Friday, September 24, 2010

Can't Take Them With You, Part 2

After our discussion about book collections and what happens to them after our time with them is over, I started looking around my shelves in preparation for some serious cataloging that I plan to do over the next few weeks.  And, as usual, the first books to catch my eye were the 15 Dickens novels that take up most of one shelf all on their own.

The books were published around 1880 (the books show no date) by Belford, Clarke and Company of New York and Chicago.  The volumes are bound in red boards rather than in the green boards I find all over the internet when I do a web search on this publisher.  If they have the same value as the set bound in green cloth, they are still amazingly affordable at somewhere between $15 and $25 a book.  Those kind of prices make me wonder why I don't channel more of my book budget into collectibles since the collectibles don't seem to cost any more than new books.  Maybe it's time for me to jump back into that market.

Here are some scans and photos of the Belford, Clarke & Company set:

Front Cover, Great Expectations and Uncommercial Traveller

Great Expectations

Illustration of Scene Described on Page 8
Illustration of Scene Described on Page 196
The 15-Volume Set

And Where They Sit

(The photos and scans can be enlarged by clicking on them.)


  1. what an amazing collection and stored beautifully,,id love to sit and browse through that for months..good collection Sam

  2. Thanks, Mark. I have about 900 books on those 21 shelves and really enjoy "browsing" myself. I'll never run out of things to read, that's for sure, because I don't mind re-reading quality writing.

  3. Those are some beautiful bookshelves. Mine are almost all very cheap wood, pressboard for the most part, that I bought right out of college. If I had yours, I'd fill them with old read and green bindings.

  4. Thanks, C.B. We built this house 11 years ago and I had one wall of book shelves added to the study's floor plan. I wish I had gone for two walls now. I like your idea but I'm afraid it would cost a small fortune.