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The Twenty-two Thousand Dollar Book

Oh. My. God.
no... I don't have a copy of this tucked away in my collection. I wish. But then, I also rather wonder at the price of what is, after all, only 40 or so years old...


Would you buy it if you had the money??

How much money would you have to have before this _didn't_ seem like too much?


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 17th, 2006 10:21 am (UTC)
Loved the book.. but I'm sure you can buy a very lovely, more recently printed copy for under $20. Even if you did have the money for that, you'd quickly go broke buying books for $22480 more than you need to. :)
Jun. 17th, 2006 11:03 am (UTC)
Good grief. I'm not sure I'd ever come to see this as a reasonable price. Too many eons worshipping at the altar of the second-hand book shop, affordable version.
Jun. 18th, 2006 03:11 am (UTC)
When I researched it last year, Sylvia Plath's novel The Bell Jar, published under her pseudonym "Victoria Lucas" in first edition is going for opening bids of $9000 American on ebay. If you don't fuss over the name and want the first edition published posthumus, it's starting at $7000 USD. Can you believe it, considering it's only 40 years old as well?
Jun. 18th, 2006 04:10 am (UTC)
hmmm. I think there's something screwy in these "values," don't you?
Jun. 18th, 2006 04:19 am (UTC)
Oh, it's only worth that to someone who's willing to pay it, as far as I'm concerned. I've been known to pay upwards of $50 for record albums that are as old as that. I actually ordered the Beatles anthology LPs through HMV when they were new in 1996 and they cost me $50 apiece before taxes. But they were worth it to me. I know that I'm strange like that, though. Perhaps there's some book collector out there who doesn't mind spending that much to complete their comprehensive collection. It is kind of like buying a very limited edition, or original art piece in a way. Does that make sense?
Jun. 18th, 2006 04:54 pm (UTC)
Oh, definitely - I've been known myself to spend quite a bit of money for a first edition (eg, paid about $75 for a signed 1st of The English Patient, and don't regret it for a minute). And I know that first Tolkiens and so on are very very pricey. This just seemed a little over-the-top to me, that's all.
Jun. 18th, 2006 07:04 pm (UTC)
I admit that antique pricing is quite arbitrary, to say the least. I don't think such things should be collected for the sheer status of owning them, they should be collected for their own artistic merit.
Jun. 18th, 2006 11:59 pm (UTC)
Agreed - I think you should only collect things that you'd like to have anyway, or I my case where I collect books it's because they're either beautiful or very good (ie signed 1sts or illustrated) editions of works that I love. One of my most treasured possessions is a signed first of Ursula LeGuin's Tehanu, mostly because she signed it to me, and it's one of my all time favourite books of hers and she's one of my most admired authors. I wouldn't pay for a Huxley, though Jim Sexton might *grin*. I actually own some first Sendacks - that's what sent me to that link in the first place. Not Wild Things, and not bought for exorbitant prices, mostly just bought new when they first came out.
Jun. 19th, 2006 12:57 am (UTC)
ha, it wouldn't surprise me in the least if Jim owned a signed first edition of Brave New World! I remember him lecturing us about that book's title: "Does anyone know where it comes from?" Of course, we all scratched our heads, much to his dismay, and he replied "The Tempest!!" in such a tone that made us all feel somewhat stupid. :D But thanks to that I've never forgotten it!

Unfortunately I don't have any first editions signed for me because all my admired authors are dead! I do have a first edition The Fire Dwellers that I treasure, though. I spent a lot of time studying The Bell Jar last year, and that's why I researched a first edition as a treat. Instead of that hugely expensive book, I bought a first edition of Letters Home which was edited by Aurelia Schober Plath and released in 1975 (either that or 1973, I can't recall right now). That book alone was over $100 when it came down to shipping and everything. That's a pretty expensive book for me.
Jun. 19th, 2006 08:19 am (UTC)
Mm, that reminds me.. I need to return a book he leant me. Oops.
Jun. 21st, 2006 04:38 am (UTC)
Good grief! It is a lovely book, of course, and I can see how most copies might have been ... over-loved for the collectors' market. But such a lot of money!

No, there are other books I'd want first, and other things than books, if I had that sort of money. I'd buy a reprint, though.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )


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