Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Book Hunting in December

Since I have a break from work, I have been visiting various stores. On Friday, I began with Borders and Barnes and Noble, which are both around 15 miles away. I haven't been to either store in around a year. I have a heightened awareness of the Young Adult section, since I am currently reading the Twilight books.

I recall that Young Adult had already become gothic in recent years, but I honestly did not pay much attention. I noticed that the Young Adult section is very much gothic with lots of vampire books.

The juvenile series section still has the usual short supply of Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, but those books look boring compared to most of the other books that are available. I am viewing the books from the point of view of someone who is not heavily invested in them like I am.

My eyes fell on the Percy Jackson books. I remembered Jack's review of this series, so I found the first book and spent a bit of time reading the first few chapters. I read far enough to decide whether I wanted to purchase it. I decided that I would, but not at Borders. The price was $79.99 for the boxed set, and that was too high. When I got home, I found the set on Amazon for under $50.00, and I should have it in the next day or so.

On Monday, I decided on the spur of the moment to visit a few antique shops. I seldom bother since I hardly ever find anything. This time was different. Here is what I bought:


I bought 17 of the Collins Nancy Drew books from the United Kingdom. It is odd to find them in an antique shop here in Oklahoma. I bought two Connie Blair books with dust jackets, both of which seem to be first printings. I found first printings of Nancy Drew #53 and #54 as well as the first printing of the last cover art PC for #34.

The PC for The Clue in the Diary has the 1932 text! I also bought $1 box PCs of a Hardy Boys and a Tom Swift Book. I came away with a PC of Nancy Drew #37 with Carolyn Keene twice on the spine and the blackened price box on the front cover.

I bought a copy of The Tower Treasure with the red ink on the top page edges. Some people try to sell those books for $40.00 to $50.00, but I don't really think they are worth more than around $10.00 at the most. I will have to research to make sure. Last, I bought Judy Bolton #25, a Collins UK edition of a Three Investigators book, and a Hardy Boys book in dust jacket.

It was a very productive outing and very unusual for me. I haven't come home with this many books from visits to antique shops since around 2000-2001. They usually have nothing but overpriced books. Of course, I saw many overpriced books today.

I checked out a relatively new used bookstore that I had never visited. It has signs up stating that their prices are the average of the prices for the books on the internet. That is obvious. They must use the fixed-price sites and average all of the prices, including the insane high ones. They wanted around $15.00 each for picture cover editions of various series books (not the high-numbered ones). They wanted $10.50 each for common Ruth Fielding books that do not have dust jackets. I will never go in that store again.

I saw lots of books, including high-priced ones, but I was able to come home with a box full of books. I am debating whether I should go somewhere else on the spur of the moment. This has me energized.

14 comments:

Jack C said...

Great haul Jennifer- Nothing like finding great books at the antique store just waiting for you!! I had a similiar experience last month!!!

I hope you enjoy the Percy Jackson books- They are fun! Let me know whqt you think-

Robert said...

What finds! There's nothing better than finding things like that when you don't expect it.

Jennifer said...

I'll definitely report on the Percy Jackson books. Right now I'm on the third Twilight book. I will report on those books once I'm finished with them. I have already written a couple of posts on them, but I'm waiting until I'm finished reading all of them before I publish any of my thoughts. As my thoughts on Twilight are published, I'll probably be reading Percy Jackson.

Lauren said...

Wow, that is a very nice haul for a used bookstore.

A new one opened up near me over the summer and I managed to get a bunch of PC Nancys AND unload a bunch of my own random, mostly non-series books that I know I'll never get around to selling in order to get credit. It was nice to be able to get rid of a box of worthless (to me) books to get free books that I did want.

Jack C said...

I went to four antique stores today in between some last minute Christmas shopping. No dust jacket series books of any kind- Lot's of Whitman cello books like Donna Parker, Troy Nesbitt, Ellery Queen Jr. They all had broken bindings or missing pages.
I came home with one book- Bobbie Mason's "The Girl sleuth". Can you believe I would find that in an antique store, but not a Nancy Drew anywhere? Go figure...

Jennifer said...

Can you believe I would find that in an antique store, but not a Nancy Drew anywhere? Go figure...

That is the type of thing that usually happens to me, which is why I seldom go to antique shops. The used book stores are almost more worthless than the antique shops, since anything decent will be very overpriced. At least in the antique shops, the dealers sometimes price the books reasonably, which is how I came home with some books.

The used book store I mentioned in my post has a lot of good series books, but the prices are extreme. The high prices are the reason they have a good selection. Nobody is buying the books. What a waste. Wouldn't it be better to lower the prices and sell some of the books?

beautifulshell said...

Jennifer - random question. I recently bought a book on ABE and when it arrived, it was in a different format than the description said. When I went to verify, there was suddenly no record of the description anywhere to be found (and I KNOW I bought a book with a description). Have you ever seen this? What would you do? The seller has offered to let me return it, but I'm more frustrated that I can't verify whether it was my bad or theirs.

Jennifer said...

I don't know that I have ever had a book's description disappear. I just checked my old purchases. I can still click on the "item details" link to see the descriptions.

Could it be a glitch? It sounds weird not to be able to see the details. That would be frustrating not to be able to verify whose mistake it was. It is very common for sellers to describe books incorrectly on ABE.

beautifulshell said...

Yeah, I thought it was weird, too. I emailed ABE and they sent me their stored data on the book, which verified what I had remembered...just waiting to hear from the seller now. I've noticed that there seems to be a huge amount of confusion on ABE regarding dustjackets, in particular; the filter often leaves some out, and in my case, sellers often include a dustjacket condition when they aren't actually sending one. Very frustrating!

Jennifer said...

I've noticed the problem with dust jackets as well. It is very hard to find the right book when ABE's database has so much conflicting information.

I hope the rest of you are having better weather than we are. I never thought I'd see a real blizzard in central Oklahoma.

Jenn said...

I have never cared for ABE--the lack of coherent descriptions and the lack of photos frustrates me. I'd much rather check out eBay or Bonanzle or other book sites online that sell books when I can see what I'm looking at. I don't understand why ABE doesn't modernize a bit and allow photos. People would make a lot more sales I would imagine :)

Jenn:)

Luc said...

Abe Books does allow photos, just lots of sellers don't uploard---oftentimes being bookstores with tens/hundreds of thousands of books, it simply doesn't make sense to photograph each one. I frequently just email sellers with detailed questions to figure out what format a book is.

Jennifer said...

Since I mentioned the Percy Jackson books, I thought I would update. I was supposed to receive my package today, but the projected delivery date is now Tuesday, December 29. My package is stuck at UPS for a while. The 14 inches of snow is causing some difficulties...

Jack C said...

Well Jennifer: You've had a White Christmas. I'm a little jealous as it's raining here rather than snowing. I plan on resting and reading tomorrow- If you're snowed in, you can do the same!