Saturday, March 8, 2008

That's A Lot of Dick

Reader Bruce Berls writes:

"It’s not completely obvious why I have 22’ of PKD books, plus a shelf of commentary and biographies, and another shelf with PKD Society newsletters and a handful of 50s magazines, and assorted DVDs and tapes and an opera. But I thought you might want to add a couple of photos to the gallery of PKD collections.

Back in the early 80s, when I had read almost all of PKD’s SF novels, I stood in a store with a copy of Levack’s bibliography in my hand, staring into space, knowing that if I bought it I would be unable to resist buying more editions of books I had already read. I bought it. And sure enough, I started keeping my eyes open in used bookstores and placing orders for new editions when I could afford them. I never sought out super-expensive first editions, just added things when I found them. I’ve never stopped.

So not a scholar, not obsessed, just a fan with packrat tendencies. It’s a pleasure to read your site, to see the work done by the trust, to see the labor of love on the PKD Bookshelf page, and to see PKD’s work become ever more widely recognized. It’s helping make my bookshelf seem a bit less eccentric to family and friends. Well, that’s not true – they’re still fairly appalled, but not quite as much as if PKD’s memory had grown dim."What can I say Bruce, you've left all of us feeling completely inadequate. 22'!

Beautiful collection, and looking at, I can't help but notice how well these words from Lethem's recent story "The King of Sentences" describe PKD's publishing history:

"We owned his titles in immaculate firsts and tattered reading copies and odd variant editions. It thrilled us to see the pedestrian jacket copy and salacious cover art on his early mass-market paperbacks: to think that he’d once been considered fodder for dime-store carrousels! The newest editions of the titles he’d allowed to be reprinted (four early novels had been suppressed from republication) were splendidly austere, their jackets, from the small presses that published him now, bearing text only, no graven images. The progress of his editions on our shelf was like a cartoon of evolution, a slug crawling from the surf to become a mammal, a monkey, and then at last a hairless noble fellow gazing into the future."

6 comments:

MDK said...

hat tip to Bruce

theruggedman said...

Thats amazing but why would you need different versions of the same book. Isn't it the same text with just a different cover.
I still feel painfully inadequate though...

palmer_eldritch said...

Well, you might lose one or lend one to someone and they lose it...

Jerry J. Davis said...

Alas, I had just about every PKD book, but right before my divorce I had to eBay them all.

I was shocked by how much money it netted me, though. SHOCKED. I had some first editions and one signed.

jenny said...

Remembered the first time I played the game and bought fiesta Gold .it is very exciting. Since the first day I bought fiesta money . And I will not leave my fiesta online gold . My friends forever, even though I will leave you one day, I will remember you forever. I must use money to buy fiesta Gold . But I was not regret to buy fiesta online money .

Lord RC said...

Yeah, way to go, Bruce!