Sunday, January 25, 2015

JACKET REQUIRED: If I Were A Rich Man

Not only do I collect books in DJs sometimes I collect photos of DJs that I encounter in book catalogs and on the net. Here are a few attractive rarities I wish I could buy. I own a few of these without DJs like the ultra scarce 1st American edition of The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, The 5:18 Mystery and both Bertram Atkey books. Upgrading to copies in jacket would cost me a mini fortune.  I'm content just to look at the DJs I wish I could afford if I were a lot more wealthy.

The DJ shown for The Ghost and Mrs. Muir below is not for my US edition, but for the incredibly rare UK 1st edition. The price tag on that book ranges from $465 to $1200 depending on condition.  The mind boggles.












11 comments:

  1. If I were rich, top of my list would be any of the earlier Rex Stout books, especially Fer-de-Lance. And I could easily find many more. But I am content with the paperback editions and hardbacks that I can afford. Those that you have pictured are very lovely.

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  2. I have "Fifth Tulip" and "Here Lies Blood"...no dust jackets either :(

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    1. The DJ illustration for The Mystery of the Fifth Tulip is so mysteriously intriguing. Have you read it? I have an entire file full of weird looking DJs like that one. These odd and obscure books are always $50 or more even without the DJs. It saddens and sickens me.

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  3. I am totally different from you in this regard. I am concerned only with the story and least bothered about the cover or DJ !

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    1. There are many people (not just me) who collect books and appreciate the artistry of illustration. I know from their previous comments that every other commenter above also shows an appreciation for the artwork as well as the story within the book itself. There are also people who collect books solely for the artists who designed the dust jackets and don't even care about the contents. Amazing, don't you think?

      This blog is not only a celebration of forgotten books and obscure writers but also an homage to the lost art of book collecting. This year I'm trying to return to my original mission with this blog. There will be a lot more posts about DJs and book collecting as there were in the past. Maybe you'll learn to appreciate something new. At least that's my hope.

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    2. Well, tastes vary from person to person.
      It is clear that you do not like kindle editions !

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  4. I love dust jack and book cover artwork, which I consider every bit as fine as some snooty people who say it's not "Fine Art". The illustrations, drawing, paintings, digital art, there is just so much great stuff. Historically, book cover art - jacket art - has kept pace with the styles in vogue at the time, so we have the line work, the Art Deco stuff, covers with stylized fonts and objects such as the House of Strange Victims cover you show, and so forth. So much good stuff, and sadly, so much dreck as well.

    Of the covers you show, I particularly like the covers to 5-18 and Arsenic and Gold.

    When shopping for older books I once cared a lot more about DJs than I do now. Often, I’ve become less of a collector as just someone who wants a reading copy and is glad to have it. I’m currently reading Wanted For Murder - the Further Adventures of The Saint and the copy is in rough shape; corners badly worn, some pages with tears and so on, But heck, it’s a 1943 printing and when I got it what I wanted was to read it. When I have done it will go on a shelf because it's very good, or in a box if space is a problem.

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    1. To be truthful, Richard, I'm in the same boat as you. Usually when buying out of print books I just want a good copy that won't fall apart in my hands or isn't so filthy and decrepit I wouldn't want to touch it. If I find a copy with a DJ these days it's a bonus. I'm no longer a stickler for a copy that must have DJ in VG+ to FINE condition.

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  5. Their all lovely covers John. It is sad how expensive some of these old books are but I too am just happy to get a copy I can read and anything else is frosting on the cake. I have a first edition of an O. Douglas book and it is rough but I adore it. I think of how many others have read and loved it too.

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  6. I'm with Peggy - just happy to get a copy I can read. :) But these covers are terrific, John. I especially love THE GHOST AND MRS. MUIR and THE 5:18 MYSTERY. Gotta' love covers with bodies falling off trains. Ghoulish of me, I know. :)

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