2010 Bookseller Resource Guide
William Miglore

Bill Miglore, who does not wear glasses or read Faulkner, except when posing for photographs, is an early favorite to win Fine Books & Collections’s first collegiate book-collecting championship. This picture was taken in the Amherst College special collections library, where he works. Miglore has won the Lane Prize for Excellence in book collecting twice, and he continues to work on the collection he hopes will garner him an unprecedented third award (and entry in our contest along with it). The only other two-time winner at Amherst is Richard Linenthal, who went straight from college to Quaritch, the esteemed London booksellers, where he is now a director
Ray Bradbury & Truman Capote
If you don’t count an elementary-school accumulation of 200 Bobbsey Twins books, my real collecting started in middle school. I’m of the generation of collectors that an older generation regards with some sorrow or suspicion (or so I hear) because I do most of my research and collecting online. By junior high, I’d been reading Ray Bradbury for several years, but it was online, for instance, that I learned that Bradbury was still alive and a generous signer of books. So, with the innocent motivation that I could get my books signed, I started searching out afford­able copies of his first editions. I got my parents to take me to signings and always showed up with a packing box of books and ephemera, which Bradbury, though he was always surprised, always inscribed.
My philosophy then was to buy as much as I could as quickly as I could, with the understanding that Bradbury wouldn’t be around forever, although luckily, he still is. I conceded right away that I couldn’t afford perfect copies, but I did quickly develop a bare-minimum sensitivity to matters of condition and issue. By reading online databases the way people used to read dealer catalogs, I’ve taught myself the terminology of collecting and the bibliographic facts about authors that interest me, often without the aid of a printed bibliography.
There’s only so much you can learn by shopping, though. I soon found out how helpful it was to be in touch with more experienced collectors and experts in the field. By chance, I made the acquaintance of several “retired” Bradbury collectors who were more than happy to regale me with stories of their best books and showered me with helpful presents from the remains of their collections. I started collecting Truman Capote in high school, and I’ve kept up a friendly correspondence with an expert dealer and with Gerald Clarke, Capote’s biographer, too.
Since Capote was already gone when I started collecting his books, and there would be no befriending him, I decided to take my time and buy only the best things I could afford. In the case of trade editions, I try for copies already inscribed, since there won’t be any opportunities for that. I’m still far from assembling a complete Capote collection, but I’m proud of the things I have, and I’ve stuck to my guns and have been as discerning as it’s practical to be.