Given that it has been 50 years since the NGS created a reprint run of the early issues, what would you think if they decided to do a new, archival-grade, strictly limited number run? Instant classic collectible? Heresy to even mention such an idea?
I really have no opinion one way or the other.
It would be just another item, in a world of many thousands of items, available for collection.
I probably would not purchase the set, but then, I've purchased things NG that I really hadn't given any thought to purchasing until the bug bit me.
Interesting question though...
We have enough reprints. We do not need any more at this time ..
I don't know of any plans to do this so we are probably safe!
Hmm, I thought this was an interesting question John (maybe I'm even surprised it took so long for anyone to pose it on here, heh).
I've actually had for a length of time a strong desire of: "if only they had done the reprints in 1964 up to/through 1912" so that it would have been the first 25 years, It's so hard to get issues for 1908-1912 (heck, even 1913, and '14) in even at least good or very nice condition. Since I do love to read those early years and refer to them frequently (i.e., 1888-1907), it would be practical and useful to have '08-'12 or beyond as official, quality reprints.
I actually do have very nice copies for my 1908, 1909, and 1910's. It's my 1911-1914's that could stand an upgrade, but for the time being I am satisfied that I have at least all of them. My April 1913 for instance, is pristine -- very happy.
The downside to the reprints --the bound copies that is-- is that I do feel that the volumes for 1899, and 1905-1907 are a bit heavy and quite wide to comfortably hold and read them quickly, or for length of time. This is where I would have made the case that they should have broke up their volume-numbering ...and hence, the size of any one bound year... sooner than they did; that being having Jan-June be Vol. 1, and July-Dec. as Vol. 2 for any given calendar year as opposed to having all 12 months be one volume, since in the early days, that was tantamount to "1 volume ='s 1 book bound".
I don't think it's "heresy" at all. I think a lot of people would be thrilled for a new/another chance to get early years in great condition. At this point though in 2014, I feel very confident to say there's no way the Society would undertake such an expensive, time-consuming endeavor again. And, there's no way if they did that they wouldn't be so high-priced as to kill a high qty. of them being sold. Plus, we're in the era of downsizing and people don't want back-catalogs of magazines or books. A minority do of course, but a minority demand would not have gotten the 1964 project off the ground either.
IF there was a new reprinting (or expansion of the existing set), I think in due time it would become a "collectible" and reach a point of being more money to obtain than the issued-price ...much the same as what did happen with the 1964's.It only cost $315 - $350 to acquire the '64 reprints, either the single copies, or the bound, respectively. Amazing.
Try buying a set now for $350!
~ Scot S.