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
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?
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 editions
. 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
Black Echo, Stephen Hunter's
The Master Sniper,
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!