Thursday, August 04, 2011

Sandel and Uncorrected Proofs

Following an earlier blog post about the novel Sandel. A friend of Front Free Endpaper sent this photo of his copy (many thanks). It caused a moment's reflection on the position of these uncorrected proofs in book-collecting. I have a sense, but it's only a feeling, that when the market for modern first editions, and particularly what were called 'ultra modern first editions' (which we might surely just as well have called "new books") was sky-high a few years ago, there were bookdealers who felt that uncorrected proofs ought to be worth a pretty penny more than the first edition: on the grounds that they represented and earlier state even than the first edition. My sense of it is that even at the time the collectors didn't really go for this argument much and since that market has now more or less collapsed, it's probably wise to treat these proof copies fairly circumspectly.

Having said that, this copy wasn't bought for its value and the condition of the cover shows just how many times it has been read. More reason still for me to lay hands on one and actually read the thing...

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