Sunday, September 25, 2011

Everything must go!

Nothing like a brush with death to change one’s perspective. After having survived a bout with lymphoma, I find that my priorities have shifted somewhat –- especially when it comes to collecting.

I’ve written before about the joys of collecting, and specifically the importance of discriminating collecting as opposed to simply accumulating a lot of one type of object (which can be just one step above hoarding).

Recently I’ve embarked on a project to trim down my own possessions, taking a hard look at the things I collect and refining the groupings even further. It’s actually been refreshing, as I’m playing an active role in trying to get things into the hands of others who would enjoy and appreciate them (as opposed to just having a massive yard sale after I'm gone).

I’ve taken a hard look at my collection of science fiction magazines, and decided to just concentrate on one publication – Analog. So my run of Galaxy, Amazing, Isaac Asimov’s, Omni, and a few and sundry issues of other magazines ranging from the 1950’s through the early 1980’s are leaving my attic.

And I’ve received an education in the new collecting economy. I never thought that any of these magazines are particularly valuable. In mint condition, I assumed they might be worth $2.00 - $5.00. A quick check on eBay confirmed I was in the ballpark. But when it came to selling….

Well, OK, I did do just the minimal listing (paying 60 cents to list something I was selling for 99 cents didn’t make a lot of sense – or cents, either). And there were no takers. They came, they were posted, the listings expired.

I’m still reluctant to just drop them all off at the Friends of the Library, though, so I’ll try an experiment. I’ll list them on eBay, relist them once, and them list them on Amazon. And if there are other sites folks can recommend that bibliophiles frequent, let me know and I’ll put them there, too. And I'll share my experience, which might help others hoping to get their stuff into the hands of folks who might appreciate it.

The first issue of Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine; the original serialization of “Lucifer’s Hammer” by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle; mint condition covers by Wendi Pini and Steve Fabian. Seldom anthologized tales by Fred Saberhagen, Poul Anderson, John Varley, and more – surely these are worth something to someone. These magazines gave me hours of reading pleasure. I hope they can do the same for others.

We'll see!

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