A link to Blake Andrews’ most recent post where he again makes fun of the current mania of photo book collecting where out-of-print books are bid up to exceptional price levels. The post is about so called “Steidlheads” who are “panicking to get to the front of the line” to buy the upcoming release of Broken Manual by acclaimed photographer Alec Soth in order to sell the copies at eBay with a huge profit.
Some of the books either by Soth or published by Soth are sought-after titles, but I am not so sure if that is going to happen with Broken Manual. Soth is currently exhibiting pictures from the Broken Manual series at the Sean Kelly Gallery in New York and it looks like there are over a hundred unsold copies of the limited edition of Broken Manual stacked against a wall.
Photo copyright Jason Wyche
As a book Broken Manual is highly recommended. It is one of my favourite photo books. As early as September 2010 so called advance copies of the book were available through the Steidlville bookshop. I am not sure why it took so long to publish the regular edition. Maybe Steidl tried to get rid of the limited edition first. There might be a nucleus of truth in Blake Andrews’ musings about the crazy photo book market.
Those who are afraid of actually flipping through their precious photo books should not hesitate to read Broken Manual because the more you read it, the more authentic it will look. There really is no need to schrink wrap it.