There was some discussion this week on the Yahoo Colonial Coins mailing list about the notoriously poor bindings on some editions of Walter Breen's Complete Encyclopedia of U.S. and Colonial Coins. -Editor
James Higby wrote:
I had been using my Breen Encyclopedia in tandem with the new Bowers book and the recent Nipper book to assist in my study of early American coins. It was not too long before the pages in the New Jersey section started coming loose, due to the exceptionally poor quality of the binding.
Recently I put it through a book bindery, which for $52.00 removed the body of the book from the cover, sewed the pages, attached new pastedowns and freeflys, and re-installed the whole package back into the original cover. I can even use the original dust jacket, which I long ago preserved in a mylar slipcover. Now I have a product that will outlast me, even with heavy use.
Ray Williams wrote:
I hope there are no NBS members here, but years ago I purchased a second copy of Breen's Encyclopedia on eBay for about $50. I took it to the New Jersey Numismatic Society meeting with a razor knife and sold sections for $5 each. $5 for the Morgan Dollars, $5 for the Indian Cents, etc.
I kept the cover, the colonial section and the index. I got all my money back. My primary copy was autographed by Breen in the year of issue at a GSNA Convention in Cherry Hill NJ.
I doubt many NBS members (or E-Sylum readers) would join a lynch mob to avenge the dismemberment of a poorly bound book.
On a related note, I remember the late Ken Lowe of The Money Tree telling me how he'd taken apart a copy of Highfill's Comprehensive U.S. Silver Dollar Encyclopedia, keeping a thin section of pages he thought worthwhile and discarding the rest to save shelf space. -Editor
Wayne Homren, Editor
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