In this week I’d like to blog about books, or better books you should have in your collection. I’m sitting in the middle in a heap of books while writing. I can tell you from my long term collecting experience that it’s a big advantage to have some books as reference. I have not only one book but almost a shelf of Barbie doll books. The topics are very different.
There are Barbie doll books for identification, books about Barbie history, books about Japanese Barbie and their clothes, Barbie books similar to catalogs, Barbie books about clothes, books about her accessoires and books in Japanese (no joke) about Barbie. Okay, I also have two German editions but do they count? They were some of the first books I found about Barbie doll as a collector. In times before amazon.com was known worldwide it was not so easy to get every book you wanted ( especially if they were written in English). Of course you could try to get them with the help of local book stores but hey, it was not as easy as you might think. I think I got my very first Barbie book in 1998 and it was a coincidence that I found it.
The possibility to talk to other collectors, who had books, was very helpful. That’s how I found out that there were books similar to catalogs. It was certainly helpful knowledge. I can recommend you lots of books but I think it’s useful to put them in categories.
Barbie books for id
In this paragraph I’d like to introduce you to some of my favorite Barbie doll books. Books for identification (often similar to catalogs):
- The Ultimate Barbie doll book by Marcie Melillo
- The collectors encyclopedia of Barbie dolls and collectibles by Sibyl DeWein and Joan Ashabraner (first published in 1977, I have the 1992 updated version)
- Skipper: Barbie doll’s little sister by Trina Cottingham and Scott Arend ( for Skipper, her early fashions, Tutti and Todd and their fashions)
- Barbie doll photo album from 1959 until 2009: identifications and values by Michael Augustyniak
- Barbie doll around the world 1964 – 2007: identifications and values by Michael Augustyniak ( incomplete but nice)
- Collector’s Encyclopedia of Barbie doll by Michael Augustyniak ( about collector Barbie dolls)
- Collector’s Encyclopedia of Barbie dolls exclusives 1972 -2004 by Michael Augustyniak
- Collectibly yours Barbie doll by Margo Rana
- Identifying Barbie dolls by Janine Fennick
- The wonder of Barbie dolls and accessoires 1976 – 1986 by Paris and Susan Manos
- The world of Barbie dolls – an illustrated value guide by Paris and Susan Manos
In which books you can find fashions and accessoires
In this second paragraph I’d like to give you some titles about Barbie fashion and accessoires
- Barbie doll fashion Vol. I, II and III ( from 1959 until 1979) including all fashions
- Barbie in Japan by Keiko Kimura Shibano (special made fashions for the Japanese market, written in English)
- Japan Barbie Yasuhiro Sekiguchi Collection (written in Japanese)
- It’s all about the accessoires by Hillary Shilkitus James
- The Complete & Unauthorized Guide to Vintage Barbie(r) Dolls – 3 Edition by Hillary Shilkitus James
Japanese Barbie books written in Japanese
In the third paragraph I’d like to give you some names of my Japanese Barbie books. I can’t tell you if they are the only ones in Japan but they sounded interesting to me any my thirst to get to know new things.
- (Babi to watashi ? kisegae doresu o tsukuri tsudzuketa hansei-ki) by Fumiko Miyatsuka
- ( Babi kara hajimatta) by Yukiko Kanno
- Twist Barbie (yomiuri kara-mukkusiri-zu) by Mineo Takami
The Japanese books are not so easy to get. The book by Fumiko Miyatsuka is currently available through amazon.jp. You need a credit card to buy the book but the shipment is very fast. I think my copy arrived within a week or less. The other books were a bit harder to get. You need a Japanese address to buy the other books over the marketplace. There are special forwarders who are specialized in shipping goods abroad. I used tenso.com for my orders and the books arrived at my house within two months. I used the cheapest shipping method because I have to pay taxes for the shipping costs too. I know it makes no sense but it is this way in Germany.
My list of books written from employees, the founder itself and the history of Mattel
In the fourth paragraph I’ll give you some names of books from employees of Mattel, the company history itself and the founder. Let’s start with the founder. Again I’ll give you a list.
- Dream Doll – The Ruth Handler story written by Ruth Handler and Jaqueline Shannon
- The story of Barbie by Kitturah B. Westenhouser
- Barbie her life & times by Billyboy
- Dressing Barbie by Carol Spencer
- Forever Barbie by M.G. Lord
- Barbie (R) Talks by Gwen Florea
- Barbie – A visual guide to the ultimate fashion doll by Mattel
Books missing in my collection
There are some books I don’t have like
- Barbie and Her Mod, Mod, Mod, Mod, World of Fashion by Joe Blitman
- Francie and Her Mod, Mod, Mod World of Fashion by Joe Blitman
- Barbie Forever ( not available in Germany yet, but I preordered my copy)
Of course I can’t tell you if these books are useful or not since I don’t have them in my collection.
That’s my whole book collection at the moment. I hope that my lists are helpful to some of you. I put photos of all my books in my instagram account.
Why I recommend buying Barbie books
Now I’ve given you the list with all the Barbie books I have in my personal bookshelf. I think it’s important to own books about Barbie dolls. You can make yourself independent from other collectors. I love to read in books and especially in Barbie books. You can learn a lot from them. That’s also one of my focus points. I like to learn things from books. You can use them as encyclopedia. One can help other collectors with knowledge. I know there are lots of collectors who start to collect and then immediately stop again. Forget this group. If you’re really interested in the topic buy books. They are helpful. They are fun. Go, buy and learn.