The contest is over, the judge has made is arbitrary and final ruling, so it’s time for the announcement:
The contest, as you may recall, was to come up with the best response to this question:
“You bought Complete Peanuts Volume 5: 1959-1960 when it came out in the spring, because you didnâ€™t want to wait. Youâ€™re going to buy the boxed set of Volumes 5 and 6 in the fall because you want the box. So what do you do with the extra copy of Volume 5?”
Some of you had some very practical answers, mainly donating the spare book to a local library (including Jim, who already donated about 100 books of his collection when he realized The Complete Peanuts was a far better way to have the strips – although it skips the peculiar joy of collecting.)
Some of you tried to amuse with your answers, such as Jonathan, who would use his copy of Volume 5 in his display of Peanuts figurines, to stand in for the character named “5” for whom he has no figurines. (And if anyone has figures of Faron or Roy, Jonathan wants them!) Mark wants to color in the Sundays on the extra volume. Michael wants to translate the spare Volume 5 into Italian, to try to build a set with the Italian volumes 1-3 he was hoping to win (sorry Michael!) And Dave? Well, I’ll put his here in teeny, tiny print:
I plan to do something special with my extra Volume 5. I’ve learned what NOT to do from the last two boxed sets.
When the Volumes 1&2 boxed set came out, I was in a bit of a state. My copy of Volume 1 was already becoming noticeably worn, in spite of my best efforts to keep it pristine. I decided to keep the boxed set on the shelf untouched and use my other copy of Volume 1 as the “reading” copy. Unfortunately I also wanted to handle Volume 2 as well as the box, so I got another set. Now with an extra Volume 1 again, I decided to decorate my room with the strips from pages of that book. Not surprisingly I also had to buy a single Volume 2 in order to display those strips as well. Sadly, each page also had strips on the back, so I bought one more of each.
By the time the Volumes 3&4 boxed set shipped, I already had a reading copy of Volume 3 and two more copies for decorating the room with strips. This time I only had to buy two boxed sets, one for reading and one for the shelf, plus two more copies of Volume 4 to put up on the walls, but I got a good deal for buying four boxed sets instead. That left me with three extra Volume 3’s and two extra boxes. So I filled the boxes up with two more Volume 4’s and gave them to friends as birthday gifts, along with some new boxed 1’s and 2’s to round out the sets. The last Volume 3 I left on the subway, and in retrospect I think that was a blessing.
I considered dismantling my reading copy of Volume 5 to make counterfeit printings in order to help pay off my credit cards, but it’s important to support struggling publishers like Fantagraphics and independent booksellers like Aaugh.com and Amazon. So two of the other four Volume 5’s went on my walls, and two to my friends who really liked the boxed sets I sent before.
When the new boxed set comes out, I’ll need four of them and two extra Volume 6’s to keep things even, but I’ll still have three extra Volume 5’s left over. Those I plan to send as a peace offering to my wife who’s no longer living in this city. She used to really love Peanuts, and I couldn’t imagine sharing Volume 25 with anyone else in the world.
But one entrant went right for the ol’ heartstrings, and it worked:
I bought Complete Peanuts Volume 5: 1959-1960 when it came out in the spring, because I didnâ€™t want to waitâ€¦ and because I want to save the timeless human comedy and its unique point of view on the era my wife and I grew up inâ€¦ 60s pop. Iâ€™m going to buy the boxed set of Volumes 5 and 6 in the fall because my collection of Americana needs the exquisitely designed box.
And, more importantly, our adopted daughter, who will come home from China later this year, also needs a set to read, if she ever decides she wants to understand the era her parents. Weâ€™re building her American and Chinese libraries side by side.
So the prize goes to David Quinn, both for tugging at my heartstrings with the adoption and for creating the mental image of his new daughter growing up with shelves of books in Chinese and English (including the odd-numbered Complete Peanuts volumes)… plus a set of books in Italian.
Thank you for your good answers, one and all!