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lotuz
07-26-2018, 08:18 PM
Hi all!

I have been a lurker on the site for quite some time, having been directed here by countless google searches, and last year I finally made an account and started posting. I have really enjoyed participating on this site, and since I'm not on FB and I don't have any bibliophile friends, I don't otherwise get to talk about fancy books, SK or otherwise.

I recently posted for the first time in the P&J thread and I think it's about time I made a collection thread. I have hesitated for some time because SK is not the focus of my collection. In fact, SK books were a very peripheral part of my collection until recently. Two things changed that:

1. Last year I made the decision to redirect my collecting efforts to focus on quality, rather than quantity, and some of the highest quality S/L's are SK books (I can't overstate the impact of Dragon Rebound Editions and Suntup Editions here).

2. The collectors here have really turned me on to collecting SK in a way I never have before, although I have been reading his books for 20+ years, and collecting for 5+. I look at SK books differently now compared to just 6 months ago.

Because it's my thread, and because I'm interested in other people's stories about collecting as well as the actual books they collect, I'm going to tell my collecting story here, in this and subsequent posts. Feel free to ignore all my words and focus on the pics, but please know that I would love to hear more about members' individual collecting journeys, either here or in their respective threads. Bibliophilia is our shared blessing (and curse), and I fully agree with Alec's comment (quoted in at least one person's signature) that our collecting habit is better enjoyed as a shared endeavor.

My non-SK books may go in another collection thread over in the Dutch Hill sub-forum. Some people like this split and some don't. I do, and so I might have both threads (this one first). I might not.

WORDS ABOUT STEPHEN KING

The first author that I got hooked on (as in, went to the library and looked for other books) was R. L. Stine. I started with the Goosebumps books (I'm in my mid-30s, so they would have come out when I was just shy of 10), and pretty quickly transitioned to the Fear Street series. Not too much later, I started reading Stephen King.

The first Stephen King book I saw was the shiny Signet paperback copy of The Shining, which my older brother read and then left in my bedroom. I still have that book!

(This past Christmas, I got the limited Suntup giclee prints of that cover for both of us, to commemorate that important but inadvertent gift from my brother - who I very much looked up to, and who today remains as much a fan as I.)

It looked sooooooo cool, but when I picked it up I couldn't really get into it. But not much later, I discovered IT. I think it was also a discard of my brother's, after he finished it, but I don't exactly remember.

After that was EoTD, and then The Stand, both bought from the local bookstore (back when those existed) with money from mowing lawns. Those three remain my favorite SK books to this day. (Probably as much because of nostalgia as anything - but, really, those are three amazing books, right?!) I don't remember the order after that, but I pretty much kept up until I finished the backlog, and have continued reading SK in fits and bursts since then. There are a few books that I still need to read, both new and old, and I treasure each time that I get to open a new book.

WORDS ABOUT COLLECTING

I have always been a reader, but the journey into collecting was slower and came later.

After I graduated from college, I moved out to San Francisco with some friends. This was back in 2007, when it was possible to go in with a friend and rent a 2 bedroom apartment. I had a retail job, which at the time paid enough to afford rent, enjoy the nightlife, and buy books. One amazing thing about San Francisco then was availability of books. On the bus, on the train, there were always people reading books. There still were in 2015 when I left, but not as many. As a consequence, the thrift stores used to have giant rooms of books for sale - and decent ones too! Not just Danielle Steele and Dan Brown paperbacks. And to supplement that, there were still lots of actual used book stores, too! There were about 6 that were within walking distance of either my apartment or my work. I found lots and lots of interesting books at thrift stores, and if there was something I was specifically looking for, I could pop into a used bookstore and get a copy.

After doing this for 1-2 years, I got pretty good at recognizing the books at thrift stores that were undervalued - the ones that the thrift stores would sell for $0.25 or $1, but that the used book stores sold for $8-10. And so, accidentally, I became a book scout. At first it was to feed my reading habit - I could pick up 2 books at a thrift store for less than a buck, exchange them for $2-4 credit each at a used book store, and get the $8 book store book for $1. I started hitting the thrift stores regularly, and it got easier because I could always tell the new stock and skip the 10,000 John Grisham books that had been there for the past 6 months.

There wasn't a distinct point when I shifted into identifying and buying 1st editions, but it happened. I got burned a lot early on. Used book stores didn't want hardcovers unless they were firsts, so i bought many a "first edition" only to end up donating it back to the thrift store later. Then I found this book, which I have had for almost 10 years, and which is useful to this very day:

http://www.thedarktower.org/gallery/data/984/medium/IMG_67811.jpg

So the cycle started: I'd buy mostly paperback thrift store books, and trade them to the used book stores for credit, then cash in a bunch of credit at once to buy a first edition. That allowed me to get some awesome first editions for great prices. Unfortunately, around that same time, the prices for first editions were crashing because of Amazon. but that didn't really affect me because (a) I was buying first editions for my personal collection, which had really started to take off, and (b) I was getting them super cheap due to trade-ins. Used book stores also started closing, which means that I also had access to a lot of stock that was marked down to sell immediately. Would I trade those marked-down books in order to keep more used book stores open? YES, a thousand times yes! But I couldn't and so I did what I could do, and that was to buy a lot of first editions at crazy low prices.

Of course, I was also regularly finding first editions hidden among the thrift store books, which was always a nice treat. I once paid $1 for a first edition of Hemingway's For Whom The Bell Tolls!!

This went on for a number of years, and I amassed a pretty substantial first edition collection for not very much money. And then I discovered S/L books :rock:

I have a lot lot lot to say about S/L books, but this post is already egregiously long and I haven't even started sharing my collection, so I'll be abbreviated here and post more about this in the future.

The highly-abridged timeline is that I discovered Centipede Press in 2013/2014 and got obsessed. I am a Centipede Press completist and CP books make up the largest portion of my remaining collection.

I say "remaining" because my whole collection and my collecting habits changed last year. The person largely responsible for this: Paul Suntup.

While I very much enjoyed my first edition collection, the allure of a well-made book was getting stronger and stronger. I realized that the books I most enjoyed in my collection were the S/L's. The heavy paper. The sewn bindings. The endpapers (oh, the endpapers - I am a total sucker for a hand-marbled endpaper). The cloth and silk and leather. Books made with extra attention to all the physical details. Centipede Press was the first. Charnel House was the second. Via Centipede Press I discovered the works of Tim Powers, and Joe Stefko at Charnel House is the master of creating Tim Powers books. These books were unlike anything I'd ever seen! The highest quality materials, and unique designs to match! So I started seeking these out. This was recent - around 2016.

Then comes late summer of 2017. I have become obsessed with high quality books and have started liquidating my substantial first edition collection in order to get them. I am looking for a traycase maker and via google I come across an article at freaked.com about Firestarter by Dragon Rebound Editions, which I had never heard of. (I'll note that I was regularly visiting the TDT forums by then, but mostly non-King posts and books and had not signed up. I had no idea that Paul was a member).

This was AMAZING! Sawn, scorched sycamore boards!! Italian endpapers!! Leather!! WHAT?!?!

These were exactly the books I was looking for. The continued legacy of the deluxe Centipede Press books and lettered Charnel House books (both of whom I still love).

The idea that there were new presses out there still striving to produce books that are true objects of art was invigorating. And so I continued to sell my first editions, and continued to focus on acquiring the books that made me happiest. And, for the reasons I noted above, I started paying much closer attention to the limited editions of Stephen King.

(If you don't believe that I called this abbreviated, I promise it was...)

Which brings us to:

FINALLY, SOME COLLECTION PICS

Because I don't have a large SK collection, I'm going to share many pictures of a few books rather than a few pictures of many books. Cover shots, spine shots, endpapers. This is very much bookporn (with a nod to HerbertWest who called that out in the P&J post :) ).

First off, the P&J that I shared most recently: the Frankendeluxe Salem's Lot.

SALEM'S LOT - CENTIPEDE PRESS - FRANKENDELUXE

http://www.thedarktower.org/gallery/data/984/medium/IMG_6335_1_.JPG

http://www.thedarktower.org/gallery/data/984/medium/IMG_6567.jpg

http://www.thedarktower.org/gallery/data/984/medium/IMG_6333.JPG

http://www.thedarktower.org/gallery/data/984/medium/IMG_6338_1_.jpg

http://www.thedarktower.org/gallery/data/984/medium/IMG_6340_1_.jpg

http://www.thedarktower.org/gallery/data/984/medium/IMG_6566.jpg

http://www.thedarktower.org/gallery/data/984/medium/IMG_6562.jpg

http://www.thedarktower.org/gallery/data/984/medium/IMG_6341.jpg

http://www.thedarktower.org/gallery/data/984/medium/IMG_6343.jpg

lotuz
07-26-2018, 08:18 PM
THE SHINING - SIGNET - PAPERBACK

I definitely need to add something new, though. Here is a picture of the first SK book I ever saw: the Signet paperback version of The Shining. This is the actual copy - I could never bear to get rid of it. I came with me through several moves as a kid, then ended up in a small cabinet of stuff that I left at my parents house when I went off to college in 2002. It lived with them until 2015 when I moved closer to them and finally emptied out that cabinet.

http://www.thedarktower.org/gallery/data/984/medium/IMG_4570.JPG

Here is a first edition copy in very nice condition that was sold to me recently by our dear shared friend Jerome, after he kindly pointed out copies on eBay not once, but twice in the "Intriguing SK Sales" thread, and you jerks lovable rogues beat me to them in less than 15 minutes each time :wub:

http://www.thedarktower.org/gallery/data/984/medium/IMG_67831.jpg

http://www.thedarktower.org/gallery/data/984/medium/IMG_67871.jpg

This is the large version of the giclee print, which is just gorgeous. It's in a cheap Walmart frame because I wanted it up on my wall and I'm not some philistine who's going to ruin it with tape or tack holes ><. It deserves a beautiful frame and non-reflective glass which it will get, eventually... That will also make it much easier to take a decent picture of it!

http://www.thedarktower.org/gallery/data/984/medium/IMG_6780.jpg

lotuz
07-26-2018, 08:23 PM
And one last book for now. Like I said, I don't have a huge number of SK books so I'm going to have to stretch them out a bit.

MISERY - ARC - SUNTUP EDITIONS

Oh, Misery.

I'm pretty sure that this was the first movie adaptation of an SK book that I saw. Either this or The Tommyknockers miniseries, and neither when they came out, but a couple years later.

I actually read the book later, and was just as enthralled as I would have been if I hadn't seen the movie. It remains one of my favorite adaptations of his work, and is either number 4 or 5 in my favorite SK books.

This ARC is my favorite ARC that I own, and not only because it portends what is sure to be the best SK S/L of the 2010s!

The attention paid to this ARC is unreal. I don't know what the binding is, but it's not the usual ARC binding. And it's not the same as paperback binding either - it's kind of rubbery/leathery to the touch. It's also oversized, and, amazingly, has a wrapper with two color printing. For those that have dared to open their ARC copies, there is also much to behold. The typesetting is definitely above par. This is a small thing, but the best small presses pay attention to stuff like this, and SE is definitely one of the best small presses. In this vein, the chapter numbering is also unique and noteworthy. But the coolest thing about the text itself is a hidden easter egg in a very important scene.

MikeDuke had a probably unintentional but prescient comment in the Suntup thread:


I think people know what I am talking about with the book. She doesn't just "hobble" him. She does something much worse. That's all I meant. But I don't know what else he could do to make the book any more special.

If you have the ARC, open it up. I'm not going to go into more detail here, and won't until the book has landed. But this book is worth opening up and paying attention to! It is a work of art, both inside and out.

The reflection and the spine crease are because I have bagged this book for now. Not sure if that's the best long-term storage plan but I'm really afraid of fingerprints or smudging on this one.

http://www.thedarktower.org/gallery/data/984/medium/IMG_6840.jpg

http://www.thedarktower.org/gallery/data/984/medium/IMG_6841.jpg

ur2ndbiggestfan
07-26-2018, 08:25 PM
I read your whole story!
Very interesting.
I will just comment that I found a copy of RAGE 1st pb printing in near fine condition in a used bookstore for a couple of bucks.
I would not have sold my 1st editions. Just kept them and added to them, but to each his or her own.
That's a beautiful 'SALEM'S LOT!

ur2ndbiggestfan
07-26-2018, 08:27 PM
I am so jealous of that MISERY ARC!
It looks fantastic.

PennyUnwise
07-26-2018, 08:29 PM
Beautiful first showings of your collection. I would love to get one of those 'Salem's Lot editions one day. I am also very curious about this easter egg in Misery... ugh the wait!

peripheral
07-27-2018, 12:08 AM
Excellent, a new collection thread, and a great opening. Thanks for sharing, and looking forward to the great unveiling. (I love the Frankendeluxe)...

vincent
07-27-2018, 12:10 AM
thank you, I really enjoyed reading all of this!

MikeDuke
07-27-2018, 05:03 AM
Very nice collection and story. That Misery ARC is just wonderful. I am looking forward to seeing more of your collection.

Room 217 Caretaker
07-27-2018, 05:18 AM
I enjoyed the read, thank you. Your journey into collecting is off to a wonderful start. Many will be in awe of your collection, but few will understand the obsession.

Look forward to seeing more as you post.

Room 217 Caretaker
Ralph Mulleins

Kongo
07-27-2018, 06:58 AM
Really appreciate the work and your stories behind collecting! Reading experiences like yours encourages me to continue to grow mine. Love what you have so far, and can't wait to see more. Nice to meet you Lotuz

lotuz
07-27-2018, 09:28 AM
Thanks for the kind words and nice welcome, everyone!


I read your whole story!
Very interesting.
I will just comment that I found a copy of RAGE 1st pb printing in near fine condition in a used bookstore for a couple of bucks.
I would not have sold my 1st editions. Just kept them and added to them, but to each his or her own.
That's a beautiful 'SALEM'S LOT!

NICE! Snagging a rare book that has been missed is a nice little rush.

There are definitely some first editions I miss, and others that I've already forgotten about...



I am so jealous of that MISERY ARC!
It looks fantastic.


Very nice collection and story. That Misery ARC is just wonderful. I am looking forward to seeing more of your collection.


Beautiful first showings of your collection. I would love to get one of those 'Salem's Lot editions one day. I am also very curious about this easter egg in Misery... ugh the wait!

I've never been a big proof collector, but I do track them down occasionally for books I really love. But this proof is definitely a worthy collectible on its own. It has more care and attention put into it than most S/Ls! And I am trying to grab everything DRE/SE that I can. I think like most people here I am always at a premium for shelf space, but Iíve already cleared a section for the Suntup books I hope/plan to acquire. :excited:


Excellent, a new collection thread, and a great opening. Thanks for sharing, and looking forward to the great unveiling. (I love the Frankendeluxe)...


thank you, I really enjoyed reading all of this!


Really appreciate the work and your stories behind collecting! Reading experiences like yours encourages me to continue to grow mine. Love what you have so far, and can't wait to see more. Nice to meet you Lotuz


I enjoyed the read, thank you. Your journey into collecting is off to a wonderful start. Many will be in awe of your collection, but few will understand the obsession.

Look forward to seeing more as you post.

Room 217 Caretaker
Ralph Mulleins

Thanks everyone for taking the time to read it! I can be pretty verbose, especially when talking about books. And you have it 100% right Mulleins, very few people really understand it, and I truly enjoy opening up to the people who do.

Iím teeing up another post or two for this weekend, and then Iíll be out of town for a week. You can probably tell but Iím composing the posts for this thread beforehand and then putting them up once I have them all together.

-Tim

zelig
07-27-2018, 09:40 AM
Tim thanks for sharing your collecting story. It was a great read and I look forward to seeing the next posts!

HONKYTONKSMASH
07-27-2018, 09:43 AM
Great start to your thread..that was a wonderful read..and of course excellent pics :thumbsup:

ur2ndbiggestfan
07-27-2018, 10:00 AM
You didn't even misspell any words for me to catch, grrrrr.....

Br!an
07-28-2018, 08:37 AM
Great story, Tim!

Stockerlone
07-28-2018, 09:44 AM
Great story + collection !!!

Father Cody
07-28-2018, 09:53 AM
Thanks for sharing, Tim. And awesome collection!

lotuz
07-28-2018, 02:50 PM
Tim thanks for sharing your collecting story. It was a great read and I look forward to seeing the next posts!


Great start to your thread..that was a wonderful read..and of course excellent pics :thumbsup:


Great story, Tim!


Great story + collection !!!


Thanks for sharing, Tim. And awesome collection!


Thanks, all! I'm glad you enjoy reading because I enjoy sharing. I would also love to hear more stories about collecting, so please don't be shy in my thread or yours!

I'm working on 2-part post right now that will be up in a bit :)


You didn't even misspell any words for me to catch, grrrrr.....

I'm a pretty good speller but both my browser and Word (in which I compose the longer posts) don't let much slip :innocent:

lotuz
07-28-2018, 03:03 PM
Hereís part one:

As I mentioned before, my SK collection is not very big. But it does have a nice mix of books Ė some are pretty common, some are very rare, and some are a bit quirky.

These books are in the quirky category.

I came across a few of them early on and decided that I would keep my eye out. In the past 5-ish years of looking, these are the only two SK books that Iíve come across:

http://www.thedarktower.org/gallery/data/984/medium/IMG_68461.jpg

Does anybody have an idea of what makes them ďquirkyĒ?

Here are some more pictures:

http://www.thedarktower.org/gallery/data/984/medium/IMG_68471.jpg

http://www.thedarktower.org/gallery/data/984/medium/IMG_6848.jpg


And a hint: the reason they are quirky is directly related to their condition. Finding books of this nature in mint condition is next to impossible! I have about 50 total books in this sub-collection and I would say maybe 10% are in truly F/F condition. Also, while they are rare, most are not super valuable, so they survived my 2016-2017 purge (well, by definition, all the books I post are those that survived or were acquired after the purgeÖ)

ur2ndbiggestfan
07-28-2018, 05:59 PM
I just saw a movie about the first purge. Were you there?

They are quirky because they are both 'read' and 'red'!

firemonkey66
07-28-2018, 08:18 PM
They look like library bindings, I think. Quirky because they're uncirculated maybe?

Awesome stuff! Keep it coming:)

Ben Staad
07-29-2018, 06:57 AM
I was thinking those were library books but beyond that I am unsure.


They look like library bindings, I think. Quirky because they're uncirculated maybe?

Awesome stuff! Keep it coming:)

biomieg
07-29-2018, 07:00 AM
Are they bootlegs?

lotuz
07-29-2018, 07:41 AM
I just saw a movie about the first purge. Were you there?

They are quirky because they are both 'read' and 'red'!

Clever! More clever than the actual answer ;)


They look like library bindings, I think. Quirky because they're uncirculated maybe?

Awesome stuff! Keep it coming:)


I was thinking those were library books but beyond that I am unsure.



Solid guesses and not too far off!


Are they bootlegs?

DING DING DING!!!

THINNER, THE DEAD ZONE Ė TAIWANESE PIRATED EDITIONS

I first came across bootlegs when I started buying from a dealer in San Francisco. He was an older man with a beautiful library, who had written a few books himself, including a fantastic bibliography of Edward Gorey. In fact, it appears as though he still has a site, and still sells through ABE and Biblio:

https://www.booksetcsf.com/

I havenít been in touch with him for a few months, and I hope heís still around. Heís 87, so I canít take it for grantedÖ

Anyway, he had a few slim-looking books among his first editions that looked a little off, and when I asked about him he told me that there was a big market for pirated books in the 70s and 80s, and that lots of popular American titles were bootlegged in Taiwan and then shipped to places like South America and Australia. A few of them have interesting mistakes introduced along the way (more on this below). I found a few books from some authors I like, and a couple that I didnít really care about. But he was selling them so cheaply that I just got them all.

Since then, I keep my eye out for pirated books that are either (a) very cheap, or (b) by authors that I like.

Iíve almost managed to snag the entire Dune series over the years, and I have come across exactly 2 SK books.

THE DEAD ZONE

http://www.thedarktower.org/gallery/data/984/medium/IMG_68511.jpg

THINNER

http://www.thedarktower.org/gallery/data/984/medium/IMG_68491.jpg

Thinner is the only pirated book I have that still has the original book store sticker pasted to the last leaf!

http://www.thedarktower.org/gallery/data/984/medium/IMG_68501.jpg


As you can imagine, the pirated books are of really low quality. They are smaller, and everything about them is cheaper. The dust jackets tear incredibly easily, and the pages are not quite onion-skin, but not much thicker. You can pretty clearly read the pages through each other (as you can see above). They age horribly, and in a few decades they are likely to be just dust between two covers. But Iíll keep them until that happens! Thatís why itís almost impossible to find them in F/F condition.

The Dead Zone is in pretty good shape, but with a very chipped cover. Thinner, as you can see in the previous post, has a pretty spiffy jacket but the spine has come unglued. Oh well.

Here is an example of a nice typo on the cover of a pirated book:

http://www.thedarktower.org/gallery/data/984/medium/IMG_6854.jpg


And here are pictures of the rest of the sub-collection:

http://www.thedarktower.org/gallery/data/984/medium/IMG_6852.jpg

I still need to Brodart a few of these, you can see...

http://www.thedarktower.org/gallery/data/984/medium/IMG_6853.jpg


My favorites are the SK books, the Dune set, the Gore Vidals, the John Fowlers, The Hunt for Red October, and Breakfast of Champions, the ďNoveeĒÖ

Father Cody
07-29-2018, 08:45 AM
Iím tempted to start collecting bootlegs now. I love that Vonnegut bootleg, with or without the misspelling.

Br!an
08-03-2018, 12:36 PM
Iím tempted to start collecting bootlegs now. I love that Vonnegut bootleg, with or without the misspelling.

I like the misspelling. It's kind of perfect.

I think I have a few John Updike bootlegs somewhere. :orely:

I generally have passed on them though. They are cool, but they are usually not highly collectible. That does make them more affordable.

Father Cody
08-04-2018, 07:18 AM
I like the misspelling. It's kind of perfect.

The misspelling definitely adds to the cool factor!

ur2ndbiggestfan
08-04-2018, 07:48 AM
Isn't she the daughter of Aaron Spelling, the famous TV and movie producer?

Hunchback Jack
08-04-2018, 10:27 AM
BOOOOOO!!!!! GET OFF!!!!!!!

:D :D :D

lotuz
08-10-2018, 03:55 PM
Iím tempted to start collecting bootlegs now. I love that Vonnegut bootleg, with or without the misspelling.




I like the misspelling. It's kind of perfect.

I think I have a few John Updike bootlegs somewhere. :orely:

I generally have passed on them though. They are cool, but they are usually not highly collectible. That does make them more affordable.




The misspelling definitely adds to the cool factor!

Agreed that the misspelling makes it a neater book!

Also, youíre right Brian about the collectability. There are a distinct minority of bootlegs that are collectible, 95% arenít. So it definitely makes it a relatively affordable area to collect. Iím at the point now where I will pick up most bootlegs if they are less than $10, but otherwise I only seek out bootlegs for authors or books I already collect. Iíd love to have more SK books and to complete a bootleg Dune collection.

I do have a smallish collection of Updike firsts Ė I really liked the Rabbit series and the dustjacket theme (why did they have to ruin it with Rabbit Is Rich :dick:). My first edition Rabbit, Run was one of the books I got for an amazing price because a bookstore on Fillmore Street went out of business in ~2008 :(.


Isn't she the daughter of Aaron Spelling, the famous TV and movie producer?


BOOOOOO!!!!! GET OFF!!!!!!!

:D :D :D

Oh Steve, you do know how to make us laugh and groan simultaneously :rolleyes: :lol:

Hunchback Jack
08-10-2018, 04:16 PM
I must admit, I didn't realize that people collected bootlegs, and it sounds fascinating. I learn all kinds of cool stuff here.

(I'd kill to see your Dune bootleg collection)