Monday, January 23, 2012

Block's "Generally Speaking" columns now available for Kindle

I was pleasantly surprised to see in the latest Linn's that Lawrence Block's first 25 columns on collecting the world are available as an eBook for the Kindle (or any other device that has Amazon's Kindle app). You can find out more on the author's blog. If you collect classic era stamps but don't subscribe to Linn's, or have missed some of Block's informative and entertaining columns, this is a very inexpensive ($2.99!) way to catch up. It would be interesting to learn if any non-collecting mystery lovers download the book and decide to start a collection.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Blue Volume 1 sells for $8700 on eBay 1/1/12

This was covered in nice detail a week ago by Jim on his Big Blue blog (be sure to also read the comments) but I finally decided I should at least reference the sale here for the record. I have been monitoring worldwide albums on eBay since January 2008 and this album realized far more than any that I am aware of. I estimate that the volume held between 23-25,000 stamps with many key items present. My experience is that the average eBay Volume 1 has fewer than ten thousand stamps, usually much fewer. Once you hit fifteen thousand, you are talking about only one or two collections a year. There was a volume with 30,000 stamps offered in 2008 with a starting bid of $7500 which eventually sold for $4750 after several relistings. Unfortunately, I didn't save any pictures of this collection.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2012 New Year's Resolutions

I have only two resolutions for 2012. The first is to try to reach the 20,000 mark in my Blue Volume 1. This resolution is only of interest to others if I use it as an excuse to take another overview of what a Volume 1 at this state of completion "looks" like: e.g., which countries do I still not have a single stamp, which are complete or largely complete, what has been the cost so far, what do I wish I had done differently, etc.

The second resolution is to finish penciling in Scott numbers directly in the album for all of the stamps I still need. Largely thanks to Jim's checklists, I am complete through French Guinea plus another dozen or so countries later in the alphabet. It may seem like this is a no brainer, but in my early days of filling the Blue knowing the numbers was more of a convenience than a necessity. After all, I was largely buying other International albums so a catalog was only necessary on occasion to puzzle out a difference of opinion as to which stamp belonged in a space. But at this point I am largely buying individual stamps and sets so knowing what I need when going through pricelists, etc., would be a real time saver. If I would devote just 30 minutes a day to this task it would be done in a month or so. But if it were easy, everybody--even Scott Publishing--would have already done it!