Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Collectors Behaving Badly


The book appears to be from around 1942 to 1943 by the pulp paper and general appearance.
Question: The fact that it lists titles that weren't even written until a decade after 1932 wasn't enough of a clue to figure out that it's neither a '1st edition' not a 'Printing year: 1932' book?

Answer: Well,thank you for being so kind with your response. The others interested can determine how to bid on the book.
That was hardly necessary. The person who commented was nitpicking about the item specifics, which we all know tend to be wrong. Why would someone attack a seller over the item specifics?

The seller selected "1st edition" in the item specifics, which can be considered true depending upon how the term is defined. While I dislike that term greatly, any book that has the original text could be considered a first edition. However, most people feel that it means first printing. Regardless, collectors should not attack sellers when the term is used incorrectly.

The seller also selected 1932 as the printing year, which is not true. Since the book was copyrighted in 1932, I can see why someone would use that year. It's not a big deal. As a buyer, I never look at the item specifics unless I cannot see the books in a picture well and am trying to figure out if they are hardcover or softcover books, such as with the Wanderer editions.

Even if the seller was gushing about how the book was a true first printing and was dead wrong, treating the seller badly is inappropriate. A gentle note informing the seller about the age of the book is a better approach. We end up all looking bad when one of us acts like this.


stratomiker said...

***any book that has the original text could be considered a first edition. However, most people feel that it means first printing***

The real problem is that most ND collectors do not know bibliographic terms, which differ greatly from Farah's usage.

The correct term for what a ND collector wants as a first edition is 'first edition, first printing', that is - the first printing of the first edition. As you said, the real definition of first edition is any copy of the book with the original text until it is 'substantially' changed.

Also, Drew collectors get in trouble with Dust Jackets. Standard bibliographic terms do not include DJs. The BOOK is the first edition, first printing. They don't get into the 'other' lists on the DJs like Farah does - it's just the book that's the 'first', not the combo of the book and DJs. Differing DJs are considered 'variant' DJs and bibliophiles know that many books are printed with variant DJs and they don't get into a 'first printing' DJ.

For example, according to Farah, sometimes the first three printings of a book are the same, but the DJs differ because of titles. Bibliophiles consider the books all 'firsts'. They are the same, there is no edition stated, there is no way to know if some were made before the others. Bibliophiles know that DJs are not printed WITH the books. Drew DJs were printed in different factories than the books - the two items are not a unified 'printing'. So it becomes a first book with variant DJs. Any further delineation is just speculation, as Farah does.

Before the Internet booksellers all used AB Bookman, a weekly magazine that included all edition and grading info, and many booksellers still use these standards that have been in use for a couple hundred years. Drew collectors usually don't know anything about them because they are younger people who came along after AB Bookman went out of business because of the Internet. You would place inexpensive search ads in the magazine for titles you wanted, and you'd get quote cards galore in the mail. It was fun. I bought tons of books that way, single titles and whole sets and collections.

Farah's break-down system with books and DJs having to match (which we well know they don't always do) is not in agreement with accepted standards and there is no way to prove that the books were actually made that way because they don't always come that way and there are no records to back it.

But it's a good system and the fans like it but there needs to be a better understanding that the book world in general doesn't hardly know about it and many who do don't agree with it because it can't be proven. And that many people who quote on eBay are going by the 'accepted' standards, not by Farah's (which have only been around in an underground way for 25 years), and these people are not trying to fool or cheat or deceive. They are actually the correct ones according to the long history of bibliographic terminology.


Jennifer said...

As I have run into problems collecting certain books, I have become more and more aware of how much speculation exists and how many misconceptions collectors have about the "printings" in Farah's Guide.

As I have stated in the past, I believe that many Farah's Guide printings are actually subsets of other printings. I have no problem with the books getting a separate listing in Farah's Guide, but many collectors incorrectly assume that each listing was a full print run.

Since apparently the first printing of the revised text of Brass Bound Trunk is so scarce that no one is confirming that they own one, I believe that it is more likely a variant of the first printing. An entire print run listing to Sky Phantom does not likely exist since the book is too hard to find. So you are correct that much of what we seek are variants and not actual print runs.

I have detailed in the past about my difficulties with the first printing Lilac Inn book. I have a first printing dust jacket that is on a later book and a second printing dust jacket that is also on a later book. This supports your statement about how the books and jackets were brought together later and married to each other.

I really love discussing this topic. I also know that several people who usually do not comment also enjoy these types of discussions. Last, those people who tend to be too sensitive need to understand that nothing I state is a criticism of Farah's Guide. I use the guide all the time. My point is that many people do not quite understand what the information represents.

stratomiker said...

The nitpicky break-down of 'printings' in Farah's guide (a better term for them would be 'combinations') makes Nancy Drew collecting more fun. Of course you want to have all the combinations or at least the most desirable ones.

But it should be FUN.

I experienced way too much anger and revenge-like retribution from collectors because I would list BOTH descriptions in my ads, Farah's and H&H (for Hardy Boys) and the bibliographic standards. Guide fans didn't like my using the standards, and standard fans didn't like my using terms from what they considered upstart guides that had no credibility.

That's not FUN.

That's why I think most Drew fans need to know that most booksellers still use standard bibliographic terms, not Farah's, and that they are not 'wrong' in doing so.

And, especially, now that Farah's is becoming, among Drew collectors, the guide with the terminology of choice, it needs to be made availble to the masses so that EVERYBODY can know the system and use it. This and only this weill end the confusion.

The problem with picture covers is that the text and covers are not printed together as a 'unit'. Much like with a book getting the 'wrong' DJ, PC texts can get a 'wrong' cover, creating a variant. It probably breaks down even further to front cover and back cover. The odd first BBTrunk may have got a leftover back cover put with the new revised-art cover. There may be only one like it! But it sure wouldn't be a separate 'printing'. Not a printing of ONE. LOL!

A 'printing' is the amount of texts printed while the plates are on the press. The procedure can be stopped to correct type or make other adjustments, continued the next day, or for other reasons delayed. But when the plates come off the press, that printing is done. If it is not stated in the text to be such and such a printing, you can only guess at it.