I have started collecting rare science fiction and fantasy as a hobby over the last year or so and have started building a wishlist of sorts. Something I would very much like to add to my collection is a 1st/1st of Dune, by Frank Herbert. One of my favorite day dreams is that I will find a copy at a used book stand and pick it up for a dollar. Given that the retail price is around $5,000 for a unsigned 1st/1st, it will probably remain a day dream, but you never know.
To the main item of this post, posted for a cool $62,000, a signed 1st/1st of The Lord of the Rings, aptly named the as grand-father of Fantasy. Now here, given the small print run and relative obscurity of Tolkien prior to his success, I can better understand the price, especially given his place in the fantasy field.
Other than these big ticket and incredibly well known items, I was also surprised at the relative cheapness of other science fiction and fantasy collectibles. A 1st/1st First Lensman (1950), by Edward Elmer "Doc" Smith goes for about $2,500 and other than that, the list is mostly made up of modern big name authors and signed vanity printings. A set of Twilight for $3,000 anyone? I didn't think so.
Mostly the purpose of this post is simply to ask readers if they are aware of any good resources or have any tips to offer when first collecting. Should I bother with the older stuff or focus on new authors and let my investment 'mature'? Are there any good internet resources that list rough prices for works? Is there any period or cutoff date before which books are worth more? Like I said, any and all advice is welcome.
And because every blog post needs pictures, if you see this cover, grab it for me, I will even pay this shipping!