Ray Williams forwarded this note which asks an important question for E-Sylum readers and members of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society: just what is it that makes one a numismatic bibliophile? -EditorAt ANA, I joined the Numismatic Bibliomania Society. I attended a couple of their events and they are a good group of guys (and gals). Am I a bibliomaniac? I don't know! What is a bibliomaniac?
I'm a coin collector specializing in American Colonials. In the process of researching my hobby, I've accumulated many books. Most of the books I have, I purchased for their contents. But I do own an original Crosby and an original Maris, in addition to the modern reprints of each. Does that make me a bibliomaniac? ( I bet my wife thinks so!)
In my three china cabinets in the dining room, you can look through the glass doors and see no china, just numismatic books packed tightly. Does this make me a bibliomaniac? (It does make me a lucky man to have a wife this understanding!)
I don't collect books for their rarity or value. I do enjoy holding a nicely leather bound book in my hands but I also enjoy using a modern reprint where I can make notes in the borders. I value three books that are all Rarity 7 not because of their potential market value but because of the sentimental stories as to how they came into my possession. I guess I'm not quite a bibliomaniac but a coin collector that has a deep appreciation for his library.
While we're talking about appreciation of a library, I've questioned many friends about why collectors will spend hundreds and thousands on coins for their collections but will refuse to spend a relative pittance for books to enable them to enjoy these coins. It's mind boggling to think that a $50 or $100 book that will give years of enjoyment will go unpurchased. Not just books, but hobby publications and clubs are neglected too while the coin collector never knows what he's missing... Sometimes you can't even lead the horse to water!
If comedian Jeff Foxworthy were a numismatist, perhaps he would develop a routine based on the question, You might be a numismatic bibliophile if ...
OK readers, how would you fill in the blank? And is Ray a numismatic bibliophile, or not? -Editor
Wayne Homren, Editor
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