In May, I made a few nice book finds. Here is the first one from May 17.
The Tom Swift book was purchased just because it was there. The Beverly Gray book did not appear to have a jacket, but I noticed paper sticking out of the book and investigated. The jacket was in four pieces but present, so I purchased the book. It has good quality paper.
The set of Trixie Belden books came from one location and was a surprise. I went to an estate sale because I saw Nancy Drew books in one picture. I knew that the books probably weren't special, but I had to go see them just in case. This is the picture that made me have to go to the sale. The Nancy Drew books can be easily spotted in the right side of the bookcase on the second shelf from the top.
A girl was standing up on the ledge on the left side looking at books when I arrived. As she stood there looking at books, I checked the Nancy Drew books. The books were not worth getting since they were very ordinary copies from the late 1970s. I then glanced in front of the girl and saw all the Trixie Belden books. In the above photo, they are in the left half of the bookcase on the fourth shelf from the top towards the left side of that shelf. They look like nondescript beige-colored books in the photo, and in short, look like nothing. They were worth getting, not the Nancy Drew books that I went to the sale just to see.
By the way, people who run estate sales rarely take good photos of the books. They don't realize that we need closer photos in order to have any idea whether the sale is worth checking. They think it's okay to take a photo from all the way across the room. They're just books, right? Why take a good picture? In my case, most sales are all the way across the city, and I don't go to most of them. I only went to this one because the Nancy Drew books were so obvious.
Getting back to the Trixie Belden books, they were in rather nice shape, most of them with very light wear. A few had lightly creased spines. The books were in nice enough shape that I pulled my Trixie Belden softcover books down to compare. I discovered that 20 of the 24 books were in better shape than my copies!
The following picture shows the books that I will end up selling. The first four at the left came from the lot of 24 books and are not in better shape than my books. The next 20 books are my books that are in worse shape than the books I just purchased.
The difference in condition cannot be appreciated by looking at the spines, but the books I am selling are in noticeably worse shape. Additionally, my copies have paper that is more yellowed than the ones I just purchased.
I found these books on May 23 and May 24.
The Girls' Annual was published in the United Kingdom by Collins and contains short stories. The Vicki Barr book is likely the first printing, since it has yellowed pulp paper. The Clue in the Old Album has double oval endpapers, but the cover art is the last art, which is a bit difficult to find. The Mystery at Lilac Inn is in rough shape but has the $1 box on the front cover. It is one of the more difficult to find $1 box Nancy Drew books. The Mystery at the Ski Jump is the first picture cover printing.
I was startled when I found the Judy Bolton picture cover books. I don't get startled easily when out looking for books, not even when I find scarce books. I was looking over the books when my eyes fell on the Judy Bolton books, and I read the two words "Sand Castle." I blinked hard, and my head jerked in my surprise. I was quite taken aback.
I very seldom see Judy Bolton picture cover books locally. I have found one or more copies of #1, 2, and 3 locally at various times over the years. Not counting those three titles, I haven't found any Judy Bolton picture cover books locally in 20 years. I found #23 locally in 1992, followed by #11 in 1993, and #18 in 1994. That's why I was so startled when I spotted The Secret of the Sand Castle.
I have owned all three books since the late 1990s, all purchased on eBay. However, consider if I had been someone who had never purchased on the internet and had relied solely on in-person book finds. May 23, 2014 would have been the day I would have acquired Judy Bolton #36, 37, and 38 for my collection had I not purchased them years ago on eBay. Even though the Judy Bolton books are not in the best condition, the find is still quite astonishing.
I purchased these Random House Trixie Belden reprints on May 27.
I quit purchasing the Random House reprints at #9. I didn't see the point. This is a frequent occurrence for me with new books. All new items are easy to find when they are new, which is part of the problem. I like having to hunt for books. I also sometimes wonder why I am purchasing the new books when I like the older ones better, and I wonder if I really do want them. So I quit. Now, eight years after the books went out of print, I have decided that I wouldn't mind having them. I am now filling in the gaps, and I must say that buying them is more satisfying now that I have to look for them.