April Catalogue Review Book Collecting: Seeking a Southern Exposure
By Bruce McKinney
This month I have the opportunity to review four recent catalogues issued by Flo Silver Books of Indianapolis, Indiana. Ms. Silver’s strength is material relating to Central and South America and reflects an approach that focuses on content rather than on edition. The material is mostly but not exclusively in English. The catalogues I am reviewing are numbers 62, 63, 64 and 65 and these include, on the average, 575 items per presentation.
The pricing is extremely fair, roughly $50 per listing. Collected material in a tight focus generally is going to cost more and sometimes much more. Think of it this way: someone spends years to develop expertise in a field. Over time they handle virtually every title. They develop sources, build a database of information, issue catalogues and generally commit themselves to fully understand their field as it evolves. Both from their own experiences and from feedback from hundreds of customers they develop a sense of the relative importance and availability of most of the material in the field. In time such dealers become the market makers in their areas of expertise. For Central and South America, Flo Silver is one of the market makers. For collectors with interests that overlap Flo Silver’s expertise, developing your collection with the expert help she offers is going to save you both time and money in the long term. Such is the important role that many dealers play within the world of books.
In looking through these catalogues you immediately sense scholarly underpinnings. These are books for those who are looking for information, for knowledge, for perspective. This is less about collecting for collecting sake and more about obtaining specific titles to satisfy an interest to know or clarify. This is not to say that collectible books are not a part of it because they are. But they are a minority of what is offered. As evidence, both Sabin and Howes as record sources are found in the descriptions.
If you would like to receive regularly issued catalogues send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You’ll find the catalogues interesting.