Personal Book Collections – US vs UK Editions
The true hallmark of any collection is its completeness. This is particularly true of book collections. Yes, one could argue that owning those self-published tomes that the author sold from the trunk of their car is an unnecessary expense, or that those later editions resold in collections are not required by the serious collector. But, I have to disagree and conclude that my Cloak and Dagger edition of Vince Flynn’s Term Limits and the smartly produced collections of his first 12 thrillers enhance my collection.
It is often implied that completeness rings of obsession and that those so inflicted need to seek professional help in hopes of gaining perspective or choice. Well, not so! After all, you do have the ability to make choices . . . you can choose “this or that,” or “now or later, can’t you?
In Biblioholism author Tom Raabe offers, “What – another addiction? Don’t we have enough addictions to worry about – drugs, alcohol, nicotine, gambling, eating, not eating, shopping, shoplifting, sex, chocolate, work, television watching, fitness, religion, and who knows what else – without having to worry about books too? Is there a more enjoyable activity in all of life’s experience than the reading and loving of books?”
No collection can even be considered marginally complete when your sole copy of a title isn’t the “true first.” After all, what value resides (other than holding the spot on the shelf) in an edition that was released days or weeks after the title’s first appearance?
This gets confusing when considering US or UK releases. Sometimes it takes a real expert to determine which laid down first. Some purists have resolved this issue by collecting both US and UK firsts. This doesn’t resolve in which order to shelve them, but that may be a little obsessive (I just rotate them from time-to-time). Others just pass on the UK, after all ‘we are no longer the colonies!” I do have to say though, that I truly love my UK first editions of Michael Connelly’s Black Echo, Stephen Hunter’s The Master Sniper, and David Morrell’s First Blood, just to name a few, but then, I am a serious collector.
So, to expand your choices, and help free you from being labeled a nut case, we are giving you choices. You can choose the UK editions you wish to own now (rather than later), and at a discount (rather than at full price). But, you’d better choose quickly, because hesitation or procrastination are other serious conditions that should be seriously avoided.
Your sanity (and mine) are intact!