Sunday, December 7, 2014

Bogie Books | Bogus Bindings

As a tip to new collectors, when able, consider this --- introduce yourself to certain items from a collector's stash before bidding and/or spending the big bucks on true vintage. If you don't have a local collector at hand, then looking around the market may offer other options: an antique store, an annual holiday/antique show, or an online venue. From personal experience, I madly craved celluloids for the amazing details; however, once I held (directly from a collector's shelf) these small objects with their seemingly light, fragile and generally dissatisfying material my yearning was tempered. I'm now content admiring most celluloid collectibles in photographs until the right opportunity.

Vintage cover illustration featuring Jack O'Lantern, Black Cat, Owl, and boy's shadow for a 1920s Halloween product catalog.
Dennison's Bogie Book 11th Ed. (1923)

One collectable series (shown above) that offers an option for pre-collecting observation is the 1910's-1920's Dennison's Bogie Book (holiday idea booklets showcasing the manufacturer's product). While at this writing it's likely you can find scanned versions of these to peruse (sometimes on etsy) - there are others on ebay listing these in a printed softcover (different enough in quality, paper, etc., yet offering the original content). I got a 2nd hand batch of these, and they are enjoyable and informative while seeking deals on originals.

If you like what you've seen firsthand, wouldn't that then be the logical point to start collecting? Once you do start collecting Bogie Books, I would consider the following information below. (Note - I have added one point to my introduction list of reasons to write this blog --- #5 Question everything.)

Bogie Books were originally printed in softcover, yet there do exist library bound versions (as noted in collector guides). While it might seem logical that a hardcover is more valuable (with guides reflecting a hardcover valued at almost 3x the price), the Bogie Book example may not be normal for book collectors. As noted in Book Collecting: Illustrated glossary of terms, edition, & condition: "Lending libraries sometimes re-bind books into a heavier, more durable binding [...] which will stand up the heavy use to which library books are often subjected. [...] Collectors usually avoid library-bindings, since the book has been drastically altered." Therefore, you just may be getting a better deal buying less expensive softcover originals, over potentially mis-valued hardcovers.

Update 1-31-2016:
It was recently proposed that some Bogie Book hardbacks may be trade editions due to the absence of library markings. Trade edition simply means an edition of a book offered for sale to the general public in book stores (wikipedia). Question --- would it follow logically that a book was sold in a book store because of absent markings? This would mean Dennison took a magazine-style catalog and turned it into a prebound book for book store sales. What is the evidence of this? In either case prebound is still an alternation of the original edition. One would continue to wonder if this destroys the value in either instance as stated above. But the great concern - if an original paperback and these prebound versions were undifferentiated by the publisher - who is to prevent anyone from creating fake "prebound" copies?

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