There is one very important factor when buying a Wisden as a gift, especially if the gift is for someone who might have appeared in Wisden for their school or for a county, a county second XI or a minor county (the level below the Championship that will include teams such as Norfolk, Herefordshire or Cambridgeshire) and it is this: The year on the front cover of Wisden refers to the year it was published. The cricket information within is for the previous twelve months. There is some slight overlap when it comes to international matches. But, to keep it simple, if Young X, Y or Z played for a team in 2016 and that team or his name appeared in Wisden it will be in the 2017 edition.
I learned the hard way when someone bought a 1986 Wisden from me as a Christmas present for their grandson because the young man had played for a school in, 1986. Sadly, the mistake was only realised on Christmas Day. So now, I always try and explain to people that it is the year after X, Y or Z appeared that they need.
- If the Wisden being bought is for a collector then please find out whether they collect the Hardback edition or the Soft Back edition. It is actually quite unusual for people to collect a mixture, especially for post WW2 collections.
- If the collector’s partner can help in terms of the gaps they have and whether hardbacks or soft backs are collected, then wonderful. Also ask, if the collector goes for pristine editions or will accept good ones. That can be a little awkward but it can avoid disappointment.
- My list of customers grows each year so it is always worth asking if I have sold to the person you are buying for. I might have some idea on whether they already have the one you are intending to purchase.
- Have a budget and do not go over it. It is very easy to be persuaded to buy a particular Wisden when a Wisden for less will prove just as rewarding to the collector.