Anyway, it seems that in this age of e-readers and impending library closures, the world of real books is suddenly looking altogether more attractive. Super-sized limited edition tomes – popularly known as ‘luxury lit’, and marketed as highly collectable – are popping up all over the place. But are these worth their weight in paper (or wine), or are they simply books for bankers with money to burn?
As far as liquid assets are concerned, I’ve a feeling The Dabbler’s 1p books may be a far better investment, as you’re much more likely to find a buyer at 2p than £640,001. What’s more you can pick up bargains with far more style than Taschen’s GOAT (short for ‘greatest of all time’ – an 800 page book on Muhammad Ali, complete with sculpture by Jeff Koons).
I’m sure even Benedikt Taschen (a former comic-book-store owner from Cologne in Germany) would approve of the delightfully charming illustrations in the 1980s book by Ronald Searle that I recently picked up for a fiver (I was robbed!) from a long forgotten shelf at the back of a rather quaint old antique shop in Oxford.
Searle’s drawings of curious wine ceremonies from around the world will give me far more pleasure than any publishing publicity stunt, however many sommeliers and vineyards are involved. Plus, I’ve a feeling this book is rather like a fine vintage – if I do eventually decide to sell, I think I stand to make a bob or two…