Saturday, December 12, 2009

What Is It Worth?

I posted about this unusual book last night.

I nearly missed noticing the auction for this book because of the manner of presentation.


The word "rare" has been used and abused so much on eBay in the last few years that seeing it in the title of a listing no longer piques my interest. In fact, I am less likely to click on a book described as "rare" in the title than one not described as "rare."

This is what I saw that afternoon in eBay's search results.

Click on the image to see a larger version. I almost scrolled past the "RARE" books without clicking on either of them. I decided to click on one of them only to see what was so special this time. I was expecting to roll my eyes and hit the back button. My jaw dropped when I saw that a solid blue book had digger endpapers. Now this was interesting.

I suspect that most collectors did not ever notice this book when it was up for sale. I think the book would have been more readily noticed with the following title, which does fit eBay's title length limitations.

Unusual Non-tweed Nancy Drew Book with Digger Endpapers

I know that title would have drawn in my interest for sure. I have been frustrated ever since I saw and purchased the book. How many other good books am I missing on eBay because knowledgeable sellers choose to use non-descriptive adjectives in their titles rather than simply describe what the books are? A seller who has not been seen on eBay in several years was one of the first to use glowing adjectives to describe her Nancy Drew books. She is long gone, but others have copied her style, and new sellers continue to copy this style. How about just stating what it is?

Would any of you have bid on this book had you noticed it? If so, how much would you have bid? Or, if the book was above your budget, what do you think it might be worth? I'm not saying what I bid—just yet, but my bid was significantly above the closing price. Whenever I see a book of high interest, I ask myself how long it might take for another one to come up for sale. In this case, the answer might be "never," so I bid accordingly. I don't like to have regrets. In looking back, I think my bid was too low since the book may very well be one of a kind, but I was bidding aggressively at the time according to what I was thinking on that day. I was expecting to have to pay much more and was pleasantly surprised at the low amount of interest.

I am not kidding when I state that I nearly scrolled past it. In fact, I may have scrolled past it and then changed my mind. I am glad that I did view the listing and was able to purchase the book.

Once again, what would this book be worth to you?

1 comment:

stratomiker said...

It's a nice oddity and in very nice condition. Someone who collects oddities might pay quite a bit for it. It could be valued up to $100, I'd think.

I have seen digger endpapers in other solid blues and I have also seen blue silhouettes in tweeds. I am 64 years old and have been collecting/selling these books since 1962, so I've seen a lot of books, especially back in the 60s and 70s, that just may not be around anymore.

Boards were leftover at the factories where the books were printed, sometimes put on texts that came later. DJs were leftover at the warehouse, sometimes put on books that came later.

Having said that, I have also seen complete sets of original text Drew and Hardy picture cover books. You say that can't be? Well, there are collectors who work in libraries and/or are book binders, and they know how to take a text out of a set of boards and put a different one in, and make it look like the real thing. I have also seen fan-written Hardys and Drews set up with type that looks like the real ones and put into real Hardy/Drew boards, re-titled, looking like an actual real book.

So some oddities may be home-made. There are green tweed copies of a Dana Girls book I wrote out there. The nerve - they made them up and didn't even send me one!

It's possible this book is home-made, but I doubt it. It's not that unusual. It's like the Drews with the first-style Dana Girls endpapers, obviously left over endpapers put in later books of a different series. Why waste them?