Books that fetch a price

A while ago I was making a catalogue of my Buddhist books. I now know what I’ve got, and will avoid that embarrassing moment when you start reading that wonderful text you ordered, only to realise that it is already somewhere on your shelves and that you first read it two or three years ago.

Anyway, I stumbled across a surprise. If you like you can look at it directly at Amazon Books, but because these things change all the time, I also provide a screenshot here.

(Click to open a new window and see it the proper size.)

I want to clear up a few things. First of all, you see on some Internet pages that it is “by” Tenga Rinpoche and Alex Wilding. That is tosh. Even the statement that it is “by” Tenga Rinpoche and translated by Alex Wilding is misleading. Tenga Rinpoche’s teaching was translated into German by Susanne Schefczyk. I translated Susanne’s German into English.

I was starting out as a translator, so I was happy to do it free of charge. I seem to recall that Susanne herself took the self-effacing Buddhist line. I think she would almost have preferred her name not to be on it at all, but at most to be in small print and an obscure corner. Since, however, I was effectively donating more than £1000 and was also trying to get myself established, my one condition was that my name, as the translator out of German, should be clearly visible.

The astonishing thing is the price! £60 to be sent the cheapest copy, a new one. £84 and no less than £175 to get hold of either of the used copies, while the more expensive new copy is there for no less than £185! Bear in mind that the book was small, not particularly well printed, and that the contents don’t include very much that is not available in many other easily bought works.

I cannot say whether the explanation lies in the illustrations, which are colour plates of some moderately rare paintings of Bardo deities. I must say that the colour balance in my copies (I have both the German and English versions) is really quite poor. But what else could it be?

185 quid – wow!

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