Saturday, February 6, 2010

Clues to Collecting #2

Question: Slightly off topic of the blog, but on the topic of Beverly Gray, I just received today what appears to be a 1st (or at least very early) edition of #21: Secret. In the back, it lists the next volume as being Beverly Gray's Masquerade. Obviously the name ended up being changed when the next volume was published. I didn't see this listed on your Beverly Gray page, so I didn't know if you might want to mention it. I'm wondering if all the copies of Secret continued to list the wrong title, or if it was corrected later on.

Answer: I don't know if the draft title was corrected for later printings, since I just have what is also probably the first printing. Sometimes the draft titles remained uncorrected for many printings, such as in the Nancy Drew series. I would say that since #21 was so close to the end of the series, the draft title was likely never corrected and is probably present in all of the original Grosset and Dunlap tweed printings. Grosset and Dunlap was usually quite slow to correct mistakes like that, and sometimes never bothered to correct them.


Question: I have a daughter owns a recent Nancy Drew paperback (The Nutcracker Ballet Mystery #110 - Aladdin) which has a printing error on the spine. Instead of listing "The Nutcracker Ballet Mystery" over Carolyn Keene's name, it says "BOOK TITLE". Is this worth holding on to, or are there millions of them out there with this error?

Answer: The first Aladdin reprint had the error on the spine and then the error was corrected for later printings. It is not rare but may be scarce. It will probably not ever have any great value since there are probably quite a few of them, although it is of interest to collectors who want everything.


Question: I have a question on the topic of gleaning information from the spines of ND books. There is an auction on ebay right now Item # 330307377666 that shows 7 tweed books with white spine dust jackets. Two of these look unusual to me in that they have light blue lettering, as well as the typical light blue silhouette, on the spine. Does this indicate anything about the books? I thought the lettering was always black.

Answer: The Whispering Statue and The Clue in the Jewel Box are the only two Nancy Drew books that have blue print on the spines instead of the usual black. I believe all printings in dust jacket for those two books have the blue print. None of the other books have the blue print, so it doesn't mean anything as far as determining anything about the books. It is just one of Grosset and Dunlap's random inconsistencies which cannot be explained.


Question: I was searching your blog for some other information, and came across this post which reminded me of a book I have. It's "Nancy's Mysterious Letter", an original text PC, which lists to Fire Dragon on the back. The odd thing is that it lists to Clue of the Velvet Mask and Dana Girls Jade Ring inside, both first published in 1953. Quite a difference! Is this a normal 1st (or later) PC printing of this book according to Farah's? Or do I have my own bizarre anomaly? This is why I am intrigued by collecting ND books! Thanks!

Answer: The 1950s and early 1960s printing history of Mysterious Letter is really odd - there are lots of mistakes and anomalies. All copies of Mysterious Letter printed from 1953 through 1962 have the same list of titles inside the book: Nancy Drew #1-30 and Dana Girls #1-15.

The last two printings with that list of titles inside the book are the first two picture cover printings. The first picture cover printing lists to Fire Dragon on the back cover, so you do have the first picture cover.

During the 1950s, several printings of Mysterious Letter have "The" in front of the title on the front cover, which is obviously an error. Some sellers like to say this error is RARE because it was caught quickly, but the error is an anomaly that occurs in five printings from 1952 through 1957, so it was NOT caught quickly.

Then there is also the oddity of the many hole-punched dust jackets from 1950 that list to Wooden Lady that have inexplicably shown up on mid-1950s books which of course have the odd list of titles, ND #1-30 and DG #1-15 inside the book. Enough of the hole-punched jackets have shown up on the mid-1950s books that I am confident that a stack of them was found in the mid-1950s and placed on books. I have personally had at least three of the mismatched hole-punched jackets on tweed books pass through my hands and know of multiple other examples that exist.


stratomiker said...

Have you seen the Drews from around 1945, sort of a combo of format 7 and 8, nice sturdy books? They are about 1/8 inch taller and thus the DJs never fit right. I used to handle a lot of them years ago, but seldom see them now. In the early Farah Guides he used to mention that the jackets misfit, but I don't see any such listing in the latest one.

This apparently was the result of subcontracting during/after the war and the books being made here and the DJs being made there. Or so Farah figured.


Jennifer said...

I have seen a few of those. Like you stated, it has been awhile, though. I used to have an early printing of Crumbling Wall with the shorter DJ in my collection, but it was upgraded years ago.