Collecting Tolkien Books

"I wish life was not so short," he thought. "Languages take such a time, and so do all the things one wants to know about."
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lost Road

Collecting Tolkien books is like a never ending story: you'll never finish your quest. There will always be something new you like to have. Whether you are a collector wishing to get your hands on every single book ever written (try Songs for the Philologists, privately printed in 1936, 13 or so copies believed to exist; or the Leeds University Verse Anthology from 1924 containing three poems by Tolkien), or you are simply trying to read everything he wrote, your quest will every time seem endless.

Finding even a well-read copy of The Devil's Coach Horses (a discussion on a point of Anglo-Saxon translation) in the 1925 Review of English Studies Volume 1 Number 3 is going to be very hard due to the fragile nature of the object. And if you find one up for sale be ready to pay a lot of money. You might need to win at bingosites.co.uk to obtain your own copy of The Devil's Coach Horses.

Most people however, whilst admiring Tolkien's academic achievements, are primarily interested in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. And since the last couple of years, Peter Jackson's movies have added an enormous amount of 'new' Tolkien collectors who are all eager to get their hands on as much precious Tolkien as possible. This of course changed the prices of collectible Tolkien books.

If you plan to collect the best known First Editions of The Hobbit (Allen & Unwin - 1937), The Fellowship of The Ring (Allen & Unwin, 1954), The Two Towers (Allen & Unwin, 1954), The Return of The King (Allen & Unwin, 1955) in fine or near-fine condition, you are going to need really a lot of money. For The Lord of the Rings, around €10,000-€17,000, and for a nice copy of The Hobbit, somewhere in the €20,000. Signed copies are extremely hard to find and the prices can go from € 2.000 up to € 150.000 depending on the provenance, association and especially the state of the book(s).

Still you do not need to despair since there are so many beautiful collectible Tolkien books out there that are easy to find and some are very cheap. Among my favorites are for example the first editions of Farmer Giles of Ham, Smith of Wootton Major, The Adventures of Tom Bombadil,...

To get you on the road, i made a complete section on collecting Tolkien books. First about what to collect, secondly a list of all the books there are, this can come out handy when going on your quest for books. Thirdly all places to go and buy these books, followed by some collector terms, sources and a list of rare books i saw up for sale. I will only add really rare items. This list will hopefully become a profound source for info on the 'real rare' Tolkien books out there.

Just for fun - You can now play online games (free of course) with piramind.com gaming portal. They have both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings slots game available.

Next follow a variety of articles that discuss different topics related to collecting Tolkien books, Tolkien collector profiles and articles about some of the most amazing Tolkien books out there.

Articles about collecting Tolkien books and other Tolkien related items

Thursday 12 December 2013
Thursday 12 December 2013
The New Testament in the Westminster Version of the Sacred Scriptures, Signed By J.R.R. Tolkien

The New Testament in the Westminster Version of the Sacred Scriptures, published by Sands and Company Ltd in 1947. This copy of the New Testament was previously owned by J.R.R. Tolkien. In the text block are numerous notes and bibliographical amendments by the noted author.  Read article
Buy art by Cor BlokTolkien Calendar 2014 - Jemina Catlin
Sunday 8 December 2013
Sunday 8 December 2013
Update Tolkien Collector Profile - Jacob Lennarthson

Jacob Lennarthson send over an update of his collector profile. He now has approximately 350 objects in his collection, of which 200 are books. Also have a collector profile up already, don't hesitate to send over an update as well. If you also are a Tolkien collector don't hesitate to send over your profile to be featured here!  Read article
Tuesday 3 December 2013
Tuesday 3 December 2013
New Collector Profile added - Barry Stead

I'm very happy to announce the collector profile of Barry Stead, who collects posthumous first editions and deluxe editions related to Middle-earth and associated reference books on Tolkien. He confesses that he didn't actually realise being a collector until a few years ago, when he ended up buying a deluxe edition of The Silmarillion as a treat.  Read article
Tuesday 20 October 2013
Tuesday 20 October 2013
New Collector Profile added - Tim Scholz

I'm very happy to announce the collector profile of Tim Scholz, a 44 year old German who started out as a Lord of the Rings movie statue collector, but fast turned into an all-round Tolkien collector. He plans to turn his huge collection of over 10000 pieces into a small museum. All help to support him is of course welcome!  Read article
Monday 21 October 2013
Monday 21 October 2013
Look at these amazing The Hobbit comics from all over the globe

With a lot of help from several Tolkien friends, especially Henk Brassian better known as The Hobbit Hunter and Kelly De Witt, I was able to add many translations of The Hobbit comic illustrated by David Wenzel. Much more need to be added, but as it stands today you will see it is getting a very nice overview!  Read article
Sunday 13 October 2013
Sunday 13 October 2013
The Hobbit Comics adapted by Chuck Dixon and illustrated by David Wenzel

In 1989 The Hobbit was adapted in a three issue comic book series, published by Eclipse Comics. The story was illustrated by David T. Wenzel. Even as a young boy David Wenzel, knew he wanted to be an artist. When he read The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, he knew he wanted to be an illustrator. The Hobbit has been a big part of his life ever since.  Read article
Tuesday 8 October 2013
Tuesday 8 October 2013
The Lord of the Ring Comics by Luis Bermejo - new covers added

Thanks to Jan-Erik Fries I was able to add the covers of the Lord of the Rings Comics by Louis Bermejo in the Swedish translation. I'm still looking to receive more news on the Bulgarian and Serbian translation and any other existing edition! Don't hesitate to send over any info or images.  Read article
Monday 16 September 2013
Monday 16 September 2013
Update Tolkien Collector Profile - Myla Malinalda (@MylaMalinalda)

Myla Malinalda send over an update of her collector profile. She now has a little over 300 items in her Tolkien and Middle-earth collection, most of which are books. She moved in a second bookcase this year and looking forward to a third one soon. Also have a collector profile up already, don't hesitate to send over an update as well.  Read article
Friday 23 August 2013
Friday 23 August 2013
A generous gift - the tale behind a signed copy of El Hobito

Once in a while you get in touch with people who wish to share the story behind a book they own. This is always very nice, especially when the book in the story is a rare translation of The Hobbit and signed and dedicated by J.R.R. Tolkien and his son Father John F. R. Tolkien.  Read article
Tuesday 20 August 2013
Tuesday 20 August 2013
New Collector Profile added - Jean Claude Mouret (Estellaer)

I'm very happy to announce the collector profile of Estellaer, a 19 year old French musician, and an avid Tolkien collector living in the United States. He mainly focuses on limited editions, first printings and signed books. He tries not to purchase cheaper materials, because he strives to acquire real long-term possessions. We can only support that vision!  Read article
Saturday 10 August 2013
Saturday 10 August 2013
New Collector Profile added - Mikko Marcelo

I'm very happy to announce the collector profile of Mikko Marcelo, A young collector of from the Philippines, who mainly focusses on anything Hobbit related, trying to collect different kinds of covers of the book and The Hobbit in other mediums such as audio books and has impressive presentation displays to show of his excellent Hobbit collection.  Read article
Wednesday 7 August 2013
Wednesday 7 August 2013
New Collector Profile added - Jacob Lennarthson

I'm very happy to announce the collector profile of Jacob Lennarthson, A young collector of from Orebro in Sweden, who mainly focusses on collecting Scandinavian Tolkien translations, with his first priority on Swedish and Norwegian. He will try to collect every one of Tolkien's books translated into Swedish and Norwegian and with a little help from us all he will of course reach his goal!  Read article
Wednesday 10 April 2013
Wednesday 10 April 2013
New Collector Profile added - Marco Maniezzi (@TolkienBooks1)

I'm very happy to announce the collector profile of Marco Maniezzi, a collector of Italian Tolkien books from Milan in Italy. He mainly focusses on collecting books directly related to the Middle-earth history from The Silmarillion and The History of Middle-earth to The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings.  Read article
Tuesday 1 January 2013
Tuesday 1 January 2013
New Collector Profile added - Pierre Dobrzykowski (@Pieeru)

I'm very happy to announce the collector profile of Pierre Dobrzykowski, a collector of German and Japanese Tolkien books from Munich in Germany, who can sit in front of the books and enjoy their beauty, especially the designs drawn by Tolkien himself, which have significant Japanese elements in them.  Read article
Tuesday 27 November 2012
Tuesday 27 November 2012
New Collector Profile added - Myla D'Avanzo (@maaahla)

I'm very happy to announce the collector profile of Myla D'Avanzo, a Tolkien and Middle-earth movie merchandise collector from Connecticut in United States, who primarily collects Tolkien books and while she focused mainly on the movies and merchandise from that, in the last few years started to branch out. She sees herself as a beginning collector but we are very proud to show her collection!  Read article
Monday 28 November 2011
Monday 28 November 2011
Oronzo Cilli Tolkien Collector Profile update

Oronzo Cilli just send me an update of his Tolkien collector profile. He is a Tolkien collector from Puglia in Italy and copy-editor of the Second edition of The Annotated Hobbit, by Douglas A. Anderson. All Tolkien collectors are invited to sent in their own profiles or update the ones already online.  Read article
Sunday 28 August 2011
Sunday 28 August 2011
The Hobbit Hunter profile update

Henk Brassien, the Hobbit Hunter, just send me an update of his profile. He is specialized in collecting The Hobbit. He currently owns all the Dutch imprints (75 out of 75 imprints since 1960) and at least one copy of any language in which The Hobbit ever was published. All Tolkien collectors are invited to sent in their own profiles or update the ones already online.   Read article
Thursday 3 February 2011
Thursday 3 February 2011
Icelandic Lord of the Ring Comic by Luis Bermejo

Yvan Strelzyk from elrondslibrary.fr sent over scans of the Icelandic translation of the Lord of the Rings comics by Luis Bermejo. Hopefully more will be added soon.  Read article
Monday 31 January 2011
Monday 31 January 2011
The most expensive copies of The Hobbit in the World - Association Copies

What copies of The Hobbit are worth over USD 100.000? And what do they look like? Let us try and see in this article which are the most expensive copies of The Hobbit and let us determine why they are so expensive. Take a look at the most fabulous copies of The Hobbit in existence.  Read article
Friday 28 January 2011
Friday 28 January 2011
The Lord of the Ring Comics by Luis Bermejo

The first comics of The Lord of the Rings were published in 1979 in Italy and were drawn by Luis Bermejo. They are based on the Ralph Bakshi movie adaptation of The Lord of the Rings. Translation were made in Spain, Finland, The Netherlands, Germany, Denmark and Sweden and most probably in many more places.  Read article
Thursday 27 January 2011
Thursday 27 January 2011
The amazing art of bookbinding - The Silmarillion

It has been a nice four days, looking at some of the most beautiful copies of The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and the incredible book art by Philip Smith. We have seen bindings by some of the most re-known companies, we have seen craftsmanship and book art. Today we will look at The Silmarillion. It was very difficult to find nice rebindings of The Silmarillion, in fact it seems not a lot have been made.  Read article
Wednesday 26 January 2011
Wednesday 26 January 2011
The amazing art of bookbinding - The Hobbit

Today we will look at some splendid fine bindings of The Hobbit. Some have a very lavish binding, other a perfect classic binding, some can only be catalogued as pieces of book art.  Read article
Tuesday 25 January 2011
Tuesday 25 January 2011
The amazing art of bookbinding - The Lord of the Rings - Part 2

Today we continue our journey and I will show you a lot of Lord of the Rings copies that I like a lot. Some have a very classic binding, of the highest possible quality, others can only be catalogued as pieces of art. The Lord of the Rings is a wonderful book and it seems also a big inspiration for bookbinders, since all the of the best binders all across the globe like to show their take on the amazing art of bookbinding The Lord of the…  Read article
Monday 24 January 2011
Monday 24 January 2011
The amazing art of bookbinding - The Lord of the Rings - Part 1

Over the next days I'll talk about the amazing art of bookbinding, in a series of articles where I will first look at The Lord of the Rings and show some amazing book art. In this first article in the series I am obliged to start with the best art binder in the world, Philip Smith. He is one of today's most unusual and extraordinary bookbinders.  Read article
Saturday 22 January 2011
Saturday 22 January 2011
Something to celebrate: 30 years The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien

This year it is exactly 30 years ago that we saw the publication of The Letters by J.R.R Tolkien. Since then many fans have hoped for a second volume. Here I will write down my opinion on the possibility of such a volume and the value of Tolkien letters in general. We will also have a closer look at Tolkien's use of template letters, much before the computer existed!  Read article
Monday 10 January 2011
Monday 10 January 2011
The Tolkien Collector Magazine no. 31 almost ready

Wayne Hammond and Christina Scull have just posted on their blog, Too Many Books and Never Enough, that the latest issue of The Tolkien Collector, no. 31, is almost ready.In addition to the usual description of recent books by and about J.R.R. Tolkien, Tolkien Collector 31 contains a lengthy comparison by Christina of the editions to date of Tolkien's Father Christmas letters.  Read article
Monday 10 January 2011
Monday 10 January 2011
Collecting Tolkien books

When you combine the love for books and a passion for the works of J.R.R. Tolkien then somehow it always turns into a massive or very specialized Tolkien book collection. Around 2006 I started one section on this website that focuses completely on Tolkien collecting. Still, since then I have seen and learned a lot. So now I have decided to rewrite that section completely and rework it into a more comprehensive section of the website. I'…  Read article
Friday 7 January 2011
Friday 7 January 2011
Avoid Buying Fake Tolkien Signatures on Ebay

Anything with the name Tolkien on it is valuable and people with the wrong intentions like to abuse the name Tolkien to make profit. It is sad and a pity Tolkien friends and fans spend their money on worthless items like these. I hope examples like this somehow help to avoid buying fake items online.  Read article
Sunday 27 February 2005
Sunday 27 February 2005
Collecting Tolkien owned books

J.R.R. Tolkien had the tendency to sign all the books which were in his personal library, which was really huge. Most of Tolkien's personal books were donated and/or sold towards libraries (fe. the English Faculty Library of Oxford) a lot of his manuscripts and handwritten papers went to Museum's. Yet on the market came up for sale a lot of his books, mainly philological works, at various times after Tolkien's death.  Read article
Monday 21 February 2005
Monday 21 February 2005
Collecting Tolkien Advance Reading Copies

In collecting JR.R. Tolkien first editions, the earlier the better is the rule. The first issue of a Tolkien book is always more desirable and more expensive than a later issue. So for fanatic Tolkien collectors the best copy, or state, of any given book would be Tolkien. This article talks about collecting proof copies.   Read article
Buy art by Cor BlokTolkien Calendar 2014 - Jemina Catlin
Wednesday 9 February 2005
Wednesday 9 February 2005
Collecting The Silmarillion

When collecting Tolkien books most people stop when The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings is on the shelves. Yet there is another treasure to explore. For most in the beginning a hard read, but maybe the most valuable literature treasure for others. I'll try to tell more on this book, The Silmarillion, it's origin and all on collecting this marvellous work, ranging from limited to translated editions.   Read article
Buy art by Cor BlokTolkien Calendar 2014 - Jemina Catlin

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