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Friday, July 15, 2005

Chapter Four, in which the Week is under Review

After the slow start last Saturday, the afternoon brought a significant turnaround in business. We finished with a good day, thankfully.

This week has been spent working through the fourteen boxes of books brought in Saturday, as well as another six boxes brought by another friend on Tuesday. Highlights of the lots include Women's History, Intimacy and Relationships, Science Fiction, Birding and other Natural Sciences, and several complete Time-Life sets. By far the most beautiful books are the atlases, histories, and prehistories of England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales--these are worth coming in to view and handle personally, if not purchase as a stunning addition to your private library.

We are also toying with the idea of promoting our assortment as individual collections. The idea comes from an anecdote out of Newton: once the grand collection of a deceased gentleman was split up by a certain university, each volume being shelved in its proper place among that university's other holdings, the previous value of the books was gone. The true value of a book, it is observed, comes from its place in a collection. As long as the collection remained together as such, it seemed part of this gentleman survived. Once broken up, the individual books became part of a different, larger, and less personal and meaningful collection. So, might we not have, for example, the Don Carlson Science Fiction Collection, the Jim Noonan Civil War Collection, or the Lawrence Archibald American Indian Collection?

1 comment:

  1. Several years ago, probably around 1998 or so, there appeared on Ebay a listing for a collection of over a hundred different original 8x10 glossy publicity photographs of the actress Fay Wray. I, being a collector of Fay Wray memorabilia, bid on the auction as high as I possibly could. In retrospect I should have asked for some financial assistance from a friend or relative, as it really wasn't that extravagant at all, but the final cost was out of my own personal price range. Alas, I did not win the auction. That alone was disappointing, but not nearly as crushing as when I contacted the winner, who told me she bought the collection to sell off individually, which she proceeded to do over the next year or more, and I watched as she scattered a wonderful collection to the corners of the globe - and reaped an unfathomable profit while doing so.