Buk in top 10 of most expensive signed books sold on ABE

Olaf

Over 100 posts
Who are these insane bookworms that buy such extortionate editios of Books?

Bukowski will be laughing his large dead gut off
As the madness continues
And the half-people
chase after an Image
And as nothing but a figament
exists in their imagination....
hehehe!:cool:
 

bospress.net

www.bospress.net
Over 5000 posts
bibliofiles.....

If I had millions I'd spend this kind of money. Even though it seems high (and is for me...), investing in the finset copy of a very collectable book will pay off in the long run. I'm sure a few years ago someone on this very list said "no way would I pay $50 for a chapbook of "Flower, Fist & Bestial Wail".

With early first editions, especially premium firsts, having the best quality known to exist is a ticket to riches. Presumably no more BETTER copies show up. Yours only gets more valuable with time. Of course, an author's books can and do go down, but they are usually a great investment if you have the dough...

Bill
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
Over 1000 posts
I read a magazine article that claimed that, since the internet became a major market for buying and selling rare books, the prices of most modern first editions have gone down significantly. The exception to the trend is that high end books costing a couple grand or more have gone up in price. The conclusion was that if you're going to buy as an investment, spend a lot and buy only the best available.
 

bospress.net

www.bospress.net
Over 5000 posts
Hi DAvid,
The price between the finest example of a truly rare book and the next nicest is substantial. Whenever possible, shoot for the best. You will probably not regret it...

Bill
 

mjp

Your Host
Moderator
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Well, as a lot of people here can tell you, pre-internet the chance to buy a rare title came around a lot less frequently than it does now. You can be much more selective now because everything is available.

Everything but Write magazine, anyway. ;)
 

zoom man

Founding member
Over 500 posts
bospress.net said:
bibliofiles.....

If I had millions I'd spend this kind of money. Even though it seems high (and is for me...), investing in the finset copy of a very collectable book will pay off in the long run. I'm sure a few years ago someone on this very list said "no way would I pay $50 for a chapbook of "Flower, Fist & Bestial Wail".

With early first editions, especially premium firsts, having the best quality known to exist is a ticket to riches. Presumably no more BETTER copies show up. Yours only gets more valuable with time.Bill
Exactly,
And that's the only reason I can sell any of my Buk....
Because I've uped the ante and found a 'better' edition.
 

zoom man

Founding member
Over 500 posts
Unexpected bills?!
Ha, I know what I'm fleeing from (for the most part)....
I've only got one obsession....
Well only one that is public :>
(ouch)
Honest,
I always only try to own-up the highest notch...
And sell the unsigned for the signed, etc.
Why?,....
Why do any of us collect?,
To leave someone a treasure? when we die?!,
I have no fucking idea!
HA!
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
Over 1000 posts
My guess is that collecting is subconsciously about establishing order and control in some tiny portion of the universe. It's creating stasis in a choatic world. "I have this thing which has almost ceased to exist in the world, and it's like new, time hasn't touched it, and I can hold onto it forever (well, as long as I live)." Of course, it's irrational and a form of magical thinking, but what the hell? If it gives you joy, what's the harm, other than spending more than you can afford.

I often say I'm not really a collector, as I'm mainly after certain rare and significant texts, not first editions, but I bend that rule for some titles. Others by the same favorite author, I could care less what edition I read them in. It's quirky and tied in with personal history. For example, my favorite edition of ON THE ROAD isn't the hardcover first, which does nothing for me, but the paperback with the hippies on the cover (actually, there are two different hippie covers...I mean the brightly colored cartoonish one...the other, which is rarer, has a photo of hippies). Because that's the edition I read in college, and it'll always be my own personal first edition of that book. So I have to have it, while I feel no need for the hardcover in dj, and couldn't afford it anyway. Condition has never been too important to me, as long as it's all there and in one piece. I'm kind of a flaky semi-collector.
 

bospress.net

www.bospress.net
Over 5000 posts
Hi Rekrab,
The collector that buys what he (or she) wants and is not worried about TRUE 1st editions or perfect condition, is the collector that has more money to go to the movies, on vacation, etc.... I really can't fault that!


All best,
BIll
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
Over 1000 posts
Bill

I'm always thinking of reasons why I shouldn't buy books: I already have that text, I probably won't actually read it, I can find a cheaper copy. But now and then I see something and have to have it.
 
Why We Collect

I too have been recently rethinking my collecting disease. Prior to a recent overseas trip I redid all my final papers (will, etc) and realized that I had noone to leave my book collection to that would appreciate it for the reasons I assembled it (not that I can articulate those reasons with any clarity or rational bases). I started thinking about how those close to me would react to inheriting all of my signed editions of Buk, Bowles, Fante, and many other rare and limited editions and realized that I would have to write a thesis for them to understand the value I attributed to the collection. Not having the energy or time to do so, I am now seriously thinking of selling all the valuable stuff and if necessary just replacing it with reading copies. Doing so, though, makes me feel like I've been engaged in nothing more than a hobby, especially when I see the market for my most prized pieces going down and not up!, at least on E-Bay. Have any of you thought of this, i.e., just what is the end result of your collecting mania, especially when you die? Sorry for the morbid approach.
 

hoochmonkey9

Art should be its own hammer.
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you can leave your signed copy of the sheltering sky to me...I'll write the thesis.
seriously, I'm hoping my son will have an appreciation for literature and will want the library to be passed on and not sell it the moment I'm cold. though, I guess, it won't matter to me.
 

mjp

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I figure that when I'm dead I won't care about things like books. ;)

I kind of like the idea of someone finding them at my landlord's yard sale. The one where he's selling the dead tenant's clothes and books. Ha.

But yeah, I wouldn't know who to give them to on my death bed either. Maybe we should start a pity ring, where as we die off we inherit each other's books.

I call dibs on the first spot on nymark's list.
 

zoom man

Founding member
Over 500 posts
MarkDB said:
I started thinking about how those close to me would react to inheriting all of my signed editions of Buk, Bowles, Fante, and many other rare and limited editions and realized that I would have to write a thesis for them to understand the value I attributed to the collection.
Me too... it's depressing,
But again not much gives me more joy than to sit on the floor with all my favorites surrounding me...

MarkDB said:
Not having the energy or time to do so, I am now seriously thinking of selling all the valuable stuff and if necessary just replacing it with reading copies. Doing so, though, makes me feel like I've been engaged in nothing more than
Making yourself happy while you were alive?
Really, I don't think there's any shame in that...
Don't sell your most valuable yet Mark,
You'll miss them. Really think about it, maybe you will find a Buk protege
Who would sooo value what you've gifted him.

And BTW,
I'm not saying I'm having this done (not yet, anyway) with my favorite books,
But I do have explicit directions for my box of 'journals' (all sorts of personal writings, diaries, screenplays, poems, all that) when I die.
They are all to be burned completely, box and all.
There, let the thread become more morbid :o

(You gotta admit tho
This book collecting game is fun while you're here,
It's all good until you think too much (Actually, I think there's a lot of shit like that).
 

hoochmonkey9

Art should be its own hammer.
Moderator
Founding member
Over 5000 posts
zoom man said:
But I do have explicit directions for my box of 'journals' (all sorts of personal writings, diaries, screenplays, poems, all that) when I die.
They are all to be burned completely, box and all.
Kafka would be proud. Just make sure Max Brod isn't your best friend.
 

nymark

Over 500 posts
MarkDB said:
...especially when I see the market for my most prized pieces going down and not up!
You must, must take the long view, my friend. The wheel turns. The value of your collection will ebb and rise many times over before you pass on. Bet on it.

I am sorry to report, mjp, that upon my demise I have given my wife instructions to liquidate my collection via an auction house and use the proceeds to help raise my two daughters. I do not anticipate, nor do I hope, that either of my girls will inherit my mania for books -- Bukowski books in particular. This is a single madness that I hope will not be passed on through my filthy gene pool. It's bad enough that they may inherit some of my more unsavory personality traits. God forbid they fall in love with books as well. It would be better for them if they fell in love with accounting. Or law. Or medicine. Anything but books.
 

mjp

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Heh, I hear you. That's a good plan.

I've been thinking about this a little more though, and MarkDB, you should hang on to your books. As zoom man said, you never know who you'll bump into in life who would value what you have.

In the 70's and early 80's I bought records. Punk and Reggae records, by the hundreds. Not to amass some huge collection, but to listen to them. There was no internet, and the underground railroad for punk was a handful of local zines and maybe NY Rocker. And Reggae - well, that may as well have not existed as far as most people were concerned (I guess that hasn't changed much ;)).

So in the late 80's I purged myself of thousands of records, but I hung on to a box of singles. Mostly Clash and Wailers 45s that were special to me. I was working at one of many print shops and an Irish kid, maybe 18 years old came to work there. We got to talking and he mentioned how much he loved the Clash. How they were very important to him.

Next day I brought in a box of a couple dozen rare Clash singles and handed them to him. "Here, you ought to have these." Well the kid was on the verge of tears he was so happy. He inherited the history and I got to feel like someone who actually gave a shit. It was a good day.

So yeah, keep those books as long as you can.
 

cirerita

Founding member
Over 1000 posts
nymark said:
It would be better for them if they fell in love with accounting. Or law. Or medicine. Anything but books.
shit, for a very brief moment I thought it was Bukowski who was writing those words :D
 
I'm a few months late but while I was reading this thread I couldn't help but think of a book called "A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books" by Nicholas Basbanes. It's about the history of book collecting starting from about 2500 years ago. Apparently people have been obsessed with collecting books ever since they have been made and the book tells the fascinating history of those people. Most of the historical figures he mentions grapple with the same issues as you guys brought up here, such as who should inherit the books? What's the point of collecting? Should books be made to be read or to collect also? And many other tidbits such as, is there someone out there who still owns the original manuscripts of Aristotle? And how it was a few book collectors who saved the entire canon of classical literature from destruction. A fantastic book.
 

bospress.net

www.bospress.net
Over 5000 posts
Hi,
I know that the future would be bleak, indeed without the brutal honesty and eloquence (sp?) of Bukowski....

Bill
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
Over 1000 posts
In some cases, collectors are crucial to the survival of a text because libraries often do not keep things, especially after they fall out of fashion, and many sorts of material they will not acquire. Libraries routinely discard, sell or even destroy books, including some rare items. And, of course, books are stolen from libraries. I love libraries, but you can't count to them to have a book from year to year -- the books disappear. If it weren't for private collectors and the rare book trade, some titles would be completely gone, I believe. Yes, that's a fascinating book, A Gentle Madness.
 
It was me.

Do you know who sold that? Was it Vicarious?
Great, I paid top dollar for a copy in such nice condition that I just couldn't pass on it. Sold it in like two days for what I'm sure was the highest price realized for a Post Office. Until.....about 6 weeks later I had to top it myself to buy a copy in as pristine condition containing by far the best painting of any of the 4 or 5 copies I've owned.

I speak at length with those dealers in the trade for whom I have the most respect, John Martin, university curators (or whatever they're called), and just about anyone who will listen, about the true (monetary) value of Bukowski material, especially whe compared to the Big Three in 20th century american literary collecting: Hemingway, Faulkner and Fitzgerald (novelists all). Sometimes we throw in Whitman to have a poet present. I think I have finally come out believing what I state in the description I wrote for Genius of the Crowd:

"Many view this poem, correctly in our view, as Bukowski's most substantial. We'd go on to say that it is truly a beautiful piece of poetry by ANY standard and, together with works such as "Ham on Rye", may launch Buk into the rarified pantheon of great American authors inhabited by Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Faulkner. Perhaps the earlier Buk periodical offprints, Signatures 1 and 2, are of discernably greater rarity, but rarity doesn't equate to importance or value. There are at least five times the number of copies of Hemingway's "Three Stories and Ten Poems" (each at $50,000+) on the market for every copy of "Genius", and this ratio is only likely to increase. Bukowski already outsells all three of the above-mentioned authors collectively on a worldwide basis. We suspect he outsells each individually here on their home turf."

In other words, Buk's contribution to his respective artforms was SUBSTANTIAL. The fact that he appeals to "knuckleheads" like us who in large measure (please, I realize there are many of you who don't share the following generalization to some extent or another) couldn't give a shit about Faulkner, can't read Pynchon, won't read Joyce, and aren't scared by the word "cunt", does not minimize this fact.
 
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