A funny and revealing memoir about obsession ... and stamp collecting.
Like many boys of his era, Simon Garfield built a stamp collection the old-fashioned way: by steaming off the corners of envelopes. These days it is big business on the internet, far beyond the pocket of the ordinary collector. The Error Worldtells the funny, absurd and poignant story of an obsessive hobby and the colourful tales of the men who pursue it. But at the heart of the tale is the author's own quest to complete a collection of rare British stamps that have something dramatically wrong with them - missing heads, missing colours, missing numbers - as he wonders whether there is something missing in his own life to be so concerned with a desire his friends and family can't understand.
Simon Garfield was born in 1960. He is the author of Expensive Habits: The Dark Side of the Industry (1986), The End of Innocence: Britain in the Time of AIDS (1994), which was awarded the Somerset Maugham Prize, The Wrestling (1996), The Nation's Favourite: The True Adventures of Radio 1 (1998), Mauve (2000), The Last Journey of William Huskisson, and three recent hugely successful books about the Mass Observation archives, Our Hidden Lives, We Are At War and Private Battles.