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Want to buy starting my collection

Hey

Id appreciate a little advice on where to start my collection.
im looking to purchase my first Bukowski works from when he was alive.
iv got a budget of arount $300 to $500. A signed piece would be nice but I think abit optermistic. would I be better looking for a chapbook, broard sheet, card or novel. If anyone is selling please get in touch!

Thanks
 

roni

Over 5000 posts
The VERY BEST item to start a Buk-collection is always 'CRUCIFIX IN A DEATH HAND'.

reasons:
- it was an early (1965) and important publication for him (and in spite of 'it catches my heart in its hands', which was even earlier and more important, it's within your price-range)
- it's signed
- it's beautifully made. a work of craftsmanship (letterpress, fantastic paper etc)
- tho it's limited, the limitation of 3100 copies is so big, that you can still get it in fair condition for your kind of money.

there's no doubt about this recommendation.
 

jordan

lothario speedwagon
Over 1000 posts
well, you've got a lot of ground to cover, but starting a collection is really fun. here's a little survey for you - answer honestly, and then i can offer more advice.

1) i'd prefer my collection to be:
a) mostly bukowski's books
b) a mix of books and broadsides/ephemera
c) mostly broadsides/ephemera

2) rank the following in order of importance
a) having books in really nice ("fine") condition
b) having books that are signed
c) having books that are first printings
d) having books that are rare or hard to find

3) i'd rather have a collection that:
a) contains a small number of "prestige" items
b) contains a wide sampling of work from across bukowski's career

finally: i have a reasonably nice bukowski collection, and i don't own crucifix in a death hand. i don't like the artwork in it and i don't like the fact that it's almost impossible to open without cracking the spine. if i had $350 to spend, i'd rather have a nice black sparrow first edition of a classic bukowski book (love is a dog from hell, for instance) with a colored corduroy spine, but that's just me.
 
Crucifix definitely has some issues, which Jordan already pointed out, but for me it's really important.
It was written and published at such an interesting time in Hank's career, and there are a handful of
great poems. I am a sucker for anything Loujon, so for me it's a must have.
 
Wow u guys have been really helpfull!! Thanks

crucifix in a deathhand was defenately on my radar as iv seen quite a few up for sale. I like the idea of starting a collection with an earlie piece when Hank was starting.

jordan. 1.b, 2.cabd, 3b
I would like to get a couple of pieces a year if possable. Women, post office and ham on rye are my favourite so I definitely want to add them.

If I decide on crucifix how much does condition matter? I have seen one with a rip on the front cover. Would it be best to spend alittle more for a better condition?
 

jordan

lothario speedwagon
Over 1000 posts
the condition will be reflected in the price - the issue of how much it matters to you is up to personal preference. i'm very particular about condition, so if i saw a beat up copy of a book for $100 that would sell for $400 in fine condition, i wouldn't buy it, since i'd inevitably end up convincing myself to spend $400 on the fine condition copy down the road. if you don't mind the rip on the cover and the price is right, i'd buy it. feel free to post books you're considering here so that the community can weigh in on them, too. that way you'll avoid paying too much, which is unfortunately easy to do when you're just starting out.

for women and ham on rye, i'd focus on finding a paperback first printing. the hardcover first printings are going to run you many hundreds of dollars, and the signed hardcover first of both will usually be over $1000. a paperback first of post office in fine condition will be at least $400-$500, since it was fairly limited (2000 copies), but you can find copies from time to time with a faded spine or foxing, and if you can stand the condition issues, it's a good way to have a book with a lot of history behind it. you also might want to look into paperback firsts of the early poetry collections - days run away, mockingbird, etc. they're really nicely done, fairly limited, and not too expensive (less than $100 on eBay if you're lucky).

another nice copy to look for is the second trade hardcover printing of women. not sure how much backstory you know, but the short version is that bukowski's publisher added a bunch of "edits" to the first printing of women, and buk made him reprint it with the original text restored. you can find the second trade hardcover for less than $200, and it's a really handsome book with a black corduroy spine. it isn't a true first, but it's a significant copy of one of bukowski's best novels. i got my copy from jeff maser a few years back.

last thing to watch for - buk's publisher put out broadside flyers of a lot of books, and they can be found for relatively cheap. the ham on rye broadside is especially nice. i don't know if there's one for women, but you can put together a nice collection of flyers if you watch for them on eBay.
 

mjp

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Over 5000 posts
I'd say something now that wouldn't have needed to be said 10 years ago, and that is the first thing you should do is track down all the Black Sparrow paperbacks. You'll always be able to buy those "rare" hardcovers, but the meat and potatoes paperbacks in really good condition are becoming more difficult to find these days in the sea of Ecco reprints. There's my two cents.

Oh, and be patient. Don't settle for the first copy of that title you've just got to have. I made that mistake in the early days of eBay and the web in general, and the truth of the matter is, there's always another one out there and it's usually a better one and maybe even a less expensive one. Whatever "it" is. Wait. Don't try.
 
Between ebay and abe books there is a nice selection of crucifix and others.
MJP. Would crucifix in a death hand be classed as a soft cover?
Jordan. Iv also found on ebay the second printing of women. Iv added the link below to women and two crucifix pieces. Could I please have your guys opinions on them

http://m.ebay.com/itm/231151335779?cmd=VIDESC

http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=8789266346&searchurl=an=charles+bukowski&bsi=0&ds=30&tn=crucifix+in+a+deathhand

http://m.ebay.com/itm/301065989434?nav=SEARCH

Thanks
 

mjp

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I was talking about the Black Sparrow softcovers, Crucifix is pre-Black Sparrow.

Like @roni said, Crucifix is not hard to find, so If you wait long enough you'll find a copy you like at a price you like. But it probably won't be on ABE. 99% of the prices there are wishful thinking on the part of the sellers. In other words, way too high.
 
If you are serious/somewhat serious about collecting Bukowski, I recommend picking this up sooner rather than later:

20611418_1_m.jpg

The last thing you want to do is approach collecting like a blind dog in a rib joint. This covers pretty much everything Bukowski published up until 1999. By everything I mean books, broadsides, etc. Check your local library to see if they have a copy or try to obtain one via Interlibrary Loan. The Xerox copier is your friend. Last time I checked I think this book will set you back $75+. But it is worth it.

I would not skimp on condition ever. Like mjp stated above, there's always another one out there. I can pretty much guarantee every collector has made *mistakes* in their early days. It doesn't matter if you are collecting Bukowski, Olympia Press, Coca Cola paraphenalia, etc. The key is to minimize your mistakes and/or learn from them.

And don't hesitate to ask any questions.

Good luck.
 

mjp

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Iv seen a copy of post office. It mentions in the description its a wrappered issue. Is this the sleave it comes in? Thanks
"Wrappers" or "wraps" means paperback.

Professional book sellers have a lot of words and terms they use instead of real, normal words. Like saying the grade of a book is "good," when the real description should be, "pile of shit."
 

esart

esart.com
Founding member
Over 500 posts
Jordan had a really good point about what kind of collection you want. For instance, Jordan likes pristine books. He's kind of anal like that. While, mjp and I have It Catches my Heart in a public library bound hard cover - because we're odd like that. Mind you, it's the limited edition with an original drawing in it. We liked the idea that it had been loved and handled a lot, kind of the way Buk may have wanted his books to be read, limited edition or not.

We also have a Ham on Rye that's signed, but it's not part of the signed edition. We bought it from Chronic who stood in line at a bookstore and waited for Buk to sign the thing. I'd much rather have that one than the one from the edition, even though it's probably not valued as high.

So, I think it's about knowing what you want, and not to sound icky, but knowing what's a better financial investment too.

I really liked Jordan's survey. :)
 

Purple Stickpin

Over 5000 posts
Professional book sellers have a lot of words and terms they use instead of real, normal words. Like saying the grade of a book is "good," when the real description should be, "pile of shit."
When scouring ebay, keep this in mind. Some sellers who are not booksellers, use "good" to mean "rather quite nice;" others use the term in a strictly bookseller sense.
 

jordan

lothario speedwagon
Over 1000 posts
that's a nice copy of women in the eBay auction above. decent price, nice condition. not sure how to verify whether it was actually limited to 400 copies, though. i should check the krumhansl bio, but since it isn't a first printing, i don't think he catalogued it.
 

mjp

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He did:

63 WOMEN 1978
g. First edition, cloth, revised issue:

[Extending beyond top edge of title page, thus top half of lettering cut off, in light tan:] WOMEN | [in light tan:] WOMEN | WOMEN | WOMEN | WOMEN | WOMEN | WOMEN | WOMEN | [in red:] WOMEN | [single light tan rule] | [in black:] CHARLES | BUKOWSKI | SANTA BARBARA | BLACK SPARROW PRESS | 1978

Collation as a. Dimensions as c. $14. Binding as c. Colophon as a.

400 copies were published 20 March 1979.


Interesting though, that he says the revised first had a color title page, but the paperback revised first I have on the shelf here does not. Neither does the hardcover in the auction. But both mine and the one in the auction have the correct 1979 printing date, so I'm wondering if Krumhansl may have been wrong about the color title page.

I'm sure others here have the revised first, so maybe if everyone checks we can see if there was really a revised first with a color title page. I don't know if the added cost of reprinting that title page in color just to maintain the "color title page on first edition" tradition would have been worth it to Martin at the time. I'm sure he was wasn't exactly happy about rushing out a revised first edition anyway (for a lot of reasons).
 
@roni i know all you guys have been really helpful! Also thanks for the link its gonna keep me busy for a little while.

@Papillon Iv searched my local library and unfortunately they dont have Aaron Krumhansls book. Looks like i will have to purchases one, which i suppose is a drop in the ocean to what a collection could end up costing.
After taking on all your guys info there are a couple of books im going to bid on. The ebay tip is a good one for me to watch out for.
 
He did:

63 WOMEN 1978
g. First edition, cloth, revised issue:


[Extending beyond top edge of title page, thus top half of lettering cut off, in light tan:] WOMEN | [in light tan:] WOMEN | WOMEN | WOMEN | WOMEN | WOMEN | WOMEN | WOMEN | [in red:] WOMEN | [single light tan rule] | [in black:] CHARLES | BUKOWSKI | SANTA BARBARA | BLACK SPARROW PRESS | 1978

Collation as a. Dimensions as c. $14. Binding as c. Colophon as a.

400 copies were published 20 March 1979.

Interesting though, that he says the revised first had a color title page, but the paperback revised first I have on the shelf here does not. Neither does the hardcover in the auction. But both mine and the one in the auction have the correct 1979 printing date, so I'm wondering if Krumhansl may have been wrong about the color title page.

I'm sure others here have the revised first, so maybe if everyone checks we can see if there was really a revised first with a color title page. I don't know if the added cost of reprinting that title page in color just to maintain the "color title page on first edition" tradition would have been worth it to Martin at the time. I'm sure he was wasn't exactly happy about rushing out a revised first edition anyway (for a lot of reasons).
@mjp You mentioned the title page in colour. Are u talking about the 9th "WOMEN" that is supposed to be in red according to Krumhansl?

Krumhansl also stated the date at the end of the title page to be 1978 and on the ebay "women" it is 1979.

iv attached the ebay item below.

Screenshot_2014-02-09-14-10-21.png
 
Last edited:

jordan

lothario speedwagon
Over 1000 posts
I have never seen a copy of the first revised edition with a color title page & colophon. I had always thought that there was the first edition with the standard limited edition tiers and then the second printing (revised), which has a b/w title page and no colophon. John Martin sold off his collection 5 years ago, and if this book didn't surface then, I'm wondering where all the copies went. Even the books with first printings that went exclusively to librairies still show up from time to time.

Further complicating the issue are listings like this one, which conflate the Krumhansl listing and my description, just like the eBay auction that ozzy posted.
 

mjp

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Krumhansl also stated the date at the end of the title page to be 1978 and on the ebay "women" it is 1979.
400 copies were published 20 March 1979.
The revised edition was published/printed in 1979, so they wouldn't have left the 1978 date on the title page.

It would seem that Krumhansl is incorrect on that particular item. Unless someone can produce a revised second printing with a color title page, of course. But as Jordan pointed out, if one didn't surface in Martin's collection, it's unlikely that any existed.
 

mjp

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I think Aaron Krumhansl answered that here in the forum...somewhere (or someone else did). As I recall, it wasn't anything terribly interesting.

Edit: Here it is.
 
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