Too Expensive To Read

Our excellent Twitter scared up an article on the Guardian about a hyper rare (there are four of them) first edition of Ulysses that was just sold for £275,000—approximately $450,000—in a British auction. (The book can be yours, unsigned and slightly battered, for a comparitively cheap $60,000, or in paperback for the rock bottom price of $12.22.) The book, one of 100 printed by Shakespeare & Co. in Paris and signed by Joyce himself, has spent the last 80 some-odd years left in the box it was purchased in. This means it has maintained its sea-blue color while still, presumably, looking impressive on the owner’s shelf.

The Guardian article points out that the book is unopened save for a quick peek at the salacious (for the time) last chapter, meaning that since it was first published people have been buying Ulysses, thinking about reading it, giving up, and then deciding to just glance at the sexy bits.


One thought on “Too Expensive To Read

  1. Banning books never works – just creates publicity so people want to acquire the book that much more.

    (Do you think the original box would be worth something, too? My dad collects antique toy trains and the box condition is a big deal. Surely the original packaging from Shakespeare and Co from the days when packages were wrapped would also contribute to the appeal beyond the ultra-rare state of the edition)

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