The Maniac Collector's Inbox (326)
August 31, 2008
I have come upon yet another way to exploit my Sherlock Holmes collection. I have started creating cards made from the covers of some of the more obscure foreign language covers. Each card measures roughly 4" x 6" and comes with it's own envelope. The cards sell for $2.50 apiece. Shipping is another dollar. There is also a price discount for the more cards purchased.
I put six different cards on eBay last week and sold a whopping one. It cost more to list them than the $2.50 I made from the one card I sold. I really thought that people would enjoy having an unusual bit of Sherlockiana but then again, it made me start to wonder about the majority of Sherlockians around today. We have become such an electronic oriented group that maybe there is a fall off in actual correspondence of the hand written kind. I remember my early days as a budding Sherlockian and what a thrill it was to go to the mailbox and find a letter from some prominent Sherlockian. I still have boxes of old correspondence.
I specially looked forward to letters from Reverend Dr. Benton Wood, the philatelic, Floridian Sherlockian who would make sure his stamps matched the correspondence. He would send me letters with 1836-1936 Texas Centennial Commemorative stamp, a stamp honoring Hemisfair '68 in San Antonio, and a couple of other Texas related stamps so that the total postage added up to what ever the current rate was at that time. The stamps were just a part of the entire experience. His pamphlets and letter were chocked full of Sherlockian goodies. Sherlockians use to help fill the United States Post Office coffers at a much higher rate. The Internet has made it all so easy but also a lot more impersonal.
In the era pre-Internet, the Sherlockian related cards would have been a hot seller. Now days the Sherlockian community seems to send out hand written cards and such only at Christmas and those numbers are dwindling. I am a Sherlockian on the cusp. I still enjoy writing with a fountain pen, feeling the nib as it scratches across fine, bonded paper. I enjoy using my nearly original card, to send other Sherlockians notes. I am also right at home cranking out thirty emails at one sitting and surfing the Internet for hours trying to find a new, never before heard of translation of the Canon.
The techno-bullies like to say that printed books are obsolete but they are wrong. They also say that writing with pen and paper are obsolete and they may be closer to being right. I read recently that schools are not teaching cursive writing any more. I hope this is an Urban Legend but deep down I know it is not. And all of this because I wanted to sell a blank card.