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Reading for (MA) Fun

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    Reading for (MA) Fun

    As a bookdealer for many years, I'm interested in what people read.

    So what are you reading? What do you recommend, and why? Do you like books with martial arts in them? Who writes the best ma fiction? The worst?

    I'll start by recommending Steve Perry's "Matadora" series. Anybody read them? What's your opinion of the martial aspects of the storyline?

    #2
    Advance apologies for such an early derail.

    I decided last year that I wanted to start collecting antique books; last xmas, I got a set of the Raven Edition of Poe, which is awesome, even if not terrifically unique.

    As a dealer of old books, what advice, pointers, and tips can you offer a beginner?
    Being correct on the Internet is orders of magnitude easier than being correct in the Universe. Perhaps we should all concentrate more on the latter...

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      #3
      As I mentioned before, I'm into "Christopher Moore". Although after I'm done with his collection I plan on hitting Neil Gaiman's collection although I didn't like his "American God's."

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        #4
        Originally posted by daddykata View Post
        Advance apologies for such an early derail.

        I decided last year that I wanted to start collecting antique books; last xmas, I got a set of the Raven Edition of Poe, which is awesome, even if not terrifically unique.

        As a dealer of old books, what advice, pointers, and tips can you offer a beginner?
        I'm the owner of a very specialised second-hand book store (rare New Zealand books) that I am currently in the process of data-basing so I can put it online. My (unasked for) advice would depend on whether you are buying for pleasure or investment. If you are looking at buying for investment I would recommend focusing on a narrow area and becoming very knowledgeable in it. Attend auctions to get an idea of values, and look at what is sought-after. If you are focusing on fiction, I would try and pick one period to focus on (such as restoration literature), if you are focusing on non-fiction then narrow it down by subject (i.e. aviation or military).

        If your main aim is buying books for pleasure, not investment, then just buy anything that interests you. Either way, the fun is in hunting around second-hand book fairs, second hand shops and garage sales (yard sales) looking for unrecognised treasures.

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          #5
          Originally posted by Kave View Post
          if you are focusing on non-fiction then narrow it down by subject (i.e. aviation or military).
          I do have a primary wish of building a library of antique nautical-themed books, with a secondary of just having a collection of really neat old books. This is my whim, as a sailor; I have no idea of the corpus of material available, nor how to even go about finding out...
          Being correct on the Internet is orders of magnitude easier than being correct in the Universe. Perhaps we should all concentrate more on the latter...

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            #6
            Originally posted by Omega Supreme View Post
            As I mentioned before, I'm into "Christopher Moore". Although after I'm done with his collection I plan on hitting Neil Gaiman's collection although I didn't like his "American God's."
            I'm just starting "American Gods" and think it's very clever, but I'm finding it slow going. For a real picaresque novel based on mythology, give a try to 'Silverlock" by John Myers Myers (be sure to get the companion to it). It wont' be easy to find; just put in the back of your mind in case you stumble across it some day.

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              #7
              I second everything Kave said. The field is too broad just to say "I like old books," so concentrating on a very specific interest is good. Start online at a source like ABEbooks.com and do a search on keywords like "nautical 18th century" or the like and see what comes up. Sort the replies by high price first as those will normally be the ones from the most rarefied dealers. Read the descriptions they give -- fabulous information on what to look for and why a particular book is special.

              The only point I might disagree with Kave on is collecting for investment. That's always seemed to me to just treating books like government bonds or something. If you collect something you love, and aim for quality, you'll not only have a valuable collection, you'll have something you love.

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                #8
                I'm a fan of old books. I've god a varied collection of old and very old books that I really love. I have Poe's Raven edition (first edition), Dante's Inferno (gustave dore engravings), Across The River And Into The Trees (Hemingway 1st edition), and a set of french encyclopedias (1700s) to name a few. I've recently narrowed my collecting down to marital arts books. I got ahold of a first edition of Jack Dempsey's Championship Fighting, Kill or Get Killed, Get Tough, Cold Steel, Jiu-Jitsu Combat Tricks, and The Complete Kano Jiu-Jitsu.

                I'm currently reading book 3 of the Harvard Classics series.

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by HereBeADragon View Post
                  I've recently narrowed my collecting down to marital arts books.
                  I have a few of those too, but you can't leave them out on public display.

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                    #10
                    Right now, I'm re-reading all the Discworld books by Terry Pratchett which contains of the funniest social and political commentary and satire I've ever read. I'm also reading 'A Brief History Of Time' by Stephen Hawking.

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                      #11
                      Originally posted by HereBeADragon View Post
                      I'm currently reading book 3 of the Harvard Classics series.
                      Are you planning to chew through all 50+? Way to get really well-read (Western canon).

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by FinalLegion View Post
                        Right now, I'm re-reading all the Discworld books by Terry Pratchett which contains of the funniest social and political commentary and satire I've ever read. I'm also reading 'A Brief History Of Time' by Stephen Hawking.
                        Pratchett is the best for humor; too bad about the Alzheimer's, though he's making the best use of himself for now. Great stuff. And Hawking is fascinating.

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                          #13
                          Originally posted by Kave View Post
                          I have a few of those too, but you can't leave them out on public display.
                          Heh. I missed that.

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                            #14
                            I just finished "The Truth of Valor," #4 in the Confederation series by Tanya Huff. Good military sf. And I'm about to re-read the two Jade d'Arcy books by Stephen Goldin. I read a lot of genre (sf, mystery) and very little general fiction.

                            On a note related to collecting martial arts non-fiction, there's a guy here in Asheville who trained at a studio down the street from my bookstore. He became a good customer, picked my brains, and then started dealing in MA books only and online only. He now owns a gymnastics training business. I need to get back in touch with him (as soon as I remember his name).

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                              #15
                              Originally posted by MovableBookLady View Post
                              Are you planning to chew through all 50+? Way to get really well-read (Western canon).
                              I plan too, I've got two copies of the classics. One is a first edition and the other I think is from the 70s. Its a daunting task to try and get thru all of them but its still probably some of the most worth while reading one can do. I may send "The Wealth of Nations" to Congress when I'm done.

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