Monday, June 6, 2022

Paperback Collecting? It’s a LibraryThing.

Numerous fans have written asking book collecting questions over the years.  Most of the questions center around the Dial hardcover editions.  Other people collect paperback editions, often the Bantam Skylark editions from the 1980s.

Bellairs fan and book collector (and one-time book store owner) Russell Bernard has been collecting books for decades.  He’s often been our go-to source for identifying and understanding the difference between first editions and first printings and scads of other information about book collecting.  And not just Bellairs titles, either.

Bernard shared on our forum one of his recent accomplishments: putting together a set of the first paperback printings of the Bellairs/Strickland series books.  He’s cataloged his paperbacks and uploaded all the details to LibraryThing.  The entries include comments on identifying the first printings, descriptions of each book, and the cover price.  Bear in mind, for completists, since some titles were not issued in paperback, they of course, have no listing.

There’s more of Bernard’s Bellairs collection on the site, too:

And more.  Happy reading -- and collecting.

1 comment:

Russ said...

My John Bellairs Paperback collection also contains a 1st paperback edition of "The Face in the Frost". So technically to be complete, I guess I should also have a First Paperback Edition of "The Pedant and the Shuffly" done by Mythopoeic Press in 2001. I just could not pay the price being asked for a reasonably nice copy of that book. And I also reasoned, it was sort of out of the scope of my collection because it was published so late. The hardcover original was published in 1968. If I could find a reasonably priced copy, I might add it to the collection, just for completeness. But I did not feel a need to add it to the collection. I reasoned that a book published 10 years after the author's death and 33 years after the First Edition is not the same as the First Paperback editions included in my collection, although I guess technically it is a First Paperback Edition. I consider it just a reissue of an older title, that happens to be in a paperback binding. And of course the three titles that came after The Tower at the End of the World", as has been pointed out, did not have American Paperback editions (except Proofs). In resent times there have been U.K. paperback editions, which I considered, but again they were not books that I felt were needed in the collection. But if you decide to build a paperback set, you can set your own rules and boundaries. I hope my descriptions will help guide other collectors who wish to build a set.