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This topic contains 30 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by Avatar of DebF DebF 3 years, 4 months ago.

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  • #158926
    Avatar of jsights
    jsights
    Member

    I’ve spent the past year decluttering my books and think I’ve done a pretty good job it, for the most part. What is giving me the most trouble is my collection of Laurell K. Hamilton books. She’s my favorite author, and almost every one of them is signed, to me. I started reading them in the paperback version, then bought the hardback version as well. So, I have 3.5 shelves filled with her books. I’m (mostly) ready to part with them, but the fact that they’re signed to me is making it hard. I’m trying to get over the sentimental feelings there. I’m going to scan the autographed page so I have a digital copy of it. But what do I do with them? Most people who might want them aren’t named “Jenni.” Do I still try to sell them to a used book store? Donate them to Goodwill? Craigslist/eBay? If it was just the autograph I wouldn’t have a hard time at all parting with them. Any suggestions are appreciated!

    p.s., I do think I’m going to box them up, and keep them in a closet for a few months, just to make sure I’m really ok with not having them on my shelf anymore. I’m also going to keep some book club version anthologies, so I still have a copy to reread, but they’ll take up MUCH less space. 3 thick books instead of…too many to count off the top of my head.

  • #174572
    Avatar of Jacquie
    Jacquie
    Member

    What to do with Signed, Personalized Books

    Personally, if I am buying a second hand book, I am buying it to read, so any autographs or dedications would get no more than a “oh, look at that” as I flick past it to get to the words I bought it for. I wouldn’t expect to pay any more or less for it than an unsigned copy.

    There have been discussions in the past about objects with inscriptions – awards and the like – and with those items that would be on display, with the odd inscription on show, there may be a problem, but inside a book the new owner can show it as much or as little interest as is their personal inclination; it won’t affect the reading.

  • #174576
    Avatar of chacha1
    chacha1
    Member

    What to do with Signed, Personalized Books

    That’s a tough one. I have a lot of signed first editions, but almost no “inscribed” (personalized) signatures. In the collectible-book business, a plain signature is “worth” more than an inscription. However, the value of either depends entirely on how accessible the author is.

    If he/she makes a lot of appearances, there are more signatures on the market, so each signature is “worth” less. If he/she executes signatures for only a select group of retailers, a signature may be “worth” more. The more popular an author is – the more of his/her backlist is in print – the less any individual book is worth, but the more value a rare signature may add. And if a once-popular author falls out of favor, the value of the entire list plummets.

    Anyway. That is all blather that doesn’t really answer the question, sorry! Regarding what to do with multiple copies: Hardcover originals, particularly first editions, that have an inscription may be worth something to a used-book dealer, though they would prefer a plain signature. Paperbacks do not get much added value from any kind of signature unless the book was never available in a hardcover edition.

    If it were my books, I would keep the paperbacks, give the book-club omnibus editions to Goodwill, and try to sell or trade the hardcover originals.

  • #174577
    Avatar of ojorojo
    ojorojo
    Member

    What to do with Signed, Personalized Books

    Hamilton is massively popular so have you ever joined any discussion groups or Yahoo groups or fansite? You could offer them there for sale or swap/give away?
    A new reader might want an autographed copy just for the heck of it, I accidentally got a E.L. Konigsberg inscribed copy of “From the mixed up files” from paperbackswap and chose to keep it as I loved the book and had no copy of it.

  • #174581
    Avatar of bandicoot
    bandicoot
    Member

    What to do with Signed, Personalized Books

    even with an inscription to someone else, a hardcore fan would be delighted with an autographed copy of a book.
    i say put the lot up on ebay….when you are ready… and see how you go.
    someone else will be thrilled to bits have them.

    i recently read an interesting article about jk rowling’s autograph in her books and how it does insane things to the value of those books.
    she is sparing with her signatures nowadays, which helps push those prices up.
    and she got quite annoyed with someone who auctioned off a book she had inscribed to them personally.
    the writer of the piece speculated on the ten hand written and hand illustrated books that rowling recently made and gave as gifts to nine of her friends.
    the tenth one sold for bazillions of dollars.
    are any of the nine giftees considering a sale? knowing that it will upset rowling?
    hmmmm, control issues, clutter gifts (those books would have to be insured and kept quite separately), all sorts of dark and interesting ideas there!

  • #174635
    Avatar of trillie
    trillie
    Member

    What to do with Signed, Personalized Books

    I agree that someone buying these books would probably think “oh neat” when finding the signature, or they are fans and buy the books specifically because of the signature. You could simply find out if the latter would give you significantly more money for them… when you are ready :o)

    There is a topic here called How do you deal with personalized items you no longer want? with some interesting different opinions on this; some think that personalized items are unique, some think that they are garbage, and some think that they inflict even more emotional attachment/guilt on the owner than other items do already. It’s so weird that our memories make a simple item so much more worth than others, and I think it’s absolutely scandalous that other people can’t see that worth at all, the philistines! ;o)

  • #174644
    Avatar of pkilmain
    pkilmain
    Member

    What to do with Signed, Personalized Books

    When I was working at the public library, we got lots of books donated, and many had author signatures. The volunteers sorting the books between their annual “any book for $1.00″ sale and the ongoing sale of higher quality/better condition books, just added those to the latter. People loved to get those with the signatures, even if they included someone else’s name.

  • #174648

    What to do with Signed, Personalized Books

    May I suggest getting rid of the paperback books and keeping the autographed, personalized hardcovers? You mentioned that she IS your favorite author, not WAS your favorite author, so I am under the impression that you still love her books and that they still have value to you in the present day.

    I’m not sure if the main reason you want to get rid of them is because they take up a lot of room, but I ask myself this question before I get rid of things now: Am I getting rid of something that I truly love just to gain some extra space? If the answer to that question is “Yes” then I keep the item. I am very minimalist now but there are certain things that just make me smile when I see them sitting on my shelf. Those are worth keeping!

  • #174660
    Avatar of jsights
    jsights
    Member

    What to do with Signed, Personalized Books

    ojorojo, I didn’t think about posting on LKH forums, thanks for the idea!

    themusiclivez, I will read these books again, why I said I’d keep the omnibus versions (that will take up the least amount of space.) One thing to consider is that, were these not personalized, I wouldn’t have any trouble parting with them. I know it’s the motional attachment to those few handwritten words on one page that is making me hesitate. I’ll either have the omnibus edition, or for newer books, I won’t be buying the physical copy anyway. I almost strictly buy books on my kindle these days. also, as much as I love the books, they wouldn’t pass the “moving to another country” test or “would I replace these after a fire” test. If I did replace them, it would be a digital copy.

    I’m also not really concerned about making money off them because they’re signed. I’d just as readily sell themfor $1 each, or give them away.

    I’m just really trying to get over the personalization part of the equation.

  • #174661
    Avatar of ojorojo
    ojorojo
    Member

    What to do with Signed, Personalized Books

    Anime and manga fans do this all the time, in the forums they’ll put a message like please check my ebay auctions for x,y and z or “I’m selling my collection here” and put a link. That way it’s not too intrusive.

    I used to love Hamilton but I’ve jumped to Charlaine Harris’ camp :)

  • #174664
    Avatar of chacha1
    chacha1
    Member

    What to do with Signed, Personalized Books

    ojorojo, I used to have them all too, then discovered Carrie Vaughn (“Kitty and the Midnight Hour”) and it was all over for LKH. How fickle I am!

  • #174668
    Avatar of jbeany
    jbeany
    Member

    What to do with Signed, Personalized Books

    I had a signed hard copy of a Red Hat Club something or other novel that I picked up for 50 cents at a yard sale because it looked amusing. I didn’t realize it was personalized until I sat down to read it. When I did a flea market later that year, I put a “signed by the author” tag on it and sold it for $10. If the buyer is a huge fan, it’s the signature that they really care about, no matter who it’s addressed to. I just got lucky enough to find one.

    And honestly, it’s not Hamilton or Vaughn, although I like them both. It’s Butcher’s Dresden Files all the way!

  • #174670
    Avatar of Nithy
    Nithy
    Member

    What to do with Signed, Personalized Books

    jbeany, you are my new best friend.

  • #174689
    Avatar of ojorojo
    ojorojo
    Member

    What to do with Signed, Personalized Books

    “And honestly, it’s not Hamilton or Vaughn, although I like them both. It’s Butcher’s Dresden Files all the way! “

    I think Harry doesn’t get enough love.

  • #174690
    Avatar of Gypsie
    Gypsie
    Member

    What to do with Signed, Personalized Books

    @jsights, ojorojo, jbeany, and Nithy,

    I have found my people! I love all of those authors! I started with Hamilton until the books were more about sex than anything else. Then I found Harris and Vaughn about the same time. Oh and Harry Potter will always have a special place in my heart!

  • #174693
    Avatar of Claycat
    Claycat
    Member

    What to do with Signed, Personalized Books

    I need to check out some of these authors you are talking about. Lately I have been really enjoying Alexander McCall Smith’s books.

    I recently donated a book that had an author’s signature. It was hard, but it wasn’t a book I wanted to keep, so out it went. I will definitely keep my Bless Me, Ultima signed by Anaya! And I will read it again!

    I also have a set of books signed by Tom Lea that I will pass down through the family.

  • #174705
    Avatar of pkilmain
    pkilmain
    Member

    What to do with Signed, Personalized Books

    @ Claycat – another Alexander McCall Smith lover here. I actually “met” him at a signing here about 3 years ago. Why he was here in our little 6,000 pop town in central Alaska, I have no idea, but it was great to actually see him. I was disappointed that he didn’t give any sort of talk though. :(

  • #174708
    Avatar of jsights
    jsights
    Member

    What to do with Signed, Personalized Books

    @Gypsie: “I have found my people! I love all of those authors! I started with Hamilton until the books were more about sex than anything else. Then I found Harris and Vaughn about the same time. Oh and Harry Potter will always have a special place in my heart!”

    I agree about the sex. I’m still hanging on though, because she is a huge inspiration to me (I write as well and dream of being published. Rich and famous would just be a bonus.) I haven’t enjoyed recent books in the series nearly as much as the first several (maybe why I’m ok with parting with them.)

    so to take this almost totally off topic, I also adore Jim Butcher, along with Simon R. Greene, Jeanne C. Stein, Patricia Briggs, and Kat Richardson, to name a few.

  • #174709
    Avatar of ojorojo
    ojorojo
    Member

    What to do with Signed, Personalized Books

    kinda embarrased here….

    I meant Harry Dresden not Harry Potter and I did run into Jim Butcher at a convention in NY and neglected to ask the question plaguing me: is there ever going to be more of the Dresden tv show? D’oh!

    For all the fantasy readers here I’d like to toss a new name for you: Jes Battis.
    Does paranormal CSI stuff and I read them in one sitting so I have to say I liked them.

  • #174713
    Avatar of jbeany
    jbeany
    Member

    What to do with Signed, Personalized Books

    okay, ojorojo, I’ll bite. I just ordered Battis’ “Night Child” from paperbackswap.com

  • #174717
    Avatar of lucy1965
    lucy1965
    Member

    What to do with Signed, Personalized Books

    Oh, man. Remember when Anita had a job?

  • #174726
    Avatar of Claycat
    Claycat
    Member

    What to do with Signed, Personalized Books

    Oh, ojorojo! Definitely a fantasy reader here! I will have to check that out! :)

  • #174747
    Avatar of jsights
    jsights
    Member

    What to do with Signed, Personalized Books

    Anita? Job? LOL Those were the days. Zombie raising and mysteries. I even found the vamp and furry politics interesting, until they became more about sex than negotiations. Bullet had just the tiniest bit of “job” in the plot, but even that was done via phone and was highly disappointing. *sigh*

    And ojorojo, I got that you meant Harry Dresden. Then someone mentioned Harry Potter, and I got confused. LOL I need to read more of those books (Dresden), I’ve only read the first one so far but loved it!

  • #174751
    Avatar of Gypsie
    Gypsie
    Member

    What to do with Signed, Personalized Books

    I was the one who didnt associate Harry with Dresden but with Potter.

  • #174765
    Avatar of ojorojo
    ojorojo
    Member

    What to do with Signed, Personalized Books

    Harry is a classic name for a wizard and I like both series but for different reasons and Dresden is a plucky orphan too

    I hope jbeany is not disappointed but at least she’s using paperbackswap!

  • #174827
    Avatar of ojorojo
    ojorojo
    Member

    What to do with Signed, Personalized Books

    oops jsight not jbeany

  • #174834
    Avatar of Patch
    Patch
    Member

    What to do with Signed, Personalized Books

    @ jsights: I USED to own a hard cover copy of a non-fiction book written by my favorite professor from graduate school.

    What I did was actually rip out the title page where (at my request) he had personally autographed it including a sweet note, and I put that single page in my photo album/scrapbook, jagged ripped-out edge and all.

    Then I just stuck the rest of the book in with the rest of my donated books. I don’t really miss the book content that much, as most of it was technologically outdated.

    But his personalized, hand-written comments to me personally were the most valuable part of the book, and I still have it with me to this day, preserved on acid-free pages. And isn’t that what de-cluttering is about anyway? Keeping what’s meaningful and valuable, and letting go of what’s not? ;)

  • #174836
    Avatar of SuzyK
    SuzyK
    Member

    What to do with Signed, Personalized Books

    I belong to both Paperbackswap & BookMooch and I use them to “find new homes” for my no-longer wanted books & “give a new home” to books from others.

    On BookMooch, you can list the condition of your books. Paperbackswap has a minimum condition for posted books.

    I find both good resources to help books leave my home.

    I also use LibraryThing.com to keep a record of my books, both current & past. This way I do not buy duplicates or buy a copy of a book I found dreadful & discarded. I can also write a review or a personal comment about a book to remind myself of why I keep it or why I got rid of it… also how I got rid of it (PBS/BM or gifted to someone)

    The LKH forums sound like a good idea to find a home for the book… but be careful. I’ve heard that some members there have a short temper.

    Good Luck with whatever way you find to unclutter your book collection.

  • #175005
    Avatar of Malleybean
    Malleybean
    Member

    What to do with Signed, Personalized Books

    Since you’re not worried about making money for the books, I’d tear out the inscriptions and put them into a scrapbook or photo album; that way you get to keep them but don’t have all the books taking up space. I’ve scanned or photographed a lot of memorabilia and find that I don’t miss the original item.

    Glad you asked this question, made me think about my own collection :) Some of mine are signed with just the author’s name, but I do have several books inscribed to me personally, too.

  • #175068
    Avatar of misskittin
    misskittin
    Member

    What to do with Signed, Personalized Books

    I think you should keep the signed books and get rid of the other ones. They are signed to you, it’s your favorite author, they aren’t clutter.

  • #175117
    Avatar of DebF
    DebF
    Member

    What to do with Signed, Personalized Books

    Just wanted to jump in and agree with Patch – there’s nothing to stop you ripping (preferably carefully) out the title page, so that you retain what’s important to you in these books, and get rid of the rest (personally, if you love them, and re-read them, I’d keep them – they’re not clutter).

    Can I throw another Fantasy Author into the mix? Kelley Armstrong. I recently discovered her stuff, and am now a devotee. She writes wonderful female characters, and tends to switch narrators with each book. There are now about eight characters whom I’m fascinated by, and can’t wait for the next book to discover ‘what next?’
    If you haven’t read her stuff, you can find a copy of ‘Bitten’ (narrated by a werewolf named Elena) at a library near you! She’s also written a couple of books featuring a female assassin (hit-woman) named Nadia, and some YA stuff too (start with ‘The Summoning’). Enjoy!

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