Collector Profile: Pierre Dobrzykowski

Hello, my name is Pierre and I'm 23 years old and a college student from Munich/Germany. My main subject is Japanese Studies. My hobbies are, of course, collecting Tolkien, cooking, music, sports and portrait fotography.

How did you get started in collecting?

I guess it was back in 2007 when I bought the LotR extended film versions from a friend. Up to that point I had only had (and still have) the popular green German edition of LotR (2002) and watched the films, but I hadn't had any particular interest in both of them. So then, after watching all the films and the 12h bonus material again, I was suddenly drawn into tolkien's universe and immediately bought an English version of The Hobbit (the 70th anniversary edition).

At first I only wanted to have all the major Tolkien books such as 'The Lord of the Rings', 'The Hobbit' and 'The Silmarillion' in English. As one can expect my plan didn't work out. I was browsing through Amazon and others for more books and suddenly an entire Tolkien book-industry opened up before my eyes. From then on and my collection has started to gradually grow.

What do you collect?

Though I don't have any fixed outlines, I try to stick to some principles. I try to collect only hardbacks if possible, because they're more durable than paperbacks and simply look better in my opinion. Secondly I collect German editions, Hobbit translations and occasionally try to get my hands on 1st editions. The only thing I try to avoid is film items or film tie-in books, and in general anything that's not a book.

In the future I'll try to track down the very first German Hobbit edition 'Kleiner Hobbit und der große Zauberer' (1957). It's extremely rare and hard to find, even in times of ebay and all the other resources. Furthermore I will try to buy every Tolkien book translated into Japanese. If it's worth it, I'll consider a serious collecting of the Japanese editions. What's more, a signed book is of course something I would definitely be looking forward to.

How big is your collection?

At the moment (December 2012) it's exactly 102 volumes. They are mostly German editions and secondary works.

What has been your greatest find so far?

Sadly enough I don't have any super-rare or signed items in my collection, although there are definitely some books I really do like. Among them are my Japanese 'Hobbit' (2000), my 'Tolkien Family Album' (1992), which only had one printing and of course all my first editions, including 'Smith of Wootton Mayor' (1967), 'Unfinished Tales' (1980)and 'Mr. Bliss' (1982).

Tell us about your Web site.

A website is not planned at the moment, but I have a Twitter from which I sometimes tweet about certain things Tolkien related. My name on Twitter is @Pieeru.

What does collecting mean to you?

Whenever somebody visits my apartment, they ask me why I'm collecting all those books, as the content is obviously always the same. But for me it's more of an aesthetic value and treasuring some old values. There are people who enjoy watching fish in a fish-tank; I can sit in front of the books and enjoy their beauty, especially the designs drawn by Tolkien himself, which have significant Japanese elements in them.

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