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'There are millions of stamps, hundreds of countries and scores of topics and themes' confides Neill Granger, and he should know since he's been a stamp collector since boyhood and is now an experienced auctioneer. This enormous output could prove a daunting prospect for budding stamp buffs, but the author provides plenty of helpful suggestions on how to narrow the choice (Birds, Space and Trains are apparently top of the thematic pops), as well as useful practical advice on what you need to get started and how to organise and write up a collection. The colourful, attractively laid out pages are also full of interesting items about the very first stamps, early mail services, how stamps are made, famous forgeries and cinderellas. There's also a section on famous collectors, but it's to be hoped that aspiring young philatelists don't emulate one Alfred Hind, who thought he owned the only copy of a very rare stamp and on discovering the existence of a second, bought and subsequently destroyed it to ensure he still owned the only one.