Book Review: The One-Cent Magenta by James Barron

About:
The One-Cent Magenta: Inside the Quest to Own the Most Valuable Stamp in the World by James Barron in a non-fiction book which takes a look at the world most valuable stamp and the obsessive world of stamp collecting. Mr. Barron is a reporter for the New York Times.

  • 224 pages
  • Publisher: Algonquin Books
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616205180

Buy The One-Cent Magenta from Amazon.com*
My rating for The One-Cent Magenta 4
Buy The One-Cent Magenta from Amazon.com*
More Books by James Barron

 

Thoughts:
The One-Cent Magenta: Inside the Quest to Own the Most Valuable Stamp in the World by James Barron references the provisional stamp printed in British Guiana when a shipment of stamps from Great Britain was delayed. Supposedly there is only one of those stamps in the world, and despite the one cent cover price it recently sold at auction for $9.5 million.

As a former stamp collector, even though never to the levels the people in the book are depicted, I was looking forward to read this book. The author writes about the history of the stamp and the nine people who owned it over the last 165 years.

The book reads like a long magazine article, not that it’s bad, it’s just that nothing really happens. After all, the value in this quite ugly stamp is in what it brings to the collection and, of course, the fact that no one else in the world has it so only very few collectors can even dream of affording to buy it.

The collectors in the book range from true stamp lovers (philatelies) , to selfish bored millionaires, to those who bet on the value of the stamp like they are betting on stocks.

The book was informative, funny and fascinating. The quirky personalities and wonderful little facts make it worth reading and enjoyable.

Buy The One-Cent Magenta from Amazon.com*
More Books by James Barron

Zohar — Man of la Book
Dis­claimer: I got this book for free.
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account

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