13 February 2007

Northern Lights. Philip Pullman.

Philip Pullman. NORTHERN LIGHTS. Scholastic Press, London 1995.

Current Selling Prices
$2500-$4000 /£1300-£2200 Want level 25-50 Highish

Much loved and much prized children's fantasy featuring Lyra a young girl brought up in the cloistered world of an Oxford college and her 'Daemon' Pantalaimon. With the novel's anti dogmatic, anti fundamentalist leitmotiv, PP has been unfairly accused of being irreligious. However he has attacked C S Lewis (blasphemy in itself!) The first of a trilogy and commonly sold with the other two. You want the word 'Point' on the book's spine and the address 7-9 Pratt Street on the copyright page. Often signed on a special Pullman bookplate.

VALUE? Trumpeted as an investment often by those wanting well over the odds. Pristine and mint are words sometimes used by the trumpeteers. One seller with a perfect copy at a celestial £7K states that he 'had the chance to get this copy signed by the author but preferred to leave it in it's completely pristine state.' A new one. Always a bit worrying, the 'I' word and something of a red flag especially with the book demonstrably 'softening' price-wise. However the book still seems to command at least £2000 or more in 'as new' nick. It has fetched over £4,500 back in 2003 at Bloomsbury and £3500 for all 3 inscribed in 2004. The trilogy available in 2/2007 at ABE at a shade under £3K all fine and signed. On ebay there were 28 bids for a signed copy that made $2,795.43 late in 2005 and described as 'unread.' Although there was a photo of PP signing the book some bidders were worried that he had signed in in blue instead of his customary black. This week a signed near fine BIN copy at £1100 sits on ebay touted as: 'One of the best investments for 2007." There are not a worrying amount of for sale currently - with some books that are losing their lustre copies tend to foregather on th web, sometimes in embarrassing numbers and the price slides precipitously - vide 'Captain Corelli's Mandolin.' The good Captain is worth less than half the price he was fetching 4 years ago. A lot of hope that the coming movie (slated for 2007) will jump start Pullman prices back to former levels. It can happen if the movie is truly wonderful, in the case of Corelli the lousiness of the movie caused the books decline. It all makes sense.

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