Friday, February 10, 2012

Booking in Florida moves North temporarily

Home improvement having forced me North for a few weeks, I took advantage of the Manistee Library's Book Sale and came up with a few interesting books some of which merit mention and other that merit some analysis.  At this sale, I purchased some history most importantly a First edition/first printing of Brookhiser's biography of George Washington.  Some Science Fiction; Carlucci, a paperback collection of three novels by Richard Paul Russo.  I had a chance to read two of these works while working as a high school librarian, and even though I did not find them appropriate for that collection, I did enjoy them.  I also purchased several collections of short story to add to my extensive collection.  I am really looking forward to the Collected Short Stories of Richard Yates who was so instrumental in the Iowa Writer's Workshop and was Raymond Carver's mentor to mention just one of the writers that he took under his wing.  I also purchased a copy Prize Stories, 1960
edited by Mary Stegner with an introduction by Wallace.
It is in pristine condition with boards so stiff that
they resist opening.  In this condition the collection
would be valued at between fifty and seventy-five dollars.  Unfortunately this jacket is price clipped limiting the books value.
In addition to these great books, I also purchased three
books that deserved some analysis. They are Hiroshima
by John Hersey, Tales of the South Pacific, Michener's
first novel, and finally The Stars Like Dust by Isaac Asimov.  Hiroshima was originally published in November of 1946 over the objection of the United States government.  True first editions are valued at as much as a thousand dollars.  The book that I purchased had no price on the dust jacket and a small square indentation on the lower corner of the back cover.  It is a book club edition.  Interestingly, it is, as stated on the title page, a New Edition Reset with a new chapter and frontpiece, August 6, 1985.  The dust jacket of this work is also dated 8/85.  This makes this work rather unusual for a book club edition and has added to its value which is currently around twenty dollars.  The second book that I wanted to discuss is Michener's work.  A true first of this book in good condition would value at as much as three thousand dollars.  The copy that I purchased is pristine and is labeled as a first printing on the title page which also indicates no date other than 1947. 
This is not that three thousand dollar book miraculously saved for me to find.  It has no price on the cover.  It has a book club mark on the rear cover.  It is most likely what is know as a facsimile, a book made to look like a rare original that can be ordered on demand.  The last book in this trio is The Stars Like Dust which was published in 1951.  This book is labeled a Tor First Edition on the title page with a complete number line which would indicate that it is a first printing.  It does have a price on the jacket and there are no indentations on the rear cover, but while this is not a book club edition, it is also not a true first edition as it was not published in 1951.  All of this means that a book is not always what it seems.  I am absolutely sure that these are the strategies of nefarious publishers accomplished to make a collector's heart skip a beat as he or she is sure for a moment that they have found the blackbird of which dreams are made.

1 comment:

  1. It would take more than home improvement to force me north in the winter ... it'd take a gun to the head.