I am very happy to present a guest post by the amazingly talented Julian Froment.
He may well be the only other person I know who is as devoted to the love of books and literature as I.
We eat them for breakfast…quite good with blackberry jam. Please give him a moment of your time and appreciate his wisdom. If we try hard we might convince him this needs to be a series.
Without further ado–Julian’s thoughts on book collecting:
I felt extremely honoured when Ionia asked me to write a post for ReadfulThings Blog regarding book collecting. I hope that this short post will serve to introduce her many followers to the general topic of book collecting and give a little insight into why certain people, like us, love to collect books.
It appears that many people seem to have the view that book collectors are boring, socially inept people that just surround themselves with books because they cannot interact well with people. Well, I am living proof that this is not the case. Oh, wait, hang on, re-reading that I think I may just have proved their fucking point. Oh well, so be it. Seriously though, there are many different types of people that collect books, and for many different reasons. I will try to introduce you to why some people collect books, focusing on myself, naturally, and mention a few of the different types of collection that I have come across.
Collecting books is not necessarily all about collecting old, rare books, that will appreciate in value over time. There are many reasons that one may collect books, and indeed many different strategies, or type of collection one can amass. That being said, many people are, especially these days, often only interested in acquiring books that will ultimately increase significantly in value. Personally I just enjoy collecting books, with little regard for their potential future value.
However, many of us do not have the financial ability to put together a collection of old and rare books. Fear not though. There are many alternatives.
You can collect first editions if you want, especially modern firsts. These can often be obtained quite reasonably priced, and are one type of book that has the potential for increasing greatly in value. You can also collect signed copies of books, books released by a particular publisher, a particular series of books – eg; James Bond books, a particular imprint eg; puffin books, a particular author such as Enid Blyton or Oscar Wilde, a particular genre, books about a particular subject or person such as Abraham Lincoln or Princess Diana. You can also collect advance copies, incunabula, books as art or anything else you please. You decide.
As most of you know, especially if you have been reading my ‘Collection Book of the Week’ series, which admittedly seems to an inappropriate title, I enjoy collecting Enid Blyton’s children’s adventure story first editions. These were some of the first books that I read and really connected with as a child, and they have always held a special place in my heart. As an adult, of sorts, I am now able to truly appreciate the quality and beauty of the first editions of these, in addition to the sentimental value that I can place upon them.
Often something as simple as this is enough to inspire someone to start a collection. So, have a go. Pick something that interests you and start a collection. It doesn’t have to cost the earth, but can be a whole lot of fun.
Thanks again to Ionia for letting me write this. If anyone is interested in knowing more about book collecting then please comment and let me know. If it is interesting to enough people I could look at writing a short series, either here or on my own blog, regarding what to look for in first editions, how to identify them, the importance of condition, where to potentially find them at reasonable prices, etc.