Mon 22 Jul 2013
by Walker Martin
Readers and Collectors! We are down to the final minutes now. It’s time to separate the non-collectors from the collectors. Yes, it’s that time of year again. Pulpfest begins this Thursday, July 25 and continues through Sunday, July 28 in Columbus, Ohio. The complete details are at pulpfest.com.
Will you be one of the millions of poor souls that do NOT attend PulpFest? Or will you be among the elite of old magazine collectors, those that DO attend? I’m talking about the 400 or so pulp, digest, paperback, book and original art collectors who will be swarming to the pulp collecting center of the universe. In April it was Chicago for Windy City and now in July, it is Columbus, Ohio.
I’ve heard all the reasons for not attending this pulp convention and there is no acceptable excuse! Illness? Hell, I knew a collector who attended knowing he had a terminal illness and would be dead in a few months. I once attended with a busted back, wrapped up like a mummy, not able to sit down for the entire convention. Every 40 minutes I had to stop the car and get out to stretch and walk around. For awhile I was almost positive that I wasn’t going to make it and I started stopping near hotels in case I had to give up and just lay in a bed for a couple weeks.
But the thought of my collection kept me going. The visions of more SF magazines, more detective and adventure pulps, more westerns. The artwork, the original cover paintings, the interior illustrations. The stacks of digest magazines, the vintage paperbacks. The friends and old pals that I enjoyed talking to and seeing once again. Some of the best friendships in my life are now stretching beyond the 40 year mark. I just had lunch with a collector that I’ve know since 1970 and we talked about books for 3 hours straight. How could I not attend the pulp convention? When I returned home, I took 4 weeks off from work to recuperate from my back problems. Let’s face it, our collections are more important than some job that just pays the bills.
Speaking of money, I’ve heard the excuse about not having the cash to attend the convention. I never let this stop me. Sometimes I borrowed the money from the bank or the credit union. I even borrowed money from my wife. You know you have to be desperate to ask for help from a non-collector! I’ve used my credit cards, pension money, money set aside for bills. I mean we are talking about a serious addiction here!
To be a serious book or old magazine collector, is a calling of the highest order. You are not just some wage slave like the other millions of non-collectors. No, you are a Collector with a capital C. You don’t just eat, work, watch TV, and sleep. And then repeat it day after day like most poor bastards. YOU READ! You Collect valuable and rare artifacts.
In this era of electronic gadgets, you actually collect non-electronic books and pulps. I mean how cool is that? No computer geek can stand up to that. E-books look pitiful next to a beautiful real, hard copy book. You can’t collect E-books like pulps. A stack of pulps is a thing of beauty. The smell, the look, the feel. And they are worth money!
I’ve tried many addictions and they can’t compare to collecting books and pulps. Drugs, alcohol, gambling, all can destroy your health and finances. I won’t even get into sex. Sexual habits can ruin you just like any addiction or at the very least, you will find yourself married to a non-collector!
So there is still time to say to hell with your job and personal responsibilities. Your family can do without you for a few days. Your book addiction needs to be fed. Your Collection must be extended and made larger. You need more books!