I hate teambuilding. Once or twice a year i’m usually forced to spend a day or two with people from work who’s company i don’t enjoy or who i have no intention or will to get to know better. And it usually involves some kind of activity where the purpose is for everyone to make a fool of themselves in some capacity, absolutely dreadful… But then there is a more fun kind of teambuilding!

I’ve had a lot of fun chasing after these books, in a way the whole thing has been more exciting and rewarding than the record covers. But what the hell am i supposed to do once the collection is complete? It’s a funny feeling, you spend all this time and money trying to keep adding things to your collection but with every gain and small step forward it also feels a little bit like you’re loosing something. You lose the thrill and the excitement that comes with tracking down and finally finding that particular rare book, record or whatever… And with only one or two things to look for the rewarding moments are more scarce and further apart. But what are you going to do, it’s all part of the game i guess. Anywhooo… luckily i still have that “impossible” hole to fill, and even though it’s perhaps not a dust jacket per se i baaaaadly want to find the AIGA catalogue of children’s books that Guy Minnebach has posted and mentioned in this post. That will without a doubt keep me busy for a couple of years… so what to do in the meantime and until that finally pops up somewhere? Well, i’ve never been one to resist a bargain and i also do enjoy a game of Concentration, or Memory as it’s called in Sweden. So why not try and put together a pretty unique and also somewhat expensive version of that…

I’m also very curious as to what a complete collection of dust jackets would sell for at auction. I can’t remember now but i think i’ve seen at least two big collections of record covers sell for what in my opinion has been absolutely shocking prices but i’ve never seen anything like that when it comes to the books. The closest thing i’ve found is this listing for a collection of books and magazines with an asking price of $50.000. It’s not really what i’m looking for though since it does not have a couple of the rarest jackets but at the same time it has a lot of magazines, and i know almost nothing about those so it’s difficult to add it all up and weigh it for comparison. It’s also been available for quite some time so it’s obviously not something that has attracted a lot of attention. So who knows, since obsessively checking Amazon & Co. is now very deeply rooted in my system maybe i can manage to keep the steam up for a couple of years and end up with two complete collections and try and sell one and see what happens. I can’t say the spontaneous feeling is that this is very likely to happen, but who knows. Would be pretty cool.

As said i can’t resist a bargain so i’ve at least taken a couple of steps towards this new fantasy goal. First in line was a copy of The Madhouse in Washington Square that i found on Amazon for an incredible 49 cents(!). As i recall it was from that Betterworldbooks place so i couldn’t get any images but for such a price it would be stupid to not take the chance, and once again it turns out i got lucky. Next in line is the book that i thought would be impossible to find and that i spent a huge amount of time on trying to track down just one copy of, and that’s The Strange Case of Lucile Cléry. There’s no exciting story to be told here either, one morning it was just there on Amazon… It was however a couple of months after i wrote my post about it. Not that i thought that post would make thousands of people go crazy and check Amazon +100 times a day but it has gotten a couple of hits here and there and if nothing else i at least thought that those interested enough would have found it on Amazon and added it to their wish list. Maybe i have a messed up and totally exaggerated feeling about the interest for these books… Anyways, i think this cost me about $30-35 or so, a bit more than what i payed for my first copy but still very reasonable considering that my general feeling is that this is without question the rarest of the three “Dolphin” books. Last but not least, though perhaps the least cool, is the UK pocket edition of The Immortal. I’ve seen this on ebay once of twice since i first got it but i’ve always forgot to keep track of the auctions but i doubt it generated a huge crowd. And people didn’t come running this time either and i think i ended up paying $8 or thereabouts. Even though it’s not one of the most desired titles i quite like it…

Besides the fact i just couldn’t resist these bargains the real reason i started picking up spare copies, doubles or whatever was that i figured i might eventually have enough of them to have something that at least packed a little bit of a punch in a hypothetical trade for The Butterfly Tree or The Summer Dancers which at the time were the only books i didn’t have. I also did try to offer two of them as partial payment for what at the time was the only copy of The Summer Dancers that i knew about, and that was to the guy who wrote the old article i posted about last year. He never got back to me though, but luckily things worked out anyways… If one wants to get picky i guess i have one or two books that could use an “upgrade” but i’m not too worried about that but unfortunately none of those are among these three. When it comes to this trio the copies i had were all in pretty good shape, and these new doubles are all in similar or, when it comes to The Strange Case of Lucile Cléry, in somewhat better shape.

There you have it. And who knows… even if i can’t find the time and/or energy to put another collection together maybe i’ll find enough of them just in time for that guy who holds a spare copy of the AIGA catalogue to come around…


4 thoughts on “Teambuilding!

  1. It’s sad to consider how many wonderful book jackets are turning to dust never to be seen again. I can’t walk down a second hand store book ails without picking up two or thing books because of the cover art/design.

    • Indeed it is. I’ve looked at A LOT of jackets during the last couple of years and there are so many great looking designs from the 50’s and 60’s. It’s a shame so little attention or effort is put into jackets being designed today. The covers for every new mystery or whatever all look the same to me today…

  2. Nice philosophical post, Niklas! What to do once a collection is complete is worth thinking about. Luckily, none of my collections are ever likely to be complete. Just this week I heard about a record cover by Klaus Voorman that seems to be so rare that I’m never likely to find. But, like you say about the AIGA catalogue, the fun s in the chase. Maybe you’ll find a copy soon. I wish you luck!

    • Thanks Richard! Ouch, thats must be a nice mix of excitement and frustration. But in a way great to hear you are still able to find some impossible things to go hunt down. Best of luck to you as well!

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