Thanks for visiting I hope you bookmark and come back often, or else I'm just typing to myself!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Gone But Not Forgotten

When I morphed from a fanatic reader/book collector to an equally crazed bookseller it was with the understanding that I really was in business and other people were allowed to touch or (gasp!) even buy my books. I enjoy the collectibles end of the business very much but it was, and still is, hard to let certain books go. Over the years there have been a dozen titles or so that I wished I'd held onto for just a little bit longer...say 10-20 years?

In short, a few of the books that I've sold and wished that I had not....

OLD TURTLE by Wood. This copy was a Fine first edition with no ABA medal on dj and signed by both the author and the illustrator. A lovely picture book.

A WRINKLE IN TIME by Madeliene L'Engle. First Edition. Very Good in a Very Good dustjacket it was a first edition in the second state dustjacket. I sold this book for a customer, if it had been my own inventory it would still be sitting on my shelf.

DRAGON RUN by Carley Dawson. First Edition, Fine in a Fine dustjacket. The third book in the trilogy which started with Mr. Wicker's Window. This book would still on my shelf too, if I'd realized at the time how difficult it would be to find it again in collectible condition.

(It has always disturbed me that I can vividly remember the details of a book I've had in my hands once in my life, but rarely remember what day it is or the name of someone I've met on numerous occasions...)

Celebrating the Spoken Word

I was introduced to Rives' poetry by my daughter who insisted I check out Def Poetry Jam, thereby proving once and for all that she is way cooler than her mom. His poem on Def Poetry Jam was entitled "Kite" and it was both sweet and profane... a combination I did not think was possible.

The following poem is "If I Controlled the Internet".

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Bookselling Tips

The following are some bare minimum requirements for the setting up and running a mail order book business:

If you have more than 6 books you need a plan to keep your inventory organized, and you need to be consistent in using that plan. Every dealer has had the situation where a book has sold and then could not be found, trust me there will be a certain point where your inventory will be too large to trust to your memory.

How you store your books is your choice, but they need to be in a dry, cool and clean place if you want them to be in the same condition when you ship them as they were when you described them. Also beware of sunny windows, they will fade dustjackets and even books spines with time, some colors (yellow and blue in my experience) will fade even more quickly.

Invest in the Zempel reference book on how to distinguish a first edition. The small McBride pocket guide is also very handy for book scouting but unfortunately is currently out of print.

Take some time to become familiar with the traditional bookselling terminology, you may never use them in your descriptions, but you really should be familiar with the terms.

Beware of creep or slip in your condition descriptions. When processing a stack of books it is very easy to start describing the condition of the books relative to each other instead of relative to the standard of Fine in a Fine dustjacket.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Collectible Condition!

I just wanted to post this to show collectors, especially of children's books, that is not always necessary to compromise on condition.

THE FLYING EXPLORER is an aviation title by Theiss and is one of my pride and joys: it is a 1935 First Edition and still the condition is Fine in a Fine dustjacket.
Posted by Picasa

Wilfred McCormick

One author who is an exception to the rule that football stories are slow sellers is Wilfred McCormick. McCormick wrote both baseball and football juveniles.

The Bronc Burnett stories was his main series. This series was published from 1948 through 1967 by various publishers and reprinted by Grosset & Dunlap. Even the Grosset reprints are bought by collectors, though of course the books issued by the original publishers: Putnam, McKay and Bobbs-Merrill have the most value.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Scouting: juvenile sports books

Early juvenile sports stories, especially those written from the 40's through to the 70's are always worth scouting. I've found over the years that the genre desirability is roughly in the following order of interest: Baseball, Baseball and Baseball then Golf, Martial Arts, Surfing, Ice Hockey, Basketball and Football. (I admit to an American bias here, I have handled and sold very few Soccer books.)

Genre collectors are still interested in condition as well as content, but overall scarcity of the item rules the day. A few years ago I had a rather thin, unimpressive juvenile bio of a baseball player which I listed online at a modest price which sold within 6 hours. The book was only in very good condition, the author was unremarkable, but it turned out that it was the only bio ever written about that particular player. A fact that the second, third and fourth people who called about the book were very quick to point out.