone
Immortal


Jan 9 2008, 8:47pm

Post #8 of 9 (50 views)
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Here [In reply to] Can't Post

http://www.bookpoi.com/book_club_book.php

I also remember the bottom of the pages of book club editions were usually ragged, that is, not straight cut like the other sides of the pages.

******************************************
The audacious proposal stirred his heart. And the stirring became a song, and it mingled with the songs of Gil-galad and Celebrian, and with those of Feanor and Fingon. The song-weaving created a larger song, and then another, until suddenly it was as if a long forgotten memory woke and for one breathtaking moment the Music of the Ainur revealed itself in all glory. He opened his lips to sing and share this song. Then he realized that the others would not understand. Not even Mithrandir given his current state of mind. So he smiled and simply said "A diversion.



a.s.
Valinor


Jan 10 2008, 12:22am

Post #9 of 9 (261 views)
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curiouser and curiouser [In reply to] Can't Post

Well. I don't understand some of the lingo, such as

Doubleday Book Club books have a five-digit code (black numbers in a white block)

Where would that code appear? I don't see anything like that, but maybe I'm not looking in the right place?

The BOMC used to put a "blind stamp" on the back panel of the book (sometimes just an impression, round or square, sometimes with a color), this practice has been discontinued. In addition, BOMC dust jackets will sometimes have a "dot" on the bottom right corner of the rear panel.

Does "back panel" mean literally the outside (back) cover? Or inside the back cover? I don't see a dot or stamp anywhere, though.

However, as noted:

earlier BOMC books did not use the blind dot

So just because mine doesn't have a blind dot I guess doesn't mean it is (or isn't) a BOMC edition.

Also:

The Book of the Month Club included prices on their dust jackets in the 1970's. These books will have the regular price on the front flap - at the top of the flap it will say "Selection of the Book of the Month Club" with an asterisk - at the bottom of the flap the asterisk explains "trademark of the Book of the Month Club." These books will sometimes state "first edition" etc - all of them have the blind-stamped dot on the back cover. The most important identification is the presence of both statements on the front flap.

So, my book has the price, does not have the blind dot, does not say ANYWHERE anything about BOMC.

I guess I'm back to thinking I must have ordered it somewhere else, but it's lost in the passing sands of that proverbial hourglass of time...

(Like so much else. Sigh.)

Thanks for the link though. I'm definately saving it.

a.s.


"an seileachan"

"And we must all bring Provisions."
"Bring what ?"
"Things to eat."
"Oh!" said Pooh happily. "I thought you said Provisions.
I'll go and tell them." And he stumped off.

 
 

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