For a series that’s yielded 25 movies, several video games, and countless other stories and retellings, it’s always kind of surprising to recall the fact that author Ian Fleming only published 14 volumes of James Bond adventures. Between his full novels and short stories, a legacy of cinematic adventure sprung to life in living color, valuing that brand at some lofty prices depending on what you’re in the market for. And if you’re in the market for first editions of all 14 Fleming books, you’ll need to have a Bond villain’s bank roll to afford them in a current offering on the market.
This isn’t an auction either, as the BBC has reported that book dealer Dr. John Atkinson is the party of interest who’s pulled together all 14 James Bond novels, as well as a first edition copy of A Field Guide of Birds of the West Indies. That last book might seem weird, until you realize that Ian Fleming used the name of that author for his fictional hero. The price for all 15 books is a whopping £475,000, which if you’re converting to US Dollars comes out to roughly $613,890. But, if it helps ease your burden, 10 of the 14 books carry "personal inscriptions" from Ian Fleming himself, to friends, former lovers, and some advisers that helped out on films like Thunderball.
Of course, that’s pocket change if you’re a Bond villain. Be it through exhorbitant ransom demands, criminal extortion, or having two Academy Awards under your belt, the sum of money to acquire this unique James Bond library is something that even Ernst Stavro Blofeld would probably have no trouble affording. Then again, seeing as this is a collection of his nemesis’ greatest adventures, he might just pass and build a new diamond powered space laser instead.
At almost a million dollars in US currency, these James Bond books are valued at a higher price than even a pretty rare piece that went on the auction market last year. Sean Connery’s original Walther PPK pistol from Dr. No was auctioned off last year, to the tune of $256,000. That’s not exactly a price tag to sneeze at, but if you thought classic Bond memorabilia had reached its apex, then maybe you’ll be the next sacrifice to the SPECTRE shark tank as a lesson to those who want to avoid such failure.
Still, if you have money that can afford a stealth battleship, some high stakes poker in Montenegro, or an as of yet undisclosed plot that may or may not involve germ warfare, you could take home an impressive collection of James Bond books to add to your 007 library. And to think, trying to complete a collection of the 2002 Richie Fahey covers was torture enough. Though, there’s still a more fiendish act of Bond villainy that a particularly flush individual could make in this cold, cruel world: someone could hypothetically pay $800 million, or more, for the rights to No Time To Die… only to lock it away forever.