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"Game of Tarot" is relatively cheaply priced


Michael Dummett's The Game of Tarot (Duckworth, 1980) is the foundation of the study of Tarot history. It is the foundational document that everyone must have who wishes to understand and discuss Tarot history intelligently.

But I often hear the complaint that the price on the used market is prohibitive. It goes from around £150, $250 dollars, up to the high three digits.

When I tried to persuade people that they must buy it nonetheless, I used to argue that it was a bargain at almost any price, compared to weekend workshops and the price of about 10 Tarot decks, which most Tarot people have.

But yesterday I thought of another way to prove it was a bargain. The book was published in 1980 and sold for £45. So what is £45 worth today?

From this webpage we get the conversion to current buying power of 1980 £45 -
http://www.measuringworth.com/ppower...ar_result=2013
(if that result page doesn't come up, go to the calculator page
http://www.measuringworth.com/ppoweruk/
and put 1980, 45, and 2013 in the three right column boxes (don't worry about the left side ones), and click "calculate".)

The result? In 2012, 1980 £45 is worth £163 with the Retail Price Index (relative value of goods), or £242 using average earnings!

So in fact, the lowest priced used Game of Tarots are LESS than what they would have cost you in 1980, and the midrange ones are about the same as 1980!

So there is no excuse, Game of Tarot-less folks. Shut up, stop whining and go buy a copy tout de suite.
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I found my copy in 99? 2000? for something like $20 in Tucson. A couple of friends of mine got it for me for Christmas.

I practically had a stroke a couple of years ago when I found out how much it was going for on the secondhand market. My dust jacket has some damage, but the rest of the book is virtually mint.

Yes, if you can get your hands on a copy, I highly recommend it as well. It would be lovely if someone like Penguin or Dover would pick up the rights and reprint it.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkmage View Post
I found my copy in 99? 2000? for something like $20 in Tucson. A couple of friends of mine got it for me for Christmas.

I practically had a stroke a couple of years ago when I found out how much it was going for on the secondhand market. My dust jacket has some damage, but the rest of the book is virtually mint.

Yes, if you can get your hands on a copy, I highly recommend it as well. It would be lovely if someone like Penguin or Dover would pick up the rights and reprint it.
Wow, you are lucky! I paid total about $170 for mine (including postage from the seller in Norway, €50).

The rule I will follow now is to buy it without question if I see it for under $100, with the intention to sell it later or even give it as a gift.

I cannot emphasize enough to people that if they are serious about Tarot history, they must have this book. It is really the most expensive single item necessary to buy (excepting the updated (but much less comprehensive in the history) History of Games Played with the Tarot Pack, which is not absolutely necessary for grounding in the field - although, if you want to explore Tarot games as far as possible, then this book is the sine qua non). Every other resource costs less, except perhaps for some of the rarer Italian books (catalogues with essays, actually).

The other two necessary books, for the "modern" or esoteric history of Tarot, are also co-authored by Michael Dummett, of course (largely written by him), A Wicked Pack of Cards, and A History of the Occult Tarot.

The late Michael Dummett founded this field of study, and most of the conclusions he reached in 1980 still stand.

The moral is - buy Game of Tarot right away if you see it at anything under $300 dollars. You are paying relatively the same price as you would be if you had bought it in 1980.
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Actually my friends paid $25 + whatever AZ sales tax was in 1997. IIRC it was 7% then. So I've had my copy a while and I got damned lucky.

I'd say it's an important book, though not necessarily THE resource. Given that probably 2/3 of the actual book is nothing but card game variants, I'm sort of on the fence about calling it 'required.' That having been said, there is a lot of history in the book about Tarot that is very interesting, and if someone can get it for a reasonable price, I highly suggest they do so.

If this book was reprinted in a facsimile edition I'd probably give it more importance. But if someone's going to shell out $100 for a hardcover on Tarot, I'd recommend Encyclopedia of Tarot over this. I think that whole four book set will set you back about $120 or so, and that's a high estimate.
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I'm selling mine for £80 so it's a half price bargain going by your post Ross!

No takers so far so I may have to keep it and watch it increase in price.
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I had it in pdf format - but that went kaput with the hard disk it was on (hadn't made a back-up - duh) - anyways, I suspect it was an illegal pirated edition (some naughty person had took the time to scan a copy from the library). If there are no plans to reissue the book, it would be nice if the publishers could make a legal ebook version available - which surely could be done at very minimal cost to themselves. I'm afraid my days of buying expensive books are over
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moonbow View Post
I'm selling mine for £80 so it's a half price bargain going by your post Ross!

No takers so far so I may have to keep it and watch it increase in price.
It is indeed a bargain, and a great one. I know you must have looked after it well. If I had the money, I'd buy it in a heartbeat.

Anybody out there need one? Moonbow's here is the best bargain out there currently!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moonbow View Post
I'm selling mine for £80 so it's a half price bargain going by your post Ross!

No takers so far so I may have to keep it and watch it increase in price.
Still available?
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Hi manandcards, yes it's still available.

Can we move to the trading forum, my thread is here:

http://www.tarotforum.net/showthread.php?t=197218
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I got mine at a used Tarot sale...
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