Saturday, March 20, 2010

Price is no object, nor accessibility



What's the one book, you would like to lay your hands on-gratis?

This one goes for $136, 000.

25 comments:

Randy Johnson said...

I don't want much. A book by Burl Barer that only went about 800 copies total. Capture The Saint. It only goes for around a hundred for a used copy, hundreds for a pristine edition. It is available now cheap for a Kindle. Alas...

Randy Johnson said...

Oh, I do have a first edition of Stephen King's Wizard and Glass I'll let go reasonable if anyone's interested. Heh!

Richard S. Wheeler said...

A certain copy of A Farewell to Arms has an awkward left-handed signature by Ernest Hemingway. He signed the book in Billings, where he was recovering from an auto accident that gravely fractured his right arm. He and John Dos Passos were leaving the Red Lodge-area ranch where Hemingway had spent idyllic summers (and enjoying the local moonshine). The episode is the subject of a Montana PBS documentary produced by my wife, Sue Hart. I would love to own that book, with its left-handed Hemingway signature.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Actually, what I really want is a complete set of the Betsy, Tacy and Tib books from my childhood. I never see them in bookstores.
I wonder if I own a single valuable book.
Is that documentary available, Richard. Sounds fascinating. Oh, did I love Dos Pasos as a girl. So original.

Rod Norman said...

Patti, as an avid collector, that a great question...now I'm drawing a blank.. Probably a 1st of Jim Thompson's "The Killer Inside Me" Rod Norman

Jerry House said...

1) Your WIP, when it's finally published.

2) A Gutenburg Bible, because I need something to fund my golden years.

3) The Mystery Scene Reader, edited by Ed Gorman.

4) Henry Kuttner: A Memorial Symposium, edited by Karen Anderson

5) The three-volume collection of Seabury Quinn's Jules de Grandin stories from Battered Silicon Dispatch Box.

6) Mysteries of Asia by Achmed Abdullah.

7) Consider Your Verdict by "Tally Mason" (August Derleth).

I could go on for hours...

pattinase (abbott) said...

I can see Jerry has given this a lot of thought over time. I would love to see a lot of the early mags, too.
Rod-I have a battered copy on my TBR pile but I've always been afraid to read it. Maybe it's time.

Todd Mason said...

Complete runs of all the magazines that have passionately engaged me. Surprise! I'm pretty close with BEYOND and the BLACK MASK/A MATTER OF CRIME revival of the '80s...this gives the cognizant as sense of just how haphazard a collector I am (I believe I have about half of the F&SF issues, and perhaps just under a quater of all the US SAINT MYSTERY MAGAZINEs and MAGAZINE OF HORRORs).

It's more, for me, that I want books back in print or othewise widely available. I have a few limited edition items, but I wish the economics would militate toward more general-edition items. I suspect a few of mine are valuable, but I prefer to be able to read a book (and I'm careful with my books, mostly) rather than treat it like a relic.

I will note that the University of Hawaii's Hamilton Library had a handsome matched set of James Branch Cabell on their general distribution shelves, that they put in their rare books room after I brought to their attention in 1981, just before I matriculated. I was able to borrow the rather less rare, but still expensive, THE BOOK OF ELLISON from them at about that time, and went through a number of their bound volumes of PUNCH.

George said...

I've always had a hankering to read the NECRONOMICON, Patti. But a book I'd love in my collection would be a FIRST EDITION of THE BIG SLEEP.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I haven't even heard of some of those, Todd.
First editions seem beyond me. I go to those antiquarian fairs once in a while, and am aghast at the prices. I bet they've come down a bit lately.

Alice said...

George, you might've enjoyed the prankster (I hope) who came into my bookstore once going on about the edition of the NECRONOMICON he'd seen once...bound in human skin!!! (diminished organ chord).

Of course, there are so many books having taken up the title...

Todd Mason said...

Frabjuously, I keep forgetting to relog in from Alice's computer here.

wv: unmani

Jerry House said...

Todd, at one time I had the full Beyond, and near-complete sets of EQMM, Manhunt, Galaxy, F&SF, If, and Fantastic, and a large amount of scattered Saints and AHMMs, among others. I'm sorry
I sold them, but if I had them back, I'd have to move into a much bigger house than I could afford.

Alice said...

As with the DC comics debuts, Patti, I'm not sure there's any reason for the ridiculous firsts to have dropped much.

BEYOND was a frequently brilliant fantasy-fiction magazine, which lasted only two years in the mid-'50s...rather a more sexually bubbling under heir to UNKNOWN, of similar "contemporary fantasy" leanings and similarly shortlived in the '40s. Sturgeon, Bloch, Bradbury, Matheson, Damon Knight, Fredric Brown, Jerome Bixby, Evelyn Smith, Philip Joes Farmer, and many of the other usual suspects (oddly, I don't think Fritz Leiber contributed), and a few less-usual ones, such as the unprolific T. L. Sherred and a brilliant early horror story by Philip K. Dick, "Upon the Dull Earth." Also such crime-fiction crossover folks as Richard Deming and (the rather more amphibian) Miriam Allen de Ford.

Todd Mason, unintentionally masquerading as best friend Alice said...

Jerry--tis always thus, eh? I have three storage lockers and a whole lotta boxes in my "spare" bedroom...

pattinase (abbott) said...

Weird when that happens, Todd. Kept happening to me in New York with Megan's computer.

Richard Robinson said...

A signed first UK printing of THE HOBBIT would be very nice to own. Also a first UK printing of PERIL AT END HOUSE. Also a first of WIND IN THE WILLOWS, signed by both author Kenneth Grahame and illustrator E.H. Shepard.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I have a very old copy of Alice in Wonderland in pieces. Be nice to have it mint.

Fleur Bradley said...

I'm not a collector at all. But one of my favorite books as a child was a Pippi Longstocking book. My mom loaned it to someone a long time ago, and never got it back.

But then a year or so ago, she was in a used bookshop, and found the book--with my name inside written inside (7 year-old style :-). It's my favorite book still.

pattinase (abbott) said...

That's rather miraculous, Fleur.

Erik Donald France said...

The first edition of Iliad and the Bible, Tao Te Ching -- hey, you asked ;->

Anonymous said...

George, I'll send you my extra copy.

Jeff M.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Now that's interesting. When was the first edition of these ancient tomes and would it be in a form you could hold in your hands. I guess the Gutenberg Bible perhaps.

PK the Bookeemonster said...

Richard, I didn't know you were here in Billings. Or that you were married to Sue Hart. I went to EMC in the 80s. Small world.
I'm not a collector of priceless books so I don't have one to offer that way but if money were no object, I would love to put together a collection of historical crime fiction authors. For what reason, other than my own enjoyment, I know not. I'm not one to pass along "a library" after I'm gone but there it is, my fantasy collection.

Richard S. Wheeler said...

Dear PK: Actually I live in Livingston. We commute.