Seeking advice about how to collect
Join LibraryThing to post.
I'm Siddhant, a fairly new collector from India. I mostly love to collect deluxe and illustrated editions of fairy tales and myths and legends of the world. I haven't collected much from The Folio Society but am very eager to do so.
I'm interested in acquiring the entire set of Andrew Lang's Fairy Books but I'm confused as to which is the best way to do so. I'm very tempted to buy single volumes wherever I can get them but it's somewhat challenging to do so from India. Plus, I'm wary of doing so because it may lead to a situation where it becomes harder to collect all the volumes due to unavailability of certain volumes or unreasonable prices. Also, the current listings on ebay and abebooks for the complete set are too expensive for me to afford.
I'd really appreciate if members can share their experiences trying to collect this set and what'd be the most economical way of doing so while balancing them against the concerns that I have raised.
There was, not so long ago, a post from Seeking_North, who had the complete set for sale. You can find it here:
Welcome to FSD and a growing collection of Folio Society books.
Some of the Lang's Fairy books are very reasonably priced, while others are exorbitant, depending on the date of publication, the later ones being the most expensive.
Watch Ebay and Abe and Aldis and see the prices for a few months to get a good idea of what to expect. If you can find a complete set at a price less than the combined individual titles, grab it, otherwise collect slowly one by one.
No matter which way you go, they will end up being expensive.
Don't forget some of the other fairy books (eg. Perrault, Hans Christian Andersen) which may be more reasonably priced.
>2 garyjbp: Thanks for the tip
>3 wcarter: Thank you for the warm welcome. I think collecting the set gradually may be the easier way to go about collecting. I already have a collection of Illustrated Fairy Tales released by The Easton Press as well as the 2 volume set released by The Folio Society of The Complete Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen so I wasn't as interested in purchasing the lesser equivalent Folio Society releases.
So as I understand, there are three main lines: Lang's Fairy Tales, Myths and Legends and Fairy tale collections. The ease of completion is in that order, most difficult to easiest. If you want them complete off the bat, you'll pay for it. Collecting one by one is the way to go if you dont have the funds. I'll see if I can scrounge up a checklist for each series.
I checked there first thing! I'm looking for what I thought I saw with the various single or two edition fairy tales like Grimm and Andersons. I agree it's a great place to start!
>7 sambadoll: You'll find that grouping in the same thread under the heading 'Fairy Tale Classics'.
There is also this thread where the folio series are listed: http://www.librarything.com/topic/288021
Thank you everybody for your inputs.
>5 sambadoll: I'm pretty much done collecting the Myths and Legends series (only missing Rome and Icelandic Sagas Vol.2). For Fairy Tale collections I already have a set of 10 Illustrated Fairy Tales from Easton Press and I've recently added The Folio Society Complete Tales of Hans Christian Andersen set. The Folio Society Lang Fairy Books are now going to be my sole pursuit. I am leaning towards buying collections of 5 or more volumes at a time as the best and hopefully quickest way to acquire the set. Can you share your thoughts on the same ?
>6 coynedj: Thank you for the link. This is just what I had been looking for.
>10 Siddhant90: I would expect the first few books to be readily available as a set, although the price could be somewhat higher for the convenience. I think a bigger set (5 or more) would only include the more rare titles (Orange, Grey, Olive, Lilac) when it is a complete, 12-volume set. A 'starter kit' including the first few titles (Red, Blue, Yellow, Green) should be easy to find.
>10 Siddhant90: A quick look at prices for these books sold over the last 90 days on ebay shows the following:
Blue - Low: $40 High: $95 Approximate Average: $85 (books sold for low prices typically suffered from a flat spine)
Green - Low: $55 High: $85 Approximate Average: $70
Yellow - Low: $95 High: $130 Approximate Average: $110
Red - Low: $50 High: $115 Approximate Average: $75
Pink - Low: $40 High: $90 Approximate Average: $65
Brown - Low: $160 High: $200 Approximate Average: $180
Violet - Low: $290 High: $470 Approximate Average: $400
Crimson - Low: $100 High: $330 Approximate Average: $300 ($100 was an outlier - under-priced buy-it-now listing)
Lilac - Low: $410 High: $560 Approximate Average: $500
Olive - Low: $300 High: $410 Approximate Average: $350
Orange - Low: $560 High: $650 Approximate Average: $600
Grey - Low: $490 High: $600 Approximate Average: $550
Total Price for all 12 volumes if bought individually: Low: $2,590 High: $3,735 Average: $3,285
Set of 12 sold together: Low: $1,050 High: $2,475 Average: $1,800 (The $1,050 is an outlier that required local pickup)
Price trend over the last 90 days was stable, variation in price is more driven by book condition and listing quality than when it was listed.
As you can see from the price history, it will currently be much cheaper to wait for a fairly priced set instead of buying individually (and sub-sets of a couple of volumes are not that common to rely on those as a purchase strategy).
In conclusion, if you are set on buying all twelve volumes and want them in the foreseeable future, wait for a reasonably priced set and buy all of them together. The other option is to wait it out and hope for the prices to go down in the next years. Looking at other series and high demand Folio books, prices for the more rare books tend to increase steadily within a year or two after discontinuation, stabilize at really high levels for a couple of months and then fall to much lower than peak levels (but still higher than the more common volumes). Your can look at the Aubrey Maturin series or East of the Sun as examples. Of course there is no guarantee if an when this will happen for the Lang books.
If you want to include the Nursery Rhyme book, you might include this in your next Folio order while it can be picked up at retail price directly from the Folio Society.
12> Wow. That is a stunning amount of work you put in for my sake. I feel so grateful to you. Thank you so much. I'm definitely taking your advice to acquire the entire set rather than collect volumes individually.
>13 Siddhant90: Happy I could help. Tracking used book prices over time and hunting deals is a (slightly unusual) hobby of mine, so I enjoyed this little exercise.
Can you give any suggestions where to look? I regularly check Abe Books and eBay, but I really don’t see most of these books listed for sale at all (except blue, red, pink, green, yellow). Thanks in advance.
>14 teppi2: Glad you enjoyed it at least. Can you let me know if you think it's ok to make a post here offering a trade ? I've been looking to sell my Easton Press DLE's(History of the Crusades, Froissart Chronicles being the nicest) and it might be easier to trade instead. Do Folio Society collectors also collect Easton Press DLE's?
There is a separate forum for Easton press collectors at http://www.librarything.com/groups/eastonpresscollecto
>18 wcarter: Thanks. I'm a member there too. I mostly wanted to inquire if Folio Society collectors tend to also collect Easton Press DLE's. I was going to make a post there but I figure it's worth posting the same here as well.
>17 Siddhant90: If it is acceptable here is hard for me to tell, I am quite new and there are many members more qualified than me to judge that (e.g. wcarter above). Trading overall seems to be OK, but if it is OK to only offer Easton Press books on a Folio Society forum, even if you are looking for FS in return? You will probably get varying opinions.
To be blatantly honest, I doubt you will actually be successful with your trade for the following reasons:
- Although there is of course an overlap between Folio Society and Easton Press collectors, you limit the group of interested parties.
- The books you are looking for are in very high demand, with few people wanting to dispose of them. If they want to dispose, they can easily achieve high prices for them if they sell.
- You are looking to trade from India. As you can see on the Group Website, FS Devotee forum members are mainly from UK and US, and to a lesser extend from rest of Europe and Australia. There appear to be few members from India. Thus, your trade partner would have to sent their books to India and you would have to sent to them. Both parties will face high additional shipping cost and a high risk (if I buy from Abebooks or ebay, I do have some level buyers protection, for a private trade I do not). This is particularly important for such high value books.
I know next to nothing about Easton Press books - maybe the books you are offering are very valuable and hard to get, which makes it worth the risk for some. I wish you the best of luck - however, to be honest I wouldn't bet on making a trade.
I agree with everything you have said.
Selling is not acceptable under LT terms and conditions (but has been done occasionally by well respected LT members).
A blind eye is turned towards trading if it is not overdone, and between well established LT members.
Joining LT just to swap or sell is forbidden and posts are removed.
Acceptance of trading (and selling, to a lesser extent) by group members appears to be directly proportional to the tenure and amiability of the seller. Those who sign up just to sell books in their first post are publicly stoned, immediately, in both the Folio and Easton groups. Friends who have been here for a long time can sell or trade whatever they want, though.
While Siddhant90's tenure is just starting to mature, I think teppi2 is right in that the locality issue is the main thing holding people back. So many things could go wrong when shipping internationally that insurance would be a must, especially for these more expensive types of books, and even that may not be enough to assure buyers.
I'm kind of curious now, what sort of market for fine/finer books exists in India? Obviously, there is some level of demand given that you've bought a bunch of these books. Where/how does the upper-end of the book market manifest itself?
I'd like to address the issue of shipping to and from India. My experience in shipping books to and from India has been completely reliable. I've never lost a shipment coming from the US or UK as well as never lost track of a shipment going the other way. I've also never encountered any trouble with packages arriving damaged as long as they were properly packaged.
The only exception was when my own brother loaded 10 books into a very flimsy box and despite the packaging arriving damaged, I was fortunate that none of the books were damaged. I also tend to insure all my inbound and outgoing packages. And lastly I'll just say that I've managed to procure a decent library ferrying books from the US and UK so there's no reason why it wouldn't be secure for others to trade with me.
I'd only request that you refrain from raising concerns if you have no personal experience with shipping books to and from India. As you have pointed out, it will be hard enough to assure members with the speculative risks of international shipping.
I would have sold on ebay directly but since I only have a registered address in India, therefore there are severe limitations on my account, the chief one being a $500 selling limit. I can't list a majority of my items for sale on ebay with that limit so hence I have instead resorted to trading. For now I'm using ebay to sell off some duplicates in my manga collection while I try to have that limit increased. (https://www.ebay.com/usr/ravindrshrivsta0). I will beg the indulgence of the admins and seasoned members to therefore allow me to use the group to keep up such a post. I'd also like to point out that I am only a collector and was not looking to make any kind of profit off the members. My only concern is with completing my own collection and helping others to do the same in the process.
>23 treereader: The answer to your question is that there is close to no market for fine books in India. The people are largely unaware of the existence of fine books and are hesitant at the prospect of spending that kind of money on buying 'just books'. I've only encountered 2 bookstores in New Delhi, one which sells old manuscripts mostly related to the British Raj in India and another which stocks a lot of Barnes and Noble leather bound books as well as some inexpensive Easton Press releases. My only motivation for buying them was to build a beautiful library for myself. I've recently made the choice to simplify my collection by only including fairy tales, myths, legends, epics and cherished tales which is why I've decided to part with the rest.
In conclusion, I'm only asking for consideration. No one will trade with me if they don't want to or feel unsatisfied with the terms of exchange but I'd just request the chance to be able to try it out at the very least. It's difficult to build a collection in India without the benefit of book stores which hold these kinds of lavish books or other buyers to trade with or even having access to a marketplace to sell books that I'd like to discard. I hope as fellow book lovers, you can lend me the support of using this group.
I don't believe that the reliability of shipping to India was questioned but rather the costs involved. Sending books within the US is extremely cheap in comparison to outside the US which appears to lower much the willingness to send books across the ocean.
Furthermore, it appears that among the Folio Society devotees there are few who consider Easton Press a collectible publishing house, but that's just my impression. It doesn't hurt to try.
Finally, I would like to bring the Limited Editions Club (LEC) to your attention. It has been a now defunct (or at least dormant) major publisher of fine books for several decades. Many of these books are extraordinary examples of book design and craftsmanship (letterpress printed, great illustrators, high quality material for their price); and the best: most of them are obtainable at low costs on the secondary market. They can be demarcated from their cheaper counterparts published by the Heritage Press by the fact that all of them are limited and almost all have been signed by the artist and/or the author. As condition means a lot to many collectors, watch out for fine/collectible books. Patience will in many cases reward you with books at fair prices in collectible condition.
There is a forum for LEC books called George Macy devotees. https://www.librarything.com/groups/georgemacydevotees
Moreover, there is a fine press forum on this board. https://www.librarything.com/groups/finepressforum
And last but not least there a great websites which have been of incredible value to me as a young collector:
https://booksandvines.com (search for ‘index’ on the website for listing all the entries sorted by author, press, etc.)
The good news for you is: Many private and fine presses have wonderful editions of fairy tales, myths, etc.
Enjoy reading! It greatly enhanced my horizon about book collecting and fine presses.
>24 Siddhant90: Using this group is free for anyone, and anyone can join in on the discussions. The last few times a new(ish) member tried to sell or trade books (especially books that are this rare), they were either ignored, flagged or had their posts removed. Seasoned veterans on this forum have, on rare occasion, sold a few books or traded among themselves, as their trustworthiness had already been established.
You're welcome to try, of course, although I wouldn't get my hopes up. You should consider other media for trading or selling your books. If Ebay's conditions prove too restrictive, you can try other selling/auctioning websites (Abebooks or Catawiki to name a few).
I understand that you were offended that the safety of shipping to and from India was somewhat questioned. However, as someone who is not from a country with a big market and therefore shipping is always international, I understand what they meant. International shipping in general regardless of country poses a greater risk than domestic shipping.
For example, in the past, the delivery company Bookdepository used would be in charge of the shipping from UK to the country I live in and then the parcel would switch hands to the local postage company. This change in hands meant that books frequently got stuck somewhere and no one had any idea where to even look from (Bookdepository would tell me to find the local sorting agency and upon asking what the agency is called they never knew what to answer.) Hence parcels from Bookdepository always got lost in transit, or it just ends up in Bookdepository’s hands again. Had it been domestic delivery, there would have been no reason for the parcel to switch hands.
Therefore I make it a point to either always order directly from a company such as Folio Society or Bookdepository and never order from sellers on sites like eBay, or to only purchase it if someone I know was going there (and send the parcel to where they will be staying at). Some may think I’m over-doing it but I think it at least shows my point.
As mentioned by others, the fees are of course also a major concern and a reason for my aforementioned decision too.
Edited a typo.
>27 Lim_See_Min: "International shipping in general regardless of country poses a greater risk than domestic shipping."
This was the primary concern of my prior comment; nothing against buying books from India, or any other country for that matter.
However, I also believe that purchasing something for international delivery from an individual is much different than purchasing from a large company. For example, if Folio ships something to me in the US or Lim_See_Min in their country and something goes awry with the shipment, Folio can effortlessly eat the cost of the loss and ship out a replacement order. Individuals, usually, cannot do the same. That's why I suggested including/using insurance, especially since these books can be really expensive.
This topic is not marked as primarily about any work, author or other topic.