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  • I must also recommend the supremely entertaining introduction, in which Connolly holds forth on just about anything that comes to his mind on the subject of books
  • He warns not to be taken in by every special edition, he points out that most Booker Prize winners fail to become collectible, but I most enjoyed his translation of booksellers' quality descriptions

    • by fredhound
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      Joseph Connolly’s book is fully titled “Modern First Editions: Their Value to Collectors”, which gives a pretty good idea as to the main focus of this particular reference work. The book, which has gone through several editions of its own since its initial publication in 1977, consists largely of tables of guide values for each of a number of desirable authors, but it is Connolly’s commentary text that gives the guide its flavour and makes it worth reading in its own right.

      The general format is, as should always be


      the case with a good reference work, rather straightforward. For each author there is their name in nice large type (a real boon to those, like me, with less than wonderful eyesight!) and their date of birth, followed by Connolly’s introductory text, and then finally the list of price. This uses a code system rather than numbers, ranging from A (up to £5) right up to Z (£12,000). Oddly, despite the book claiming that the key to the values follows the introduction, it is actually tucked away right at the ...

      • back. That confused me for a moment or two, certainly!

        As I said above, the great joy of this book is in Connolly’s commentary, which comes across as nicely informal, even tongue-in-cheek at times, without seeming to try too hard or to lose the essential usefulness of the guide for those who are actually attempting to get a feel for prices. For example, he makes note of the sky-high prices commanded by the early Agatha Christie novels in the following manner: “…scarcely believable - but hey! I’m just the messenger.”

        I must

        also recommend the supremely entertaining introduction, in which Connolly holds forth on just about anything that comes to his mind on the subject of books. He warns not to be taken in by every special edition, he points out that most Booker Prize winners fail to become collectible, but I most enjoyed his translation of booksellers’ quality descriptions: “Fair”, we are informed, actually means “Filthy/atrocious”! All in all, this is a wonderful book, and though the valuations may now be out of date, I still recommend it highly for Connolly’s writing.




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    The review was published as it's written by reviewer in March, 2010. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 1717031027880431/k2311a0317/3.17.10
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