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"In the city of my birth, I had a dream..."
Instant Expert: Collecting Books by Matthew Budman 
17th-Apr-2006 02:14 pm
The weather is getting warmer, which means garage sale season! I've been "sale-ing" with my mother since I was very young, collecting dolls, and I still do it as an adult, albeit now collecting books.

Budman, Matthew. Instant Expert: Collecting Books. New York: House of Collectibles, 2004.
Summary: An introduction to collecting books that covers the history of publishing, book collecting terminology, strategies for collecting, preserving, and identifying first editions and author inscriptions/signatures, discussions about what is and is not monetarily valuable, and buying/selling techniques. Also includes a handy glossary and annotated bibliography.
Comments: Budman has managed to cram a TON of information into less than 200 slim pages. Though all of the information provided here is awesome, I thought Chapters 1 and 3 were most useful to the casual collector. I especially liked the historical overview of publishing and the discussion of book club editions. Without much discretionary income or any particular desire to collect books in order to make money, Chapter 2 is less important--though I suppose it's all good to know in case I do by some miracle happen to stumble across something at an estate sale. I also note that the bulk of what stereotypically constitutes "book collecting" is WAAAAY too rich and pretentious for my blood; in fact, women's popular literature, memoirs of any sort of poltical and business figures, etc. are not considered valuable, and it's not difficult to figure out why, if we take into account blue-blooded (male) prejudices. Yet, even as someone who collects "moderns" and "hypermoderns" exclusively and cannot, for practical purposes, be too concerned about value in dollar terms, there was plenty of information for me to chew on.
Notes: trade paperback, 1st edition
Rating: 7/10 - The most well-thumbed "reference" book that I have purchased recently.
18th-Apr-2006 02:49 am (UTC)
Happy Birthday!
18th-Apr-2006 11:53 am (UTC)
Thank you very much! ^_^
18th-Apr-2006 12:39 pm (UTC)
Think it's worth importing?
18th-Apr-2006 12:41 pm (UTC)
Do you wanna collect English books?
18th-Apr-2006 12:44 pm (UTC)
Do you mean as a serious collector that collects for the sole reason of collecting? That kind?
18th-Apr-2006 12:49 pm (UTC)
Well, would you buy a book solely as an object--a book that you never plan to read or even crack open, for that matter?
18th-Apr-2006 12:54 pm (UTC)
Never. That's like giving a box to Pandora. I'd never be able to resist peeking^_~
18th-Apr-2006 12:56 pm (UTC)
That's when you buy TWO copies! XD I'm not too too anal, but I do have "reading copies" of a couple dozen books, at least...
18th-Apr-2006 01:00 pm (UTC)
I very rarely buy two copies of anything. Unless you count the Japanese versions of some manga I've got.

When I see a book that doesn't show any signs of ever being opened, I always think it must be lonely^_^
18th-Apr-2006 01:04 pm (UTC)
Heh. Then you don't have the collecting connoisseur bug? (I do, in spades--that's why I like OWNING my books.)

Anyway, if that's the case, unless you're just voyeuristically curious about book collecting and the publishing industry, you don't "need" a book like Budman's. Try Nicholas A. Basbanes's A Gentle Madness, instead. Sort of on the same lines as Anne Fadiman's Ex Libris. Oh, and Fadiman's father Clifton Fadiman wrote The Lifetime Reading Plan, which is a hoot to take a look at--in that these things go out of date so quickly. I also love paging through Nancy Pearl's Book Lust books. XD
28th-Apr-2006 11:07 am (UTC)
Review archived.
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