Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Different Nancy Drew Library Edition

I promise I am working on my report on the library book sale. I don't want to try to finish it tonight since it is taking awhile, so I have something else for you. This interesting Nancy Drew library edition arrived in the mail today.

I have never seen one with this image on the front cover. Has anyone else? I almost did not spot it in a lot of books on eBay. Here are three of the pictures from the auction:

I had to look carefully at all three pictures in order to conclude for certain that the lot contained a special library edition.

My change in search strategy paid off with this lot. It was just a few days before spotting this lot that I switched to auctions only for my ending soonest search. If I had not omitted the fixed-price listings, I would not have noticed this lot. I'm so glad I did.

Of course, I also now have a bunch of junk books to get rid of as well, but that is the way it goes. By the way, the Crossword Cipher PC is the somewhat common third printing; I was hoping that maybe I had another possible first printing listing to Pine Hill. Oh, well. Each time I get a Crossword Cipher that is one of the first three printings, it usually arrives with library discards that are in rough shape. Have you ever noticed similar odd patterns in your collecting experiences?


Kaye Prince said...

Very neat! I haven't seen that library binding before either, but I'll keep an eye out when I'm at various libraries (which is often considering the fact that I'm currently getting my Master's to become a librarian).

Robert said...

Very neat, I've never seen that binding before. I wonder how rare it is, and if it's unique to a particular library.

Jenn said...

Very interesting library edition--I haven't seen any like this on eBay before either! What period do you think it's from?


Jennifer said...

I feel like this may be a unique library binding. To me, the illustration seems like something random kind of like the ones I call the geometric design library bindings.

The book yields no definite information as to how old the binding is. The interior list of titles goes to 99 Steps, so the text block part of the book is no older than 1966. Usually, books are not immediately rebound, so the binding is probably no older than the 1970s.

The inside front cover has a modern-looking bar code, so the book may be from the last 20 years. It does not have much wear and does not look like it was in the library that long.

I cannot say for certain, but I would place it in either the 1980s or 1990s.

Lian said...

This is on topic only because of I am mourning the loss of a book that was in an interesting book lot. Some of you may have seen a book lot listed a couple of days ago that contained several Nancy Drew and a Judy Bolton - The Hidden Clue. The Hidden Clue was not mentioned by name and I put it in my watch to check out later. Well, you guessed it. I checked on it thinking of when to bid and it was now closed with a Buy It Now to some unscrupulous bidder for $22. I emailed the seller telling her there was a valuable book listed and because the bidder probably knew it and took advantage of her she might reconsider the sale. She emailed me back saying I should have bid on it and she was going through with the sale. She said she was curious of which book was valuable - I didn't tell her I just emailed back and said I had seen it go for $100 and let that sink in. I also told her that many book collectors don't bid at first because it brings attention to the lot - the bids come in later. I'm still annoyed about it.

Jennifer said...

Do you have the item number? I'm always curious as to whether a collector or a reseller is getting listings like that one closed. I might be able to tell since I know a few people's alternate eBay IDs.

beautifulshell said...

Is there any possibility that the book was rebound by the library with a random girl on the cover? That's what the spine print reminds me of (although I admittedly know very little about published library bindings).

Lian said...

The item number for the lot is 320491916340. I need to let it go but it really annoyed me.

Paula said...

Re: Lian's post

It is so frustrating when this happens! Lian, even if you had bid, that doesn't stop some sellers from removing the item. I've placed initial low bids on some items to let the seller know that there are other bidders (but I won't place my high bid until the end). I've had cases where my bid is canceled by the seller and the item removed, never to show up again on ebay.

This seller had taken the time to provide several good pictures and write a description for each book (except the Hidden Clue) - why would you then sell it with a BIN? I can never understand the seller's thinking on this! Are you worried the books won't sell? You have a buyer contacting you who can bid on the item like anyone else. Are you worried the item will go for less? Well, if that's the case, and the item will not be sought after, why would the buyer be contacting you and WANTING to pay MORE than he/she might have to?

I think this seller thought the ND books were the valuable ones. Most of the description was focused on those books. The seller probably couldn't find any information on Hidden Clue because it doesn't come up in a "completed items" search. So, based on what the seller knew, the offer seemed fair and he/she took it. But come on! Think, people! Why would this buyer pay more than he/she had to? He/she wouldn't. Let it go to auction and know you are not being taken advantage of.

This happens so much that I decided to stop wasting my time and raising my blood pressure screening items as they are "newly listed". I now just check them towards the end of auction "ending soonest". This practice of contacting sellers for a BIN to essentially "steal" the item at a low price before it can go to auction is dishonest, whether it is a seasoned reselller or an amateur collector. All I can say at this point is "What goes around comes around"!

Jason said...

Let's see. ON that Hidden Clue auction. The buyer was happy, the seller was happy. The only unhappy person was you. So what? You had nothing to do with the auction. Deal with it.

Paula said...

On the Hidden Clue: It's kind of obvious it's a dishonest practice, and that's why it bothers folks. Does the buyer really think he/she is smarter than everyone else? Probably, but the answer is "No" - they are just sneakier and less scrupulous.

Jennifer said...

Jason, I'm sorry to say that it does bother most people. So what if it doesn't bother you personally? You didn't have to comment. Deal with it.

Jennifer said...

Is there any possibility that the book was rebound by the library with a random girl on the cover?

It is very likely. That is what I think and why I also think that this binding may be unique for Nancy Drew. It could be an image used on some other type of library binding unrelated to Nancy Drew, and the bindery used it on a Nancy Drew book.

Regarding the auction Lian mentioned, I do not know the buyer's ID, so I suspect it was somebody wanting the books for their collection. I tend to think it was not a reseller.

Some people like Jason obviously believe it is a "dog eat dog" world and that it is fine to snatch a good deal regardless. I understand why some people feel that way, but I feel differently.

Truly, we are a small group of collectors. We need to treat each other with respect, including in the tone we use in this blog when we reply to comments. This is why it is best not to resort to tricks when dealing with people on eBay.

Is there anything wrong with getting an auction closed early? Maybe, maybe not. I think it is not right, but I am not interested in debating that point. My opinion is that it is a bad practice because it does upset others, whether rightfully or not.

I think the real reason I have had some success on Bonanzle is that I do try to treat others with respect and with integrity. I know that if I act the way some people do on eBay that it will come back to haunt me. Enough said.

I have never had an auction closed early because I don't think it is fair. I would feel bad if I, with knowledge the seller did not have, were to ask the seller to accept a low offer. On the other hand, I see nothing wrong with buying something that a seller has listed with a low Buy It Now. Some people think both situations are wrong, but I see it differently.

I am always willing to take a good deal if the seller made that decision independently, but I am not going to suggest a good deal on a lot listed as an auction.

Last, I have mentioned this before and I will mention it again. In another area of interest, there are exactly three of us who want certain items. Two of us play fair, and the third is a jerk who gets the auctions closed prematurely. We all know each other. The jerk has defrauded both of us in transactions and is just a very slimy person who is always protesting that he doesn't understand why we have a problem with his behavior.

The two of us who play fair have exchanged messages privately, and we both see him the same way. The problem is him, not us.

He is not willing to pay very much for the items, so he cannot play fair. However, when he decides to sell something, he puts it up for sale at around 10 times the value, thinking one of us is going to pay the price, like a $200 item for $2000. Nope.

I have exchanged words with him, but I have avoided completely burning that bridge since he sometimes has interesting information. Mostly, he is just very annoying.

Lian said...


You're right, the bidder is very very happy, but right now, the seller is pondering on the fact that she now knows she screwed up and ended an auction prematurely and just lost a bunch of money.

I realize that sometimes we take these things maybe too personally but collecting is all about the hunt and the thrill of the find.

Someone took away my hunt along with that possible thrill. Just give me a minute and I will deal with it.

rachel said...

She looks a bit like Cherry Ames- or someone else, just not Nancy Drew!

Jason said...

Lian told the seller she could have got more for the books. An obvious breach of ebay rules and a good way to get removed from ebay.

Jennifer said...

It could be considered auction inference, but the only way Lian would get in trouble is if the seller reported it. She might and might not. Even if she did, about all eBay does is either nothing or slaps people on the wrist. Believe me, I have read eBay's message boards for years, and they really don't care.

It is actually hard for people to get in trouble. Did you know that if you decide not to pay for an auction that eBay will forgive the first strike a seller puts against your account? You are supposed to be limited to three strikes before losing your account, but it is really four since eBay forgives the first one on request.

There is a seller of series books who is once again blatantly shill bidding on his own auctions. I am 100% certain, and this is someone I turned in years ago. He is getting away with it, and eBay does not care. Think about that.

Some people think shill bidding is like a reserve and is okay. I suspect most buyers would not like to learn that they were being shilled. I think shill bidding is not playing fair. If a seller wants $200 for a book, then the seller should list the book at $200 rather than listing it at a low price and then placing a $200 bid later.

Jennifer said...

I want to point out that eBay has a policy about contacting sellers of auctions who do not have Buy It Now with Best Offer enabled. It is against eBay policy to contact a seller with a best offer when the auction does not have best offer. The person who had the auction changed to Buy It Now violated eBay policy. If anyone needs me to prove it, I will find the policy tonight after I get home.

Lian may have violated a policy, but the buyer who asked for the Buy It Now also violated a policy. I know two wrongs don't make a right, but it is important to be aware that the buyer was in the wrong, aside from any ethical considerations.

Jennifer said...

Read this:

Making a Best Offer

I refer you to "The Fine Print" at the end. I quote, "If the Make Offer button does not appear in the listing, the seller is not interested in receiving offers and you should not try to contact this seller through other means to negotiate price or terms."

It is against eBay policy to contact a seller and request a Buy It Now price. Assuming that the buyer made that request, the buyer was in violation of eBay policy. It is wrong, period.

I will stop short of adding links to multiple message threads, but here is one:

Offer Ethics

Even though the seller did add the Buy It Now button, eBay considers any offer when the offer button is not present as an offer to buy outside eBay. It is prohibited.

While it is apparent that some people think this practice is ethically sound, it does go against eBay policy.

stratomiker said...

The library edition could have been locally bound or personally bound. I have found several uniquely bound Drews over the years, one a very devorative hard-bound copy of The Nancy Drew Scrapbook. There is a book bindery at the nearby well-known local Loganberry Books that often rebinds personal collections.

As far as THE HIDDEN CLUE - it really is not a rare book any longer. You can buy the Applewood edition on Amazon for ten bucks and read the entire book for free on Google Books.

It is annoying when someone beats you out like that, but trying to get a hot book for a low price on eBay can scarcely work anymore. Too many people know too much and one of them will grab it if you don't bid aggressively.


Lian said...


I enjoy the new Nancy Drew Applewoods but still understand the desire to want to own the original printings. The same goes for Judy Bolton Applewoods; they aren't what I'm collecting. I am trying to complete the hardcover picture cover set with the original copy of The Hidden Clue published in the sixties.

I am prepared to bid aggressively which I will and have done in the past. But there is a limit to how much I will spend. The excitement of this listing was that the book was not mentioned by name in the listing only shown in the picture thereby eliminating those potential bidders who only search by title. I know there are others that would have bid against me for they could have seen it as I did but with the auction closed two days after listing there was no real opportunity. So we will never know.

Do you collect particular printings of Rick Brant? I never read any of them but did read a few of your blog entries and was interested.

Jennifer said...

That's why it's a shame when people won't play fair. There is a chance that the lot might have still sold for a somewhat low price.

Likewise, I bid aggressively on the books I want, but I do have limits. The only reason I have close to a complete set of Nancy Drew books with first printing books/first printing jackets is that I have managed to notice listings that not everyone else has. I have bid aggressively and have won. I am not willing to pay the Farah's Guide value for first printing books and jackets, so I try to notice listings that others do not.

I also search eBay often for good Buy It Now listings, which is how I have acquired some of my first printing books and jackets. These are listings that the sellers chose to list as Buy It Now from the first day. I have never asked a seller to close an auction early or add a Buy It Now to a listing that did not have one.

stratomiker said...

Do you collect particular printings of Rick Brant? I never read any of them but did read a few of your blog entries and was interested.

******I've sold most of my collector Rick Brants and just keep old marked-up reading copies; I've been writing about and reviewing Rick Brants since the 1960s. It's a well-written exciting series with a science slant and various types of adventures. Right now I'm rereading and reviewing the four South Pacific books for two reasons; they are pretty fantastic, and we know about some of the research books used for them (which I have) and it makes interesting reading to compare the stories to the realities behind them.

If you like Indiana Jones-type adventures, you'll like Rick Brant. And the science angles to the stories are exciting - a rocket to the moon, a radio relay from the mountains of Tibet back home bounced off the moon, deep sea salvaging in a small manned sub, and so on.