Some collection purchases are memorable because I get to see some rare pulp or other collectible. Some are memorable because I see an unusual collecting methodology. Others I remember because of the people involved. This collection qualified on at least two of the three elements.
The collection was in West Hartford, Connecticut. It was all paperback books- no pulp magazines at all. I would not normally be interested because my first love is pulps. And the paperbacks were of 90% recent vintage. But the gentleman pleaded with me that he had to sell immediately, and he would sell the 4000 paperbacks for under $1000. So I decided to have a look.
He did indeed have over 4000 paperbacks displayed on metal shelves in his basement. There was nothing else in the basement. The paperbacks were not just recent, they were mostly within the last year, and they were mostly new. He had decided at some point that he wanted to own every Science Fiction paperback ever published. Not just every title, but every edition of each title as well. His plan was to purchase every new paperback as it came out, and then work back in time to find all the older ones.
He had an agreement with a local mall bookstore to set aside one new copy of each book they received. As there were several new books issued every day, he obviously did not have time to read more than a small fraction of the books.
What upset this grand plan? The cost had to be a factor, as he appeared to be of modest means. Space would have eventually become a problem, as he had been at this for only a year or two and the basement was half filled up. But there was a wife involved, and they were on the outs! Whether the books were the issue, or whether they were just one aspect of a weird personality I don't know. But she was unhappy, and they were not speaking. If they communicated, it was using me as a conduit. They were splitting up, and the books were an asset and she wanted her half. When we agreed on a price through a three way negotiation with me in the middle, I had to make out two checks, with equal halves going to each.
My boys packed away the books in our dynamite boxes (see Dynamite Collection- coming soon) and away we went. This was not one of my greatest acquisitions, but watching the dynamics of the couple for a few hours was quite a spectacle.