Your first LEC

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Your first LEC

Nov 29, 2020, 3:45pm

My very first LEC was a near mint copy of Tristan & Iseult picked up at the now-defunct California Book Auction Company about 35 years ago or so for $35.00.

What was yours?

Nov 29, 2020, 5:01pm

A NF copy in a sunned slipcase Of The Nature Of Things (De Rerum Natura) by Lucretius for $64 in April of 2009. I was so impressed by the edition that I searched the web for this Limited Editions Club entity and landed upon LibraryThing. 462 LECs and 11 years later I'm still on LibraryThing having learned a bunch about the LEC and fine books in general.

Editado: Nov 29, 2020, 5:10pm

My first was just last week in fact: Toilers of the Sea, by Viktor Hugo, for my birthday. Very happy with it. Thanks to all who referenced (and praised) it here on the forum, so helpful. Having started to get over a Folio Society addiction, thankfully, I aim to be very restrained from now on, only buying books I realistically will read and then in the form that enhances my reading experience the most. This one seems to tick those boxes...
Edit: price paid $US35+$70 postage (!) from the US to Germany

Nov 29, 2020, 5:21pm

I just recorded my next video on this very topic! It won't post until the 9th of December, though, so I'll just say it was Man and Superman by George Bernard Shaw, and save the long version for when I post that video in a couple weeks! :)

Nov 29, 2020, 6:14pm

My first LEC was Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad with lithographs by Lynd Ward. I picked it up randomly for $5 before I knew anything about fine press or the limited editions club in general. Those were probably the most expensive $5 I ever spent!

Nov 29, 2020, 6:19pm

The Four Gospels (1932), for 45 USD (plus ~20 USD for shipping and import charges to Canada), earlier this year.

Nov 29, 2020, 6:43pm

The Song of Roland in 2011, without the slipcase, for 20 USD. I was impressed enough to buy five more LEC that year, including the full Shakespeare set.

Nov 29, 2020, 8:09pm

In 1967 I was taking a course in 18th century lit and one of the novels we were reading was Vathek which was in a paperback edition with Castle of Otranto and Polidori's The Vampyre. I was browsing a used bookshop and happened to see the Limited Editions Club Vathek in the slipcase/chemise and after opening it, had to buy it: $25 which was a whole week's wages (part-time job).

Nov 29, 2020, 8:10pm

I obtained New Arabian Nights and Antigone, both mid-'70s productions, around 7 years ago for something like $30 total, and then never got any more until this year, when my collection grew to well over 100. Funny, I never got around to reading those first two until this month and now I wish I had cracked them open sooner, as I enjoyed both quite a bit.

Editado: Nov 29, 2020, 8:58pm

Robert Graves Poems, from an antiquarian bookshop in Cambridge. The first LEC I'd seen in real life, although I'd been aware of them since the '90s when I bought a reprinted copy of Adrian Wilson's The Design of Books, which includes images of the LEC Oresteia as an example of designing a limited edition.

I paid £95, which I can seen from copies on AbeBooks now is very very expensive, even after factoring into the comparison postage from the US to the UK.

Edited to add: it was December 2013.

Nov 29, 2020, 10:17pm

>1 Glacierman: The Black Tulip by Dumas for $50, with the limitation page removed (I paid too much often back then). Way back in 1993 at Lien's Bookshop in downtown Minneapolis. All in all still a fond memory - I was looking for second-hand Easton Press books (The 100 Greatest Books Ever Written series), and Mr. Lien was kind enough to educate me about the origin of most of those Easton Press titles, and the difference between a fine press book and a "reading copy".

Over 27 years later and I'm still collecting LEC's. An even dozen to go, and I will have the full collection. A most enjoyable pass time it is and has been! Let's just say old Mr. Lien effectively baited and set the hook.

Editado: Nov 29, 2020, 11:55pm

>11 Sport1963:
That is an extraordinarily impressive collection!

LEC books are almost completely unknown in Australia, but when visiting what is arguably the best antiquarian bookstore in Australia (Kay Craddock’s in Melbourne), I came across Maggie, A Girl of the Streets in mint condition for A$120 (US$80). As I was already interested in fine press books, I bought it, and as with others here, became LEC addicted.

I only have about 60 LEC books, mainly because of their scarcity on this side of the planet, and it usually costs more to ship them here than buy them.

Editado: Nov 30, 2020, 12:03am

My first LEC was a NF copy of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, acquired in the past 6 months. I’m quite happy with it and it fits in well with my collection.

Nov 30, 2020, 7:31am

Thomas Gray's Elegy Written in a Country Church-Yard, bought in 2018 in near fine condition in a near-fine slipcase for a fairly beefy £140 including transatlantic shipping. But what superb illustrations by Agnes Miller Parker!

Nov 30, 2020, 9:38am

The Circus of Dr. Lao by Charles Finney, purchased last February for $35. It's one of my favorite novels, and it was between this or the Centipede Press edition. So glad I went with the LEC! Claire Van Vliet's artwork is fantastic.

Nov 30, 2020, 11:00am

My first LEC was Jack London's The Sea Wolf picked up seven years ago for $50. Prior to this I had picked up some HP titles, the very first being Russian Folk Tales. I remember being blown away by the quality of the HP. Through my various online searches at the time I managed to stumble upon this online group, for which I am so grateful. A big thank you to all of you!

Nov 30, 2020, 12:34pm

Heading towards the third anniversary of my first LEC, Willa Cather's A Lost Lady. She isn't lost now - thanks to the collective enthusiasm and wisdom of the members here, I have been encouraged to add sixty or so companions for her. About a third of these have been sourced in Europe, but the rest have come with the discouraging shipping costs mentioned by Warwick (>12 wcarter:). The enjoyment of the quality of these books does long outlast the pain of the shipping costs, however.

Nov 30, 2020, 1:07pm

Thinking back over the years and the books acquired is a rather pleasant pastime, is it not? Keep 'em coming, ladies and gentlemen.

Nov 30, 2020, 3:33pm

Discovering the Folio Society led to LT. LT led to the LEC and other fine publishers. My first LEC was Argonautica, purchased about 5 years ago.

Editado: Nov 30, 2020, 3:38pm

The chainmail-y 1940 Ivanhoe, VG+. That was just under 18 mths ago, and now I have 36 plus the full Shakespeare set and a couple inbound... maybe I’ll be able to set a clean 100 ceiling? There are 34 on my wishlist, so I’ll start by counting the bard’s stuff as _one_...

This group is fantastic by the way. An oasis.

Nov 30, 2020, 4:52pm

After my first one, it took me quite a while to really get going. About 30 years ago, I picked up three more from an AAUW book sale (The Warden, the 1932 Three Musekteers and The Charterhouse of Parma) and then nothing until about two years ago when I started on something of a rampage and added another 30 to date.

Nov 30, 2020, 9:09pm

The Notorious Jumping Frog & Other Stories (Twain), in VG condition, bought on eBay about 2012 for about $40.

I’ve since expanded to a total of 30 LEC titles, plus 4 HP exclusives. I don’t expect this collection to grow — there are a few titles I’d like to add, and a few I’d like to subtract.

I must say, though, that LEC was my gateway drug to the world of fine/private press books!

Dic 2, 2020, 11:17am

I have had sort of a weird relationship with LECs.

I was aware of LECs very early on in my fine press collecting, and I bought a few as gifts for friends and relatives. Oedipus or Comus was my first LEC, but I gave them away to people I thought would enjoy them. I've since repurchased both.

The first LEC I purchased for myself was actually Quarto-Millenary. I had a fascination with bibliographies of fine presses; I suppose I still do. But at the time, that was pretty much all I was buying, and I found a very cheap, serviceable copy of QM. Of course, I loved the book and was seriously interested in a lot of the titles described there. And after that, it was all downhill.

Editado: Dic 8, 2020, 2:58am

I got my 1st LEC books in 1999, in a small used-books store in Ventura, CA. The book was Molier's Tartuffe. I had no knowledge about LEC, and the elder friend of mine, who had been the collector in 60-70, convinced me to buy this book and start a new collection. His small collection had been sold, and he decided that I might continue collecting this series. I bought it only to make him happy, as I was not aware about this set and was happy to hear some info. Tartuffe was a great book to start! In a few months, when I visited Ventura again, we went to the book store again, and a few more books were added to the new collection. A long way to learn about LEC and get it all, but I am glad I could do it! It took 15 long years to complete the collection.

Dic 3, 2020, 9:00pm

I didn't know much about the LEC and saw four books at an estate sale, for $6 each. Did not buy them, went home, did some research, realized what I had passed up, went back the next day and bought all four. I remember Beowulf was one of them. Although most of the LECs I've bought since then have come from book stores, I've actually found 8-10 more at estate sales, tho in the book-crazy New York metro area and not down here in Georgia where I am now.

Dic 7, 2020, 6:29pm

My first post here after lurking for years. My first LEC was Ten Years and William Shakespeare purchased in 1973 from Ardis Glenn at her shop (Glenn Books) in Downtown Kansas City. That led to a subscription with The Heritage Book Club. At that time LEC books were an expensive $27.50 per volume and out of reach for this graduate student. It wasn't until 2009 that I purchased my first true LEC book: The Beach of Falesa for the sum of $25.00; from David Spivey's Books, Maps and Fine Arts shop in KC. Alas, both of the shops are history (Glenn Books still exists with another owner, run from his house). In 2010 I discovered this site and this group. Reading messages from this group led me to purchase the Shakespeare set Django mentioned in his post of November 22, 2010. It was and still is in pristine condition (all of the volumes came encased in their glassines). Thanks to all in this group for the information you provide.

Dic 8, 2020, 12:03am

>26 finepressman:

I was going to write "it's a small world after all" when that damned tune started playing in my head. Anyway, it seems to be the case. I also got my first LEC, Vathek at Glenn Books! They had about a dozen there, and I remember being very attracted to Tono-Bungay, but after spending a week's wages on Vathek, and having to borrow rent money that month, I refrained from further purchases until I graduated from the university. Glenn Books was like Disneyland for me.

Dic 8, 2020, 2:47pm

Found a copy of the Book of Ruth at my favorite used book store.

Editado: Dic 17, 2020, 5:29pm

My first was Kenilworth. I bought it because it was available from a UK seller on eBay at a low-ish price and I wanted to compare LEC with the Folio Society books I was more familiar with before spending more. As it happens, I bid for and won a Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea before my Kenilworth arrived. That was lucky because the Verne novel is much better produced than the Scott, and it was the former that really sold me on buying more of these books (but Kenilworth was a fantastic read, so no regrets at all!)

Most of the LEC books I have bought since have made the perilous (and costly) transatlantic crossing. And like >22 kermaier: LEC served as a stepping stone into the wider world of fine/private press for me.

Editado: Dic 17, 2020, 6:24pm

I accidentally discovered Heritage Press when bidding on a bundle on eBay 2 years ago to get The Brothers Karamazov, which I wanted to read since my daughter’s paperback copy was falling apart. The bundle included Omoo, Billy Budd/Benito Cereno, and The Man Without a Country. Total cost shipped: $18. The included Sandglasses mention the “big sister” LEC and unlocked the passion I have now for beautiful editions of the classics. I was completely satisfied with my Connecticut Heritage of Omoo (must be one of the good ones), but I was most excited about Brothers, which is a beautiful book all-around.

I decided to try an inexpensive LEC and got Sindbad, and was completely astonished by the gorgeous hand-colored illustrations and, of course, limited numbered edition. After a bit of research, I dived-in Whole Hog and my next purchase was the 39-volume Shakespeare, which has been life-changing.

Dic 17, 2020, 6:02pm

My first was The Newcomes. I’m a huge Thackeray fan and was happy to find a nice edition. I have maybe 30 now, they’re quite expensive to ship to Canada and I often find the books I want from other publishers like FS. LEC’s are definitely a treat though, absolutely love the paper and enjoy the letterpress. Only complaint is the choice of translations. That said, if it’s the only version I can find with a sewn binding, like the Anatole France books, then I’ll go for LEC.

Dic 23, 2020, 3:58pm

I can't be sure but I think it was The Three Musketeers (1953) bought at an antiquarian book fair back when I lived in Boston and probably more than 30 years ago. It was (and still is ) in excellent condition. I think the hand-colored Edy Legrand illustrations right up front were what sold me on it. $50, per the hand written price written on the flyleaf. I'm amazed I paid that much for a book back then. I had already been exposed to Folio
(back when membership required four books a year plus a complimentary Presentation Volume, which was about how many I would acquire then) and the Connecticut-based Heritage Club. But I was not then aware of the connection.
It is interesting to see how many recent enthusiasts have posted here. The possible negative is increased competition for remaining titles.

Editado: Dic 23, 2020, 6:47pm

>32 laotzu225: That was a good one to start with! It was among the first 5 we purchased.

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