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The E-Sylum:  Volume 11, Number 13, March 30, 2008, Article 28

A NEW GAME FOR BIBLIOPHILES: BIBLIO BATTLESHIP

Dr. Sheldon, in the final chapter of his book "Early American
Cents" describes the game of "Old Cent Whist" invented by
collector George French (p338-339).  In the game, collectors
compare their sets of large cents one by one, scoring points
for ownership of varieties and the best condition specimens.
The game foreshadowed today's Registry Set craze, and could
be adapted to virtually any collecting field, even numismatic
literature.  But our field is so broad that I doubt any two
libraries would have a common basis for comparison.  But if
bibliophiles were to have their own game, what might it be?

I've mulled the idea over off and on for a couple years.
Finally something occurred to me that might be an interesting
feature for The E-Sylum. Remember the game "Battleship" from
when you were a kid?  You'd set up your ships in a hidden grid
and call out positions to your opponent.  "B9" - Miss!  "G4" -
HIT! Etc.  The game goes on until all of someone's fleet is
sunk.  Well, in Biblio-Battleship, players call out random
coordinates that lead to an item in another player's library.
That player tells us something interesting about the item,
then has the chance to fire a shot at the next player's library.
Nobody's boats get sunk, but we all get treated to some
discoveries, which could well generate some interesting
threads of discussion.

To kick things off, I asked a bewildered Peter Gaspar (our
first official E-Sylum subscriber) to think of three random
numbers between 1 and 12.  His response led me to a couple
of interesting items described in the next articles.

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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