Are you a book collector or book lover? You may find our collection of vintage copies of Firsts The Book Collector’s Magazine worthwhile. Each issue is $7, shipping is free in the United States. For shipping outside the US, contact us at winecountrybooksnapa at gmail.
June 1998 Contains articles including
Worldwide Detectives “Where there are human beings, there is crime. Detectives may ply their craft at any time in history or any place on the globe. We look at three very different and far-flung detectives…”
The Firsts Guide to Grading Books Part 5 ” Firsts concludes its series by examining conditions that render a book uncollectable… incomplete and unattractive…”
Collecting Charles Willeford “When Miami Blues was first published in 1984…”
Casing K.C. Constantine “… this author has managed to guard his true identity for more than a quarter of a century while writing a series of fascinating mysteries set in fictional Rocksburg, PA…”
Some books which I will not let go, or at least not at a price which would allow them to sell:
My Dad’s Vietnam collection
Beautiful children’s books with African American themes by the likes of Jerry Pinkney or the Dillons
Library and information science books
Books I want to read someday (like I will ever get to them, EVER)
Laura Esquivel’s Law of Love with the accompanying cd of arias
Contemporary fiction, first edition signed, which isn’t worth much right now but ‘might be worth something some day’
Librarians and booksellers must apply a rigorous calculus of keep due to intrinsic worth or ‘might be worth something later’/ reduce price or reposition to sell or check out/ just go ahead and discard / donate. (And of course ocd not only requires me to create that incredibly complex calculus, but to then overturn its results. Every. Time.) Reasons include the scarcity of my most precious resource, time- it is a waste of time to list something that won’t sell, or something I refuse to price to sell- and the need for space so that I can get out there and start purchasing books that will sell.
Then I hold in my hand a book from the estate of The Minister from Denbigh, or Miss Margaret, or a feminist coed of the jazz age, with name and the date in spidery or beautiful cursive of days gone by… 1907? 1924? And I think to myself- without collectors I would not have this treasure in my hand. Personal libraries are almost as revealing as diaries, I think.
So is the book a treasure if it won’t sell? Is the book’s worth solely based on what it will bring when it sells?
It just reinforces a stunning and painful truth. The worth of a book is purely situational, subjective, and arbitrary. Which is fine. I am glad to build my personal collecion. But I am supposed to be a bookseller.
Mama said there’d be days like these. Well, what she said was, there were some books she just didn’t want to let go, and she finally learned that if she thought that way, she would never sell a book. My dad didn’t express the sentiment… he just priced ’em so high they wouldn’t sell. Heh.
Matoaka A Story of the Fight for Americanism by William Grant Burleigh, 1924