Friday, December 30, 2011

My Book Collecting Year in Summary

I have made some important acquisitions during 2011, so I thought I would summarize the ones that come to mind.

This year I acquired the first printing jacket, 1931A-1, to the Nancy Drew book, The Secret at Shadow Ranch, bringing the total number of first printing Nancy Drew dust jackets that I need down to just one, The Secret of the Old Clock. I purposefully never mentioned this acquisition when it happened, since it involved a strange sequence of events. If you go back and read through my Nancy Drew posts that involve early Nancy Drew books from back in September and the comments to those posts, you can probably figure out what happened.

I quite unexpectedly found the first printing of the Nancy Drew book The Clue in the Crossword Cipher during what normally would have been an uneventful trip to a local book store, detailed here. This brings the total number of first printing Nancy Drew books that I need down to just one, The Mystery at Lilac Inn.

The result is that 2011 brought me down to needing just one first printing Nancy Drew dust jacket and one first printing Nancy Drew book for the original 56 books.

I also made a very narrow upgrade to the rather difficult to find first printing book for The Sign of the Twisted Candles, detailed here and here. Actually, I'm not sure if the book I am keeping could be considered better, but in any case, I unearthed another example of an extremely scarce first printing book.

I made a fabulous find of early and first picture cover Hardy Boys books at a book store, detailed here.

I still need some stray first printing revised text and art picture covers for the Nancy Drew series. I made some headway in that regard this year as well. In December I acquired the first printing of the 1965 art for The Secret of Shadow Ranch, when formerly I just had the second printing of the 1965 art. I also acquired the first printing of the 1974 cover art to The Scarlet Slipper Mystery.

After an email exchange with another collector, I realized that I did not have the third art of The Clue in the Old Album with the black and white multi endpapers. This was the only Nancy Drew cover art that I only had in the double oval endpapers. I decided to solve that problem. I purchased two copies on eBay, and one of them ended up being the first printing of the 1977 cover art, thus giving me another needed printing.

I quit reading the Grace Harlowe books earlier this year, in part due to my inability to find Grace Harlowe with the U.S. Troops in the Argonne. Three copies were available online, but I did not wish to pay those prices, especially considering the condition of the books.

In December, an eBay auction appeared that had Argonne along with several other books from the Overseas series. After some debate, I decided to purchase the lot, which was priced a bit high. After the seller shipped the books, he told me that he had found an extra copy of one of the books, which he had added to the box. I was wondering which one and thought, "What if it were Argonne? Wouldn't that be funny?"

The package arrived, and to my delight, I discovered two copies of Grace Harlowe with the U.S. Troops in the Argonne in the box. It's amusing to go from not having a book at all to having two copies instantly.

In 2011, I decided to resume going to garage sales and estate sales for the first time since the middle part of the 1990s. I had gone to a couple of garage sales in recent years, but this fall, I began to check the sales every single Saturday. I now am very interested in going to these sales, not so much for books but for the recreation. The books will be few and far between, but perhaps I can find something good in the coming months.

I also have the satisfaction of seeing that traffic to this blog continues to increase, although at a slow and steady rate. I have begun utilizing my Facebook page in a more appropriate fashion, and it is gaining interest. Best of all, I enjoy using my Facebook page.

I decided to begin selling again on eBay this year since I found eBay to once again be usable for selling. The primary motivation was the 50 free auction listings per month. eBay is useless unless the listings are free. I hope to attain top-rated seller status eventually, just so that I can see if it makes a difference.

In the meantime, I will continue to use Bonanza for the bulk of my sales and am pleased at the progress I have made there.

As the year ends, I want to continue reading the Nancy Drew books again for the first time in ten years, but I also now have a dilemma. Since I finally have all of the Grace Harlowe books, I feel like I should resume reading them.

Edited to add: As pointed out in a comment, I forgot one of my most important acquisitions, Nancy Drew #78, The Phantom of Venice, in hardcover with dust jacket. I wrote about that find in this post.


Kelly Robinson said...

You could probably sell tickets to give tours of your collection. I'd buy one!

beautifulshell said...

nice - i was wondering whether you'd stopped with grace harlowe because you weren't liking it. that series is kind of hard to complete for cheap!

Jennifer White said...

I did not like at least one of the Overton books, but not having all of the Overseas books was a big part of it. As I crept closer to the Overseas books, I kept not finding that one book. I would have downloaded it, but I discovered that it doesn't seem to be available in electronic form.

I think I was partway through the last Overton book when I quit. Something else might have distracted me as well, like perhaps the latest one of Michael Scott's Nicholas Flamel books. I spent most of the summer reading modern books, like Fablehaven and others.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget The Phantom of Venice. :)

Jennifer White said...

Ooh, you are so right! I might need to back and edit this post later. I won't do it now, because it would be a little too difficult on my iPad.