I wonder how “difficult” this blog is . . .

I remember when I was all fired-up about magic-collecting, back in 1965 or so, and I received my first issue of Magicol, upon joining the Magic Collectors Association.  (Note:  I have not been a member for probably about thirty years now.  I am not, at heart, much of a joiner, but in fact, I know a few other magic-collectors who are not all that excited about the MCA or Magicol.)

Anyway, some of that stuff was pure Greek to me.  I think that first issue said something like, “Here is a list of catalogs that may have magic items in them.  Is anyone in a position to check?”

And I was thinking, “What?  Huh?”  (They may have been things like Johnson Smith catalogs or something, which might have listed magic-tricks for sale, but I was thinking, are those museum catalogs, or what?)

I remember in one of Ed Heyl’s bookseller catalogs, at about the same time, I saw the term “ex-library” and had basically no clue as to what it meant.  Maybe he should have said, “former library copy.”

I remember also that he had for sale a “partially unopened” copy of something for sale.  What?  I could not fathom that!  Of course, many collectors probably don’t know that term (“unopened” — basically where you can’t read the book because the leaves have not been cut so as to allow that).

Of course, all that stuff seems like common sense now, but I guess it isn’t.

Part of it all has to do with nomenclature, and part of it just has to do with “collecting realities,” and “collector judgment or wisdom.”  I used to see catalogs from different magic-book dealers, where each might list a copy of the same (old) book.  And one might have it priced at $4 and the other at $2.  And I wondered, “How on earth can that be?”

Of course, all this was in the mid-1960s, and I was new to book-collecting.

I wonder whether anyone thinks this blog is “too hard.”

Overall, I have felt that it is quite elementary.

But, again, some people may think it is “too hard.”  If it is a person’s first exposure to book-collecting, I think that is possible!

—Tom Sawyer

January 22, 2013

About 369 words.

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