The Bibliophilia Thread

Yithian

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I don't usually collect children's books (you wouldn't believe some of the prices--children tend to shred and deface and rarity equals value), but as an admirer of C. F. Tunnicliffe's stunning depictions of nature I had to pick this up when I saw a 1959 First Edition in near-mint condition (was it kept in a safe?).

In the case of Ladybird books--I'm led to believe--early impressions are not marked as distinct from the actual first batch, but in this case the presence of the errata slip is a pretty concrete distinguishing feature.

Given that this is a book for scavenging children, I'm not sure there has ever been such an important erratum (see below). More generally it's beautiful publication--I just need to wait a few years to find the companion editions in similarly good nick.

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More on the series here:

https://www.stellabooks.com/article/ladybird-nature-series-536-the-what-to-look-for-series

Not where I purchased this, but a fantastic bookseller, by the way.
 
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Andy X

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Yep, that's a pretty serious mix-up. Hopefully only a few children were just very slightly poisoned.

Those seasonal Ladybirds are very charming...I used to have the set, which will be in a box at my mum's - unless they've been taken to a charity shop!
 

escargot

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I don't usually collect children's books (you wouldn't believe some of the prices--children tend to shred and deface and rarity equals value), but as an admirer of C. F. Tunnicliffe's stunning depictions of nature I had to pick this up when I saw a 1959 First Edition in near-mint condition (was it kept in a safe?).

In the case of Ladybird books--I'm led to believe--early impressions are not marked as distinct from the actual first batch, but in this case the presence of the errata slip is a pretty concrete distinguishing feature.

Given that this is a book for scavenging children, I'm not sure there has ever been such an important erratum (see below). More generally it's beautiful publication--I just need to wait a few years to find the companion editions in similarly good nick.

View attachment 6873
View attachment 6874
View attachment 6875

More on the series here:

https://www.stellabooks.com/article/ladybird-nature-series-536-the-what-to-look-for-series

Not where I purchased this, but a fantastic bookseller, by the way.
That book cover made me feel extremely nostalgic! Must've been one of those books that I pored over repeatedly as a little kid.

Can't remember eating any poison berries! but I have always been cautious about scavenging from nature so I bet I learned that from a Ladybird book.
 

escargot

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My old dear was given a school prize of a book called 'Insect Ways on Summer Days', all about creepy-crawlies. I remember reading it myself as a child.

It was lost in a flood along with other treasured possessions so I sent off for a replacement a few years ago, cost about £3 with postage. She was bowled over!

It's the words that matter. The word, in fact. The WORD came first, if you want to get biblical.
 

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Can't remember eating any poison berries! but I have always been cautious about scavenging from nature so I bet I learned that from a Ladybird book.
I learned that from The Tufty Club book (about eating poisonous berries) thanks to my Nana .. I'm still alive now because of her .. that book didn't mention magic mushrooms though come to think of it ..
 

Yithian

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That book cover made me feel extremely nostalgic! Must've been one of those books that I pored over repeatedly as a little kid.
Many of these were, of course, reissued throughout the 60s, 70s and 80s. I, too, felt very nostalgic, especially to those whose existence I'd completely forgotten about; the cover images brought memories of our playroom flooding back.
 
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Yithian

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My main focus for the last five years has been the Second World War, but being a bibliophile I can't resist anything nice that pops up. I've had a raise in my pocket money lately (my wife does the books for our business) and have picked up some lovely first editions I thought some of you (I know there are a few book collectors among you) might like to see; if nothing else, I'd love to see what's sitting on your shelves.

(Apologies for the wonky photography--click thumbnails for larger images)

A Shropshire Lad by A. E. Housman (illustrated edition from 1920, printed on something as thick as wallpaper and with haunting prints to accompany the poems).

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The only Tolkien first edition I'm likely to be able to afford (did you see what the recent films did to prices?). It is in mint condition from 1982.

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A first English translated edition of Monkey (from Journey to the West). Can't seem to find the date, but it's the 50s and it was bought on the strength of the magnificent dust-jacket.

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A first illustrated edition of The Ballad of the White Horse from 1928. I devoured this in a day and was incredulous that it isn't more famous, more widely read and taught in schools.

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Bought for me by Mrs Yith as a gift for working hard. A first edition set of Evelyn Waugh's Sword of Honour Trilogy (1952, '55, '61). Anybody want to send me a first edition of Brideshead?

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Continued Below.
 
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Yithian

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A first (British) edition of The Longest Day by Cornelius Ryan. Printed in 1960, but in better condition than books I bought last week. I asked the bookseller whether he'd had it in a safe for fifty years.

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A very beautiful book here: a marriage of H.E. Bates's evocative prose and C. F. Tunnicliffe's stunning block prints. A first edition from 1943, printed on war-time economy paper, but well-preserved by good fortune.

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Similarly, this next book is a contender for the title of the most beautiful thing I've ever owned. A first edition from 1936 in the best condition that I've ever seen, including the elusive jacket. There are dozens of block prints of this exquisite quality; I've included two of my favourites.

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I don't buy many old paperbacks, but these cartoons by Pont are brilliant (very funny) and this first international edition from 1939 is still relatively sharp-edged.

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Continued Below
 
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Yithian

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I haven't read them all, but I like having these on the shelf as a set of sorts ('The Compass Series' plus a few odds). A set of early editions of Biggles books with jackets could (not joking here) buy you a house. These are Oxford 'Pyramid' Editions from the late 30s and early 40s and a lot of decidedly non-pc fun.

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I listened to an interview a number of years back, when I was first getting into collecting as opposed to just reading, and the dealer/collector talking said that the best piece of advice he could offer was always to buy the book you want to own in the best condition you can possibly afford; if you can't afford it in the kind of condition you'd like, wait until you can. In his opinion--and I agree wholly with him--if there are a few glaring faults with a book, you'll notice them every time you glance at it and repeatedly regret not buying a nicer copy; if, in contrast, it's in lovely condition, you'll remember and be glad you bought it every time you hold it in your hands--it'll also hold its value much better.
 
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James_H

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My dad's a bibliophile and has an enormous antiquarian collection. He's now taken to rebinding pre-1800s books he has picked up in a poor state of repair. Which keeps him busy. I didn't really follow in his footsteps - I have a few nice copies of things, but in general I don't care if I read something in charity-shop paperback or first edition.
 

Yithian

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My dad's a bibliophile and has an enormous antiquarian collection. He's now taken to rebinding pre-1800s books he has picked up in a poor state of repair. Which keeps him busy. I didn't really follow in his footsteps - I have a few nice copies of things, but in general I don't care if I read something in charity-shop paperback or first edition.
I'd love to learn how to bind books. Retirement perhaps--it's good for the soul.

I've only one pre-19th century book--from 1737, but my Latin isn't good enough to read most of it. Hell, my Latin isn't good enough to read most of anything.
 

cycleboy2

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Modern signed first editions for me - particularly crime. Will photograph the shelves later, which will show that I'm making a good attempt to keep Toppings Books of Bath, Ely and St Andrews in business! I only know the Bath branch, but it's a haven of sanity on the edge of the city centre, and they do free tea and coffee (I don't feel guilty about drinking their tea for nowt as I spend so much money there!). I'd heartily recommend paying them a visit if you're in the area. They have lots of events/signings/lunches etc as well. That's my plug over!
 

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I have a lot of books (I'm actually curious to know how many now; I might have to try and guesstimate later; I'm not counting them all!), but hardly any of them are collectable. I have a few nice things; an Encyclopedia Brittanica my Aunt and Uncle passed onto me when my cousins left university and my kids were at school, a book on keeping aquaria from 1881 (I paid about £30 for that one :willy:), a lovely facsimile edition of the Mort D'Arthur, with the Aubrey Beardsley illustrations, that my late father found remaindered in the university bookshop in Plymouth, of all places, and picked up for 99p!

I generally find it hard to justify spending money on first editions or signed copies; I could buy the same book in a cheap edition and have money left over for more books! I do buy a lot of pony books, and sometimes pay a bit more for an early edition, as I don't like modernised versions. If the book was written in the 1950s, I want the pony to be bought for ten guineas, and I want them to ride for miles, not kilometres! The publishers had a strange habit of cutting the girl's pony tails and plaits out of the illustrations in the 1970s as well; I have no idea why, it's utterly bizarre.

But I'm poor, don't get out much, am addicted to reading, and, just to cap it all, I read very quickly as well. I'm always having to reread books because I've run out!
 
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I've mentioned elsewhere that I collect books.
I see you can get a signed 1st edition of Winston Churchill's Second World War on Abe Books starting at around five grand.

With the centenary coming up in about twenty years, I think you need to persuade your wife what a sound investment this would make.

Not nearly as expensive, I think this looks very interesting -

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Link to website where it can be found.
 

Yithian

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I see you can get a signed 1st edition of Winston Churchill's Second World War on Abe Books starting at around five grand.

With the centenary coming up in about twenty years, I think you need to persuade your wife what a sound investment this would make.
That might prove tricky as I already have an set of those--they're unsigned, but she's not going to let me upgrade.

The few books I'd especially like are fine first editions of The End of the Affair by Graham Greene, Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh and Vermilion Sands by J. G. Ballard--all currently out of my (justifiable) price range.
 

Yithian

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I've got a 'to read' pile next to the bed consisting of two approximately three foot high stacks, plus all three drawers of the bedside cabinet.

Does that count as a collection? Or an illness?
We demand a photograph. At least we might help you put it into must-read order.
 

maximus otter

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I love books in a small, undistinguished way. Last year I was passing an antiquarian bookshop in Stamford, Lincs., when I saw that they were advertising for sale a first edition of Pride and Prejudice. Despite knowing full well that the answer would leave me needing to lie down with a damp cloth over my eyes, I asked.

"£40,000", came the answer.

Ah, well.

maximus otter
 
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Earlier this evening, I was pleased to find that signed 1st editions of Legacy of Spies, the latest by John le Carre are going for between £40 and £95 on Abe Books. Prices even higher for more exclusive versions.

Not a bad turnaround for an £18 outlay just a couple of months ago. I'll have to take very good care of it.
 

Yithian

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Earlier this evening, I was pleased to find that signed 1st editions of Legacy of Spies, the latest by John le Carre are going for between £40 and £95 on Abe Books. Prices even higher for more exclusive versions.

Not a bad turnaround for an £18 outlay just a couple of months ago. I'll have to take very good care of it.
Have you read it yet? I have not.
 

titch

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I love books, but to read, my books are covered in pringle crumbs and have greasy, well thumbed pages, I could never have a rare book, I would soon ruin it's value.

This is my to read pile, I do all my reading at work, at home my PC is an all consuming monster...
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Ermintruder

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I do all my reading at work
This still-life composition must, then, surely be a work scene?

I deduce that you are employed by English National Heritage (bookmark) as a ghost-hunter and paranormal investigator (digital dictaphone and shamanic talisman/Mayan taser atop "The Rats"). And that by night, you are an online avenger, righting wrongs & writing writs.

Perhaps I'll take a picture of my much-depleted home library, and share it here. No first editions for me, sadly. Any that I've ever possessed have been given away as gifts, or unconsentingly mulched, as a consequence of my oddly misaligned lifestyle.

I relied far too much upon academia as an everlasting source of books (and much more), and, when those eternal decades did suddenly pass, I found myself bibliologically-bereft.

I probably won't make it to retirement: but if I do (and it contains even a few hours of me-time) I would love to re-buy just some of the books that (partly) made the me that I nearly still am.
 

Ermintruder

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Are you turning into Rynner?
In many ways we all are, but me, no, I'm not.

We all age, but our various employments will take their tolls to differing degrees. Working in a tumble-drier was never going to be easy, and I've shrunk more (and lasted longer) in the heat than I expected.

(But I miss Rynner's particular presence on the board, and do hope he's ok)
 

Mythopoeika

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In many ways we all are, but me, no, I'm not.

We all age, but our various employments will take their tolls to differing degrees. Working in a tumble-drier was never going to be easy, and I've shrunk more (and lasted longer) in the heat than I expected.
In a tumble drier? What do you do?
 

Ermintruder

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In a tumble drier? What do you do?
(What do I do, apart from using extreme metaphors, excessively and inexactly?

At work, I try to survive. And assist others, usually by extended proxy, to do the same. Although it's all not really meant to be quite as personally-abrading as it currently is.

But the sun will come out. Tomorrow. Bet your bottom dollar. That tomorrow. There'll be sun...)

Favourite books of mine that are now lost (annoyingly...probably permanently) include
  • a proper original facsimile manuscript casebound edition of Orwell's "1984"
  • Masefield's "Midnight Folk" (I may have retreived a later edition replacement, must check)
  • Very early (possibly first edition) copies of LOTR and "The Hobbit"
  • Asimov's Biographical Encyclopedia of Science & Technology
  • A very early edition of 'Tess of the D'Urberfields'
  • Various really good miniature "Observers Book of _____"
  • Numerous Beatrix Potter books (some definitely first editions)
  • Early proper 'Oor Willie' / Broons / Beano books, of 1940s/50s vintage
  • Numerous Penguin first editions, various classic science fiction yellowback early editions
This literary litany of loss is annoying me too much to continue with it, I'll list later what I actually still possess, instead of focussing upon that which has either been lent-lost or evaporated.
 
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Mythopoeika

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(What do I do, apart from using extreme metaphors, excessively and inexactly?

At work, I try to survive. And assist others, usually by extended proxy, to do the same. Although it's all not really meant to be quite as personally-abrading as it currently is.

But the sun will come out. Tomorrow. Bet your bottom dollar. That tomorrow. There'll be sun...)

Favourite books of mine that are now lost (annoyingly...probably permanently) include
  • a proper original facsimile casebound edition of Orwell's "1984"
  • Masefield's "Midnight Folk" (I may have retreived a later edition replacement, must check)
  • Very early (possibly first edition) copies of LOTR and "The Hobbit"
  • Asimov's Biographical Encyclopedia of Science & Technology
  • A very early edition of 'Tess of the D'Urberfields'
  • Various really good miniature "Observers Book of _____"
  • Numerous Beatrix Potter books (some definitely first editions)
  • Early proper 'Oor Willie' / Broons / Beano books, of 1940s/50s vintage
  • Numerous Penguin first editions, various classic science fiction yellowback early editions
This literary litany of loss is annoying me too much to continue with it, I'll list later what I actually still possess, instead of focussing upon that which has either been lent-lost or evaporated.
I share your pain. I lost (well, gave away) my entire collection of SF books at a time when I was going through some turmoil in my life. I regret that.
 
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