Book Collection - And the 2019 Winners Are!


Congratulations to Tanner Abernathy, Cassandra Childs, and Nicholas Duke-Bruechert, winners of the 2019 Book Collecting Contest!

Collins Choice Award
Tanner Abernathy
“Tolkien’s Arda: Accessible Mythology & Moral Hermeneutics in Fantasy”

The Collins Choice Award recognizes a student whose collection illustrates the hallmarks of a liberal arts education.  The collector in this case categorized their collection into three broad categories, tales, compendiums and supplements, and images, and then clearly articulated how each ‘artifact’ fit into the category while also exploring their larger meaning and connections to each other.  They cited additional sources used, and visually presented their collection in a cohesive, well thought out manner, clearly articulating their rationale for including each item in the collection, and how it related to the collection and theme as a whole.  They also collected various types of materials including dictionaries, atlases, coloring books, games, films and primary texts, all of which specifically addressed the subject of the collection in their own unique way.  Throughout this collection, it is clear that the collector has a strong passion and interest in the world and works of Tolkien, and the love of the collection is clear in the intentional way that the material is presented.


Best Essay
Cassandra Childs
“Collecting Tolkien: Treasuring the Pioneer of Fantasy”

In the chosen essay, the author provides us with a glimpse of how an early exposure to Tolkien literature led to an academic pursuit of the fantasy genre.  This is a great example of how a collector can take a group of fairly standard books and make them into something special by exploring and explaining a personal connection.  Learning more about Tolkien himself is explained in the clearly synthesized and well represented annotated bibliography.  A great deal of time and effort clearly went into the essay and annotations, and the writer's interest in fantasy literature as explored in this essay made this a wonderful pleasure to read.

1st Place/Single Collector Award
Nicholas Duke-Bruechert
“Lifelong Failure”

The first place, or single collector, award acknowledges the combination of an excellent, integrated and comprehensive essay, a well annotated bibliography, collection images, and a thoughtful wish list.  The “Incomplete Collection” of Superhero comic books is a creative way to explore failure.  Here the collector has taken something we all face in our daily lives, and through his essay and descriptive bibliography explained how Superheros survived failure.  The collection essay captures the initial efforts of the collector, particularly his draw to The Amazing Spider-Man issue #96.  The name of the collection leaves plenty of room for the Collector to expand on the “failure” theme, as well as others that can be drawn from comic books.

This collection successfully uses comic books to explore a timeless theme -- failure and how to learn from experience.  The collector has done an especially good job of articulating the importance of the collection to him, discussing how it relates to his own struggles and work ethic.  It is great that he managed to collect older comics as far back as the 1960s.  The essay and item captions are extremely well written -- philosophical but still accessible to non-experts.

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The aim of the competition was to encourage full-time students at University of Puget Sound to read for enjoyment and to develop personal libraries throughout their lives, to appreciate the special qualities of printed or illustrated works, and to read, research, and preserve the collected works for pleasure and scholarship.”

The award was sponsored by the Book Club of Washington, a nonprofit organization of book lovers and collectors who has a special interest in collecting and preserving printed materials.  It is a goal of the club to support a new generation of collectors with awards and recognition of their collecting accomplishments.  The club held its annual awards reception on April 25th, where the University of Puget Sound and all student participants were recognized for their achievement.

Congratulations to all the students who participated in the contest.  Plans are already underway for next year’s contest!