Monday, December 22, 2008
a little hurrah
Part of the reason I write this blog and share my "booking adventures" is to connect with others who are equally involved in the various and wide net called THE BOOK TRADE. If one were willing to put name on it. Part of the gasm here is the pursuit. The find. Another part is the sale, for those who are more book scout than collector. I am a bit of both. I find to sell, and I find to collect. When I found the first edition of Dawn Powell's Turn, Magic Wheel I was terribly excited to find the book but after researching it, decided to post it for sale since it was also fairly rare. It netted me $300.00 - I would say it was worth it.
Within the last few weeks I found these two books and decided to post them for sale as well and they both sold. Hurrah, but as with any explorer, telling of the find is as exciting as reaping the rewards of the sale. I found both in second hand stores, not "Good Will" stores but in good will stores (my generic name for non-used bookstores). Stores associated with non-profit, community based missions. Stores where the person who deals with books isn't terribly knowledgeable about the "what" that they are dealing with. Of course, there's a lot of crap being donated to these places as there are at used bookstores. But the hunt is what draws me to these places and that's where the action is (at least in Northern VA where I am currently living)
I went into the first in Alexandria, VA a few weeks ago while waiting for a bookstore to open and found a number of interesting books as well as the booklet by L I Brezhnev I earlier wrote about. I am not a fan of Rod McKuen, I want to make that perfectly clear, but as I was down on all fours looking at the bottom shelf of bookcases in the corner of the largest of the rooms in this store, I found a first edition of Listen to the Warm by McKuen......signed by the poet on the inside front of the book. I hesitated about a half second and then put in the middle of the stack of books that I was buying. I ended up paying 81 cents for the book. It sold for almost $30.00!
A few days later, I was in a different store in Fairfax and got only two hardbound first editions (hey I was keeping my kids busy and only had a buck with me) and one of those books was Trujillo: The Life and Times of a Caribbean Dictator by Robert Crassweller. It was in perfect condition. Quirky. Odd subject matter. Hadn't thought about these islands in any political way. Then I remembered Poppa Doc/Baby Doc...oh yeah, there have been dictators in paradise. This book sold for $15.00
a little pre-Christmas present I won't bother dropping in my 401k (falling, falling into the abyss of Wall Street like down a rabbit hole with Alice)