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Beyond Market Value: A Memoir of Book Collecting and the World of Venture Capital

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Beyond Market Value chronicles Annette Campbell-White's remarkable life, from a childhood spent in remote mining camps throughout the British Commonwealth, where books created an imaginary home; to her early adulthood in London, where she first discovered a vocation as a book collector; to Silicon Valley, where she built a pioneering career as a formidable venture capitali Beyond Market Value chronicles Annette Campbell-White's remarkable life, from a childhood spent in remote mining camps throughout the British Commonwealth, where books created an imaginary home; to her early adulthood in London, where she first discovered a vocation as a book collector; to Silicon Valley, where she built a pioneering career as a formidable venture capitalist. She recalls the impulsive purchase of the first book in her collection, T. S. Eliot's A Song for Simeon, and her pursuit of rare editions of all one hundred titles listed in Cyril Connolly's The Modern Movement. Campbell-White's collecting and career peaked in 2005, when she acquired the last of the Connolly titles and was first named to Forbes' Midas List, the annual ranking of the most successful dealmakers in venture capital. In 2007, out of concern for their preservation, Campbell-White rashly sold the Connolly titles she had spent more than twenty years assembling, leading to a new appreciation of what remained of her collection and, going forward, a broader focus on collecting modernist letters, manuscripts, and ephemera. Beyond Market Value is both a loving tribute to literary collecting and a telling account of the challenges of being a woman in the male-dominated world of finance.


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Beyond Market Value chronicles Annette Campbell-White's remarkable life, from a childhood spent in remote mining camps throughout the British Commonwealth, where books created an imaginary home; to her early adulthood in London, where she first discovered a vocation as a book collector; to Silicon Valley, where she built a pioneering career as a formidable venture capitali Beyond Market Value chronicles Annette Campbell-White's remarkable life, from a childhood spent in remote mining camps throughout the British Commonwealth, where books created an imaginary home; to her early adulthood in London, where she first discovered a vocation as a book collector; to Silicon Valley, where she built a pioneering career as a formidable venture capitalist. She recalls the impulsive purchase of the first book in her collection, T. S. Eliot's A Song for Simeon, and her pursuit of rare editions of all one hundred titles listed in Cyril Connolly's The Modern Movement. Campbell-White's collecting and career peaked in 2005, when she acquired the last of the Connolly titles and was first named to Forbes' Midas List, the annual ranking of the most successful dealmakers in venture capital. In 2007, out of concern for their preservation, Campbell-White rashly sold the Connolly titles she had spent more than twenty years assembling, leading to a new appreciation of what remained of her collection and, going forward, a broader focus on collecting modernist letters, manuscripts, and ephemera. Beyond Market Value is both a loving tribute to literary collecting and a telling account of the challenges of being a woman in the male-dominated world of finance.

38 review for Beyond Market Value: A Memoir of Book Collecting and the World of Venture Capital

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kerry Pickens

    If you enjoy building collections of any kind, you will enjoy reading this book which covers the author's upbringing in South Africa to her beginning career steps as a venture capitalist in the biomedical field in the San Francisco. She was broke the glass ceiling for women in venture capitalism by starting her own company, and used the income to build her book collection. Her area of interest was a book catalog published by the University of Texas at Austin's Harry Ransom Center, Cyril Connolly If you enjoy building collections of any kind, you will enjoy reading this book which covers the author's upbringing in South Africa to her beginning career steps as a venture capitalist in the biomedical field in the San Francisco. She was broke the glass ceiling for women in venture capitalism by starting her own company, and used the income to build her book collection. Her area of interest was a book catalog published by the University of Texas at Austin's Harry Ransom Center, Cyril Connolly's The Modern Movement. I graduated from UT-Austin, so I am very familiar with the Harry Ransom Center, but my interests are more in the genre referred to as "local regional writers." The Modern Movement doesn't really interest me, with the exception of Ernest Hemingway's writing, so I didn't really share her enthusiasm for her finds. However, it's the story of her growing interest in collecting that makes the book interesting, as she traveled quite a bit and was able to make a lot of contacts in the book collecting field.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    Annette Campbell-White’s father was an engineer specializing in the extraction of precious metals from ore. As a result, Annete’s childhood was spent in various mining towns in the far-flung remnants of the British empire in Australia, New Zealand, remote African countries and Canada (her favorite). Inspired by her father, she also chose chemical engineering as her degree choices. But moving to London she found her options in the male dominated field limited. Her time there was not lost as she p Annette Campbell-White’s father was an engineer specializing in the extraction of precious metals from ore. As a result, Annete’s childhood was spent in various mining towns in the far-flung remnants of the British empire in Australia, New Zealand, remote African countries and Canada (her favorite). Inspired by her father, she also chose chemical engineering as her degree choices. But moving to London she found her options in the male dominated field limited. Her time there was not lost as she purchased her first collector’s book: a copy of A Song for Simeon” which cost her half a month’s salary at a time when she had no money to spare. It became a solace and a beacon for her. The contacts she made in London eventually landed her a job in Silicon Valley where she grew more and more interested in financial dealings. When she found that venture capital firms had few leadership opportunities for women, she eventually founded her own venture capital fund specializing in seed money for biotechnology startups. Her timing was magnificent and her scientific training stood her in good stead. She became wildly successful, twice being listed in Forbes magazine’s most successful funds. As her disposable income grew, so did her interest in book collecting. She determined to collect the finest editions possible from Cyril Connolly’s One Hundred Modern Books from England, France and America, 1880-1950. Once this collection was complete, she moved on to other ephemera from modernistic authors. It was good to see her growth in choosing what was of interest to herself. This is a hard one for me to review. It was fascinating to see what she accomplished at a time when ‘women don’t do that’. It was definitely interesting enough to keep me reading, but in some ways, it read more like a biography than a memoir. It’s fairly short, so it hits only the high points. I would have liked more detail and definitely more emotion; one is mostly left with her regret in selling part of her beloved collection. I identified with her most deeply before her success. After that, it was a peephole into a moneyed world, where one can purchase books with five or six figure prices. Sigh.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Csimplot Simplot

    Excellent book!!!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Varielle

  5. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Barry

  6. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Cheresnick

  7. 5 out of 5

    Simon Burns

  8. 4 out of 5

    Carol

  9. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Barko

  10. 5 out of 5

    Helen

  11. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Adams

  12. 4 out of 5

    Pat

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lucy

  14. 5 out of 5

    Patrick

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

  16. 5 out of 5

    Raymond Stone

  17. 4 out of 5

    Susan

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

  19. 5 out of 5

    Janet

  20. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  21. 5 out of 5

    Pam

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen Hohler

  23. 5 out of 5

    Will

  24. 4 out of 5

    Haley

  25. 4 out of 5

    Shelley Parr

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jerrilynn Atherton

  27. 5 out of 5

    Luna

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lydia Langston

  29. 4 out of 5

    Shannon Navin

  30. 4 out of 5

    Anita Glover Stevenson

  31. 4 out of 5

    Amber

  32. 5 out of 5

    ***Book Lady ***

  33. 4 out of 5

    Brooke

  34. 5 out of 5

    Ron Frampton

  35. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Albright

  36. 4 out of 5

    Teresa Lavender

  37. 5 out of 5

    bbunny

  38. 5 out of 5

    Celeste

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