On one day last week, I received two shipments of used Peanuts books, eBay lots, with seven books total between them. Four of these were duplicates of books that I already have, but that’s the way things go when you buy an eBay lot.
But getting these books as a group let me notice some things. I don’t think that I’ve ever previously noticed… such as the fact that Good Grief, the first serious biography of Schulz (1989), and Charlie Brown, Snoopy and Me, Schulz’s co-written kid-friendly autobiography (1980), use the same shot of Schulz on their cover. It’s not that surprising, repeated use of the same photo is common, and this is a fairly friendly one.
But that’s not the only cover that exists for Charlie Brown, Snoopy and Me, which I don’t think I knew until I saw this listing. There’s this other one:
I thought it might have been a reissue, but I should’ve realized what it really was: the British version, released the year after the US original.
There were a couple of books that I didn’t need at all, sheer duplicates of things I already have…
I have these titles, of course, but these are the Easton Press editions. These are the fancy-dancy things meant to be collectibles… which is why I avoided buying them new. When you start collecting things that are manufactured to be collectible, you’re basically handing over your credit card. And these were in the $80 to $100 per copy, if memory serves. For that, you’re not just getting a hardcover. You’re getting a leather cover, gold stamping, gilt edges, textured end papers, and a satin ribbon page marker. Fancy indeed… but of those things, only the page marker makes the reading experience at all better. The rest of them just announce fanciness. You can put them on a shelf with all of your other Easton Press editions, and announce to the world that you want your books to look consistent.
Ach, I’m cynical. But yeah, I could never bring myself to pay the price Easton charges for such things, even if they do let you pay in installments. But hey, I am willing to fill out my collection with other peoples’ used copies. I spent about $30 buying these two lots, and at that price, I think that I got my moneys’ worth.
And I guess I’m just not an Easton Press guy at heart. The real dyed-in-the-wool Easton Press customer would seem to be someone who wants to have a set of bookshelves that announces to the world “look! I have a set of books that are uniform in nature, each a precious object that you should feel concerned about touching!” And while I certainly like a few precious items, I’d much rather that my bookshelves announce to the world “Look at how varied my book are! And they have been read and are there to be read!” To me, the chaos is part of the joy.