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Re: The Value of 1st Editions was Re: Sale of 1st editions


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Posted by Peter Ceresole on December 09, 2017 at 13:17:29 user PeterC.

In Reply to: Re: The Value of 1st Editions was Re: Sale of 1st editions posted by Mike Dennis on December 07, 2017 at 22:15:01:

Another reason is to see the drawings in their best form (the pre WWII editions.)

I would have thought that this is the main reason to want, if not a first edition, certainly an early one. Plates do lose sharpness and definition with repeated printings.
But otherwise, I agree that as a matter of strict utility, an eBook version is as good as any print edition. I have a shelf-full of the original green Cape 12 hardbacks (except for ML, which has walked away some years ago and is unmissed), but for the ones I actually read reasonably often (WH, PP, PM) I have bought eBook versions.
I do acknowledge that there can be a special thrill in handling an early edition of a book, something that creates a tangible link with a special period in the past. In 1962 (he wrote in the margin) my father bought an original 1941 edition of "Post D- Some Experiences of an Air Raid Warden" by John Strachey. It's splendidly written with the same clarity and unfussy directness as AR's best, and the stories (fiction based on fact) bring the time, and its social assumptions, vividly to life. The book itself was a Gollancz utility edition, between plain blue boards in a yellow dust jacket which has literally fallen apart, and on paper full of acid which has turned it brown and is eating it away. But it's still readable, I keep it by my bed and have read it many times, and the very crumbling state of it takes me back to what Strachey is describing. I remember it as a small child, and I vividly remember the excitement of the sirens. Holding that contemporary book makes it all the sharper.


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