Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Special Editions - do you collect?

Okay, children, today's topic is Special Editions.

I was chatting on Twitter (as you know, this is my wont - I follow some amazing people and they all give good chat!) and the subject of buying special editions came up.

Mark Chitty from Walker of Worlds is trying to collect all of Peter F Hamilton's work in first edition hardbacks.

Carolyn from Book Chick City was stricken when she realised that she had read some of her first editions - she would prefer to keep them pristine.

My own perspective is that a book is a book is a book. I don't go out of my way to collect special editions, and I don't mind reading the copies that I have. However, I did have a sense of glee when I opened my package of The Evolutionary Void by Peter F Hamilton and realised that I had a signed and numbered version of the ARC. This, however, won't be enough to stop me reading it - which will inevitably mean some spine cracking and some folding down of pages (*waits to hear screams of anguish from purists*).

I also know that some people collect books, which may or may not be special editions. For instance, Patrick over at Stomping on Yeti has a rather lovely collection of the Gollancz Masterworks, which look snazzy all on display in his bookcases.

So: my question to you...

Do you collect particular series? Are you in anguish when you find that a series is, mid-way, being released in different jackets? Do you go out of your way to find special editions or first editions? Any and all comments very welcome :-)


  1. I collect first editions of some authors I love and try and get them signed if possible. But it's pretty haphazard only because I can see myself getting really worked up if I really get into it, which scares me a little...

  2. I collect Ursula Le Guin--not just her sci fi/fantasy, but her poetry, and the lovely little chapbooks, and her children's books....I also have reading copies of almost all the sci fi/fantasy, so as to keep the first editions more pristine!

    Not only do I love her writing, but I love looking at the collection (which has a special shelf) and seeing Her Work as a Whole.

  3. What I hate is when the publisher suddenly changes design of the books halfway through a series. Vampire Academy for example, my books now don't match :(

    Also, Alyson Noel's books started in paperback but now they're in hardback when they are first released. It frustrates me when things don't match!

    I like the idea of first editions but I don't go out of my way to find them.

  4. I do love my first editions, arcs, and foreign editions so I treat them with care. Also I would not let anyone borrow those.

  5. I used to be a little OCD in what version jacket I bought. I prefered the British editions to the US ones and I wanted them all to match. Luckily I got over that, because they started changing it up over time, so I couldn't have kaept them all the same, even if I wanted to. And I usually buy paperbacks, but that's more a financial decision than an aestethic one ;)

    That said I don't collect special editions or hardbacks or anything. I do have some authors I collect. I have everything by Mercedes Lackey in paperback that I could get my hands on, and I think I have everything by Raymond E. Feist except for At the Gates of Darkness (his latest) and Faerie Tale (non-Midkemia). There are several other authors I have mostly complete, but those two are the biggest collections. Mine by marriage, since hubby collects those: the first 11 books in the Wheel of Time series and the Malazan up to Toll the Hounds. We don't own Dust of Dreams, erikson's novella's or Esslemont's books yet, but for some reason I think that will be rectified in the not too distant future *grin*.

    I do own one special edition though. The leatherbound edition of Feist's Magician published by Voyager for the book's 20th anniversary. Signed by the man himself too :) At the time I couldn't pass it up, it was the only book I ever ordered directly from the publisher's website lol

  6. Although I don't HAVE to get special editions for certain authors, I would lie if I said I didn't have any at all. Those I do have have not been removed from the jackets let alone read!

  7. I don't collect special editions or first editions. This is mostly a money issue. And if I started, I'm the kind of person that will get totally obsessed with it.

    As for changing covers midway through a series... This should be considered a crime and be punishable under the Geneva-convention. The only excuse is if the artist dies before a series is finished.

    I will prefer some covers to others, even in paperback, and try to get them. Living in Norway I have access to both US and UK editions, so for older books I sometime buy the editions where I like the covers better.

  8. I used to. Anne Rice first editions used to be my little passion. But then they started taking to much space and I caught myself shrieking when the kids played near them... no I didn't read them either. Enough was enough and to that great auction site in the sky they went. No book is worth me shrieking at the kids and I firmly believe books are meant to be READ.

    I'm still a collector of books but mainly paperbacks. I do try and get some in hardback if I find out they've been illustrated like James Herberts Once. I want my girls growing up to have my love of books and I think I was turning them against them at one point.

    However saying that, every single Christmas I buy my Dad a Bernard Cornwell signed First Edition. And if a new Wilbur Smith comes out he gets that signed and in First Ed for his birthday. He DOES read them but he also loves them and cherishes them... it's about the only things he makes sure is out of reach of his doggies ;)

  9. I'm not particularly interested in what edition a book is. I collect books for the stories. I am also a completist. If I like an author I want everything they have written. I don't care about editions but I want all the stories.

  10. I collect multiple editions of books I genuinely love - I have a number of copies of Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast trilogy. I also occasionally buy books if they're particularly nice editions, even of things I don't really care for.

    The only time I can remember being really annoyed about a series cover change was when the fourth of Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson books came out. It wasn't a series I was deeply invested in (though I do like them) but they looked so pretty on my shelf.

  11. I've never cared much about the editions of books. They're so pretty, though, that sometimes I do like to have nice copies of a few favorites. My Peter Pan is a very attractive book. The most important thing to me about collecting books is just that the books in a series all match. I'm waiting to buy my copy of The Two Towers until I can get one that matches the others.

  12. I try to get series with the same dust jacket or size, be it trade paper back or mass market.
    I have waited to find the perfect edition of books, mostly ones that I have already read but want to add to my collection. I have all of Manda Scott's books, though in various editions. I have almost everything that Freda Warrington has written, and actually had the author over for tea when she was travelling through my town, so those are extra special.
    Kelly Armstrong is an author that I have been to multiple signings and have most of her books, though financially the books being in hardcover makes me wait for the paperbacks. That way they match my collection too!

  13. I don't actively collect 1st editions, and frankly am not sure which of my books may fall into that category.

    I do however, absolutely loathe format cover changes in the middle of a series. (Cough*ThePsalmsofIsaak*Cough) If a series starts off in paperback but then goes to HC due to sales, I've been known to wait until the PBs come out so the spins will line up. It's not like I am lacking for reading material anyway.

    The worst of all is the new trend of 9.99 paperbacks that are an inch taller and a little wider than the others but aren't TPB sized make me want to kill someone.

    I'm neurotic, I know.

  14. I do collect books. I am not real neurotic about what edition, but like most I want the covers to match up. My Latest obsessions are collecting all of ERB's mars and Venus series with all the same artist doing the cover (very hard to do since out of print) and Kevin J Anderson's Terra Incognita Series which I order directly from him at wordfire.com and he signs them for you.

    Other than that I just want to have everything in a series that I can in Hard Cover. I'm a SciFi reader more than a fantasy reader so I have the entire Asimov Foundation series including the robot novels and the expansions that Tiedemann has done. In cases like that, and with the Dune novels, I simply try and get all the same size of hard covers. I do this simply because I like to see the full expansion of the the universe the author has created. It amazes me sometimes. I do this with Honor Harrington as well, but she is all in paperback (don't ask me why).

    I guess I am just a book collector at heart. I do have some ARCs and others that I will never let go of either, but I do read everything. Only one book I have two of and that is Left Hand of Darkness and that is because I found it in a beautiful HC in a used book store, and any book I truly love I want in HC if money and wifey allows.

  15. I have the SubPress numbered edition of GotM and if they ever release the rest of the Malazan series in this format I will probably buy them too! I (will) also have the Ltd Edn of the Night's Dawn Trilogy and the First Law Trilogy by the same publisher. Basically I guess if I love the series and know there is a great ltd edition out there I will get it.. SubPress create beautiful books if you guys haven't seen any up close and personal.