Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Condition is everything...

My apologies that I haven't been about as much as I would like on the blog for the last week or so. Part of the reason for that has been the amount of work involved in purchasing a large collection of books recently. Above is just a couple of shelves of the more general books from the collection (most of the others are art, photography or transport related) but what is astonishing about all of them is the condition. It's hard to convey in pictures even how these books, printed and published in the 1970s, 60s, 50s, and some in the 1940s are as crisp as the day they were bought. It still gives me chills to pick some of them up. Not a single one of the books on those two shelves is a reprint. How often does a secondhand bookdealer get to use phrases such as "fine in every respect" or "as new" about books of this age? I have decided to make the most of it! the reason they are in such amazing condition is simple: the entire collection has had to be liberated from the paper bags in which it was bought. Every book was found tucked in its original paper or plastic bag from Hammicks, W H Smith or Foyles...


The Churchill books below... also first editions...!







4 comments:

Cosmo said...

Tell more! Was the (deceased?) owner's stove and couches covered in plastic too, like Kenneth William's flat?

Callum said...

Hi Cosmo,

No, I'm afraid it was all rather sad, the gentleman died at the age of 100 having lived alone all his life. The inside of his house had bare floorboards throughout, no wallpaper on the walls (because it had all just fallen off) and all these books just piled up, unread, in their packaging (which was itself covered in huge amounts of dust). Any bookdealer who buys from house clearence situations will tell you that this kind of obsessive and/or eccentric behaviour is not uncommon.

Callum

Vintagemaison said...

What a find - and doesn't it makes such a lovely change from having to wipe off coffee rings? I hope you are collecting and keeping the bags too!

J said...

If the books had been read and enjoyed, it wouldn't be sad at all, but for them all still to be in their bags is pretty awful. I have over 6000 books, but when I go shopping, I can't wait to place my new acquisitions with the other titles I own by those authors...

 
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