Saturday, May 30, 2015

Cherry Ames Department Store Nurse and Camp Nurse

In Cherry Ames #18, Cherry Ames, Department Store Nurse, Cherry takes a position as a nurse in a New York department store.  Cherry becomes friendly with Mrs. Julian, an employee in an antique shop inside the department store.  After several valuable items disappear, Mrs. Julian comes under suspicion.  Cherry works to prove Mrs. Julian's innocence.

As this book began, I was disappointed that Cherry was not still at the boarding school.  I wish that Cherry had held some of her positions for more than one book, which would have added better continuity to the series.  It was jarring that Cherry abruptly left the boarding school in the middle of the school year to take a job in a department store during December.

I enjoyed most of this book.  Near the end, I began to grow bored, and I skimmed most of the last couple of chapters.

In Cherry Ames #19, Cherry Ames, Camp Nurse, Cherry nurses in a camp for girls.  This is one of those books that I couldn't enjoy.

The book begins with too many characters introduced too quickly.  The first two chapters introduce the reader to at least 20 people, and several share the same last name.  Several have similar first names.  Two characters are named Ruth.  How can the reader be expected to keep up with all of these people?

Cherry seems to think Mac is Jack Waldron, the missing cashier who was accused of theft.  But on page 118 when Mac admits he is Jack, Cherry is surprised, like she has forgotten what she suspected. Cherry, what is wrong with you?

I didn't like this book.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

My Journey through Boys' Series

I have never cared for boys' series books.  That is... I didn't think that I cared for them.  The only boys' series I had read were the Hardy Boys, Perry Pierce, and Ken Holt.  While I overall enjoyed the Hardy Boys books, I did not like certain aspects of them, such as some of the boisterous behavior of the boys.  I enjoyed Perry Pierce more than the Hardy Boys, but I also didn't care for similar situations.  When I read Ken Holt back in 2010, I struggled with the great detail and some of the qualities shared with the former two series.  Based on those experiences, I concluded that I didn't like boys' series books very much.

In the last year I have read the Three Investigators, Brains Benton, the Power Boys, Rick Brant, Roger Baxter, Troy Nesbit, and Biff Brewster.  I greatly enjoyed most all of the books in most of the series.  I read the Ken Holt books again, and I liked them better than I did in 2010.  Since I responded quite well to most of the books in these boys' series, I can now conclude that I do in fact like boys' series books.  This is quite a revelation for me, since I thought that I didn't like boys' books.

Since I have been hungrily reading as many boys' books as I can as fast as I can, I have paid particular attention to the recommendations of boys' series enthusiasts so that I can acquire more books to read.  Several collectors recommend the Tom Quest books.  In fact, the comments to a post I made on Facebook caused me to build a set of the Tom Quest books with the idea of reading them right after Biff Brewster.  I was able to get all eight books at reasonable prices.

Since I built the set in one hour by perusing several online sites, some of the books have flaws.  I had to take the best of what was available that evening, since I wanted to build the set fast in order to have it on hand by the time I finished Biff Brewster.  Even with flaws, the set is a good solid set that I will enjoy reading.

Meanwhile, several collectors have recommended the Mill Creek Irregulars, which is also known as the Steve and Sim series.  The series consists of ten books written by August Derleth.  I decided that I wanted to try these books.  I wanted copies with jackets in at least very good condition, but these books are much more expensive and hard to find than the Tom Quest books.  I would have to invest quite a bit in order to build a set, and I didn't want to do this without a better idea of whether I would enjoy the books.  This meant that I needed to secure the first title to see how I responded to the beginning of the series.

I purchased the first two books with dust jackets off of AbeBooks.  While I was waiting for these books, I was busy reading the Biff Brewster series and was greatly enjoying them.  When the two books arrived, I read the beginning of the first book, The Moon Tenders.  The text flows so well, and the book pulled me in immediately.  Reading those opening pages was like eating a delectable dessert.  It was that good!  I quit reading after a bit and decided that I would purchase more of the set.  I kept getting pulled back to The Moon Tenders, and I found myself obsessed with it.  I forced myself to quit on the third chapter, since I didn't have the set.  I told myself that I would not allow myself to read another word until I had all ten books in my possession.  That settled that.

I then found myself thinking of The Moon Tenders while continuing with Biff Brewster.  It was an internal struggle to keep myself going with Biff Brewster.  I try to avoid reading anything else while reading a series, because I can so easily throw myself off.  Reading most of the first three chapters of The Moon Tenders was enough to nearly pull me away from Biff Brewster. 

I decided that I had to get the entire set of the Mill Creek Irregulars.  I ordered six of the eight titles that I still needed.  Volumes 3 and 4 were problematic.  The Pinkertons Ride Again and The Ghost of Black Hawk Island were in low supply online, especially The Ghost of Black Hawk Island.  Several days passed before I finally settled on which copies I would purchase for those two titles. 

I then eagerly awaited my purchases.  I was nervous about The Ghost of Black Hawk Island since so few copies were available and I had to pay more than I would have preferred.  Finally, I had all ten books in my possession.  16 days passed between submitting my order for the first two books and receiving the final book that I needed.  It didn't take me long to complete the set!

Except for a few minor wear issues, the books and jackets are in excellent condition.  None of the books are library discards, with the exception of the one that is surplus from the Library of Congress Copyright Office.  As far as I'm concerned, that one does not count as a library discard, since it did not come from a public library and was never circulated.  One book was signed by August Derleth.  I am very pleased with the books.

I have started reading the Tom Quest series, and so far, I am greatly enjoying the first book.  I started the first Tom Quest book two days before my final book arrived to complete the Mill Creek Irregulars set.  I will finish Tom Quest before I begin the Mill Creek Irregulars, but it is next on my list. 

After that, I'm not sure what will be next.  It depends upon whether I build another set of a boys' series to read.  If I don't have another set compiled, then I will read the Hardy Boys books again.  I have not read the Hardy Boys books in 20 years.  I'd like to see what I think of the Hardy Boys now that I have read a good many boys' series books. 

Monday, May 25, 2015

Cherry Ames Country Doctor's Nurse and Boarding School Nurse

In Cherry Ames #16, Cherry Ames, Country Doctor's Nurse, Cherry takes a job as a nurse for a country doctor in Sleepyside, New York.  Cherry takes a room in a boarding house, and the owner acts like she hates Cherry.  Cherry soon begins helping Harry Jenner, who is trying to unseat the current mayor, Cy Hillman.  Harry has accused Hillman of corruption and graft, but he must find proof.

Lex appears in this book, and I still don't like him.  Unfortunately, Lex never did get married, so he is still a potential suitor for Cherry.  Oh, joy.

The beginning of this book drags.  Way too much expository information is given about the people that Cherry is to meet in Sleepyside.  She is told pages of information before she meets any of them.  I find it hard to care about a lengthy back story before I get to meet the characters.  I'd rather see what's going on and then learn the history.

I also couldn't help thinking, Where's Trixie?  Sleepyside, New York, is the setting of the Trixie Belden series, which was created by Julie Tatham.  She incorporates some names from the Trixie Belden series, such as Old Post Road. 

Before Cherry arrives in Sleepyside, she predicts that Dr. Clem won't want to hire her.  Cherry has some serious self-esteem problems.  Additionally, a large amount of text is devoted to Cherry learning everything about Dr. Clem's office.  Cherry keeps saying that she can't remember how to do something and that she needs a refresher.  Girl, get a grip on yourself.  You are an RN, and you have had lots of experience.  You don't need practice.

Cherry plays this same dumb broad act at the beginning of every book, and it gets really old. 

This book contains a bit too much history about Washington Irving and the area around Sleepyside.  Julie Tatham probably enjoyed writing it, but I didn't enjoy reading it.  Parts read like a travelogue, and I almost always dislike travelogues.  I skimmed most of the travelogue parts.

This book also contains a bit much information about the mayor and the history of the characters.  At times, I felt similar to how I felt while reading Cherry Ames, Mountaineer Nurse.  I'd rather see more action and less discussion.

While the book is overall good, I was bored quite a few times throughout the story.

In Cherry Ames #17, Cherry Ames, Boarding School Nurse, Cherry takes a job nursing in a boarding school out in the country.  Cherry becomes friendly with Lisette, a new girl at the school, who seems to be searching the mansion for something.  Lisette has isolated herself from the other girls, which concerns Cherry.  Meanwhile, another girl accuses Lisette of theft, and Cherry hopes to clear Lisette.

The end of Country Doctor's Nurse states that Cherry would be going to Jamestown, Rhode Island for her next job.  The first page of this book states that Jamestown is not far from Cherry's hometown of Hilton, Illinois, so Cherry will be able to go home during all school breaks.  This confused me, since Illinois and Rhode Island aren't that close.  On page 10, Cherry tells a woman that she has "been brought up right here in Illinois."  That makes more sense. The location of Jamestown changed from Rhode Island to Illinois between the two books.

Cherry doesn't pull the "dumb broad" act in this book.  She just has minor nervousness with the new situation, which is normal for anybody.  She does worry about the doctor's approval during her first job with him, but anyone might be nervous working with someone new.  At least she doesn't forget everything she knows.

This is the third book in a row to use the word "sesame" as in "open sesame."  It's not a word that appears in the average series book, and it's odd for it to show up in three successive titles written by two different authors.

This book flows so much better than the previous book.  The expository information is short and to the point.  I really enjoyed the school setting, which is very similar to the setting of the Dana Girls series.  The school even has a mean girl, who causes Lisette problems.

I greatly enjoyed this book.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Cherry Ames Dude Ranch Nurse and Rest Home Nurse

In Cherry Ames #14, Cherry Ames, Dude Ranch Nurse, Cherry takes a position at a dude ranch in Arizona.  Soon after her arrival, Cherry discovers that the tutor, Harold Bean, despises her and does everything he can to make her job difficult.  Several of Cherry's patients also strongly dislike Cherry for some unknown reason.  The situation worsens when the pranks begin, pranks that threaten to grow deadly when the perpetrator tampers with the medications.

This book is quite reminiscent of the Trixie Belden book, The Mystery in Arizona, since Julie Campbell Tatham wrote both books.  Cherry Ames, Dude Ranch Nurse was written first, so Tatham reused ideas in The Mystery in Arizona.  A major part of the plot in Cherry Ames, Dude Ranch Nurse is Cherry's difficult patients.  I was amused, since Trixie, Honey, and Di have to clean the rooms of difficult guests in The Mystery in Arizona.  In both books, the difficult people eat up time, causing the protagonists to have to hurry through other tasks. 

Both books have the same feel and flavor.  The rooms are like cubicles.  Both Cherry and Trixie aren't able to have much fun due to the various complications.  They both get homesick. 

I have noticed that Cherry gets out of each climactic scrape very easily in every book.  In this book, Cherry is confronted by the villain, who has a gun.  They are alone with no one around for miles.  Oh, no!  However, I was not in any sort of suspense.  I caught on a number of books ago that Cherry is not allowed to be in great danger for more than a brief moment, and she is always rescued by one or more men.  In this book, Cherry is only with the villain for around five pages, long enough for him to recite what he did and why, then she is rescued.

Cherry and Patty have a lengthy conversion that I found boring.  Cherry spends four pages describing her nursing training in great detail.  Cherry lists all of her friends, describing them thoroughly.  Patty then tells Cherry everything she knows about nursing.  Patty spends close to two pages reciting her knowledge.  How boring!  I skimmed this conversation.  The reminiscing from the early Cherry Ames books is a quality that I dislike about all of those books, and I didn't need to read the same story again for the umpteenth time. 

Aside from that one conversation, nothing about this book is boring.  The book is thoroughly engaging, and I greatly enjoyed it.

In Cherry Ames #15, Cherry Ames, Rest Home Nurse, Cherry returns to Hilton.  She and two of her friends take positions at a new rest home.  Soon after Cherry's arrival, Mr. Stanley is admitted as a patient at the home.  Mr. Stanley is extremely disagreeable, and Cherry instantly dislikes him.  Mr. Stanley's nephew shows up wanting to see him, and Mr. Stanley becomes quite upset, refusing to see the nephew.  Cherry soon realizes that the nephew is threatening Mr. Stanley, and Cherry decides to figure out why.

The past few books written by Julie Tatham have gradually had more Trixie Belden expressions slip into the text, such as "gleeps."  This book also has the expression "super-glamorous perfect."

I greatly enjoyed this book.

Monday, May 18, 2015

What Some Buyers Find Important

It is interesting to compare what I find important as a buyer to what some of my buyers find important.  As I have been exploring various boys' series in the last year, I have on several occasions wished to build a set of a series immediately so that I could read the books in the very near future.

I consider price, paper quality, absence of odor, absence of water damage, and dust jacket spine and front panel condition to be most important and not necessarily in that order.  I care not at all if a name is written inside.  Certainly, an unmarked book is preferable to one with a name written inside, but the factors I just listed are far more important to me.

I almost never purchase the least expensive book if I can find one that is somewhat more expensive that better meets my other conditions.  There is a limit, however, to how high I will go, so I do sometimes take a less expensive copy with flaws when the other copies are higher than I wish to pay. 

If I see several copies with dust jackets, I will usually take a copy that has less wear to the spine and front panel.  If two sellers have the same book but one seller does not picture the dust jacket spine, I will purchase the book from the seller who pictured the spine, even if that copy is priced $5 or $10 higher.  I want a nice spine, since that is the part I can see on the shelf.

Most recently, I decided to build a set of Tom Quest books.  I built the set over the course of an hour.  Yes, I move very quickly.  I wanted to acquire all eight books fast so that I could read them in the near future.  I searched eBay, Etsy, Bonanza, Amazon, and AbeBooks for copies to purchase.  I had to print myself a list of the eight titles so that I could make notes about the copies that I found on the different sites.

The first six Tom Quest titles were issued in hardcover with dust jacket by Grosset and Dunlap.  The first six were reissued in the Clover picture cover edition, and the last two books were only published in the Clover edition, which has pulp paper.  Since I dislike reading books with pulp paper, my first decision was to purchase the books with dust jackets for the first six titles.  I knew that the early printings of some books might have pulp paper, but I would still prefer reading one of those books to reading a Clover edition.

Next, I had to locate books with jackets on the five sites I mentioned.  I quickly abandoned AbeBooks and Amazon because I found sufficient copies available on other sites.  I always check AbeBooks and Amazon, since I sometimes find nice books at bargain prices.  However, those sites are usually my last resort, since the sellers typically do not photograph the books and often overprice them by a lot. 

I eliminated the books on Bonanza very quickly since the selection on Bonanza was very poor.  I don't know what is wrong with the sellers on Bonanza.  Not only do the sellers price their books too high, but the selection tends to be worse on Bonanza than on the other sites.  I wonder if this is one of the reasons my Bonanza booth has died.  When a large number of sellers on a site overprice common books, buyers will ignore the site.

I found the books I wanted on eBay and Etsy.  Five books came from eBay, and three came from Etsy.  I had to settle for some books with chipping to the spines of the jackets, but I did purchase the overall best ones that I could.  As already mentioned, this means that I generally did not select the cheapest copies.

As I compared listings, I looked at the pictures and skimmed the descriptions to make sure that the books did not have horrific condition problems not seen in the pictures.  I did not pay attention to the item specifics or to details like whether a name was written inside.  Those factors matter not in the slightest to me.  Item specifics are only important in the complete absence of a written description.  Names written inside books have never bothered me.

This brings me to my buyers.

I have noticed that a number of buyers are very worried about whether names are written inside the books.  One buyer wanted books without names because she wanted to be able to pretend the books were her mother's while she was reading them.  Other buyers are concerned about how neat the writing is.  If the writing is messy or not attractive, then that is a problem.  I had one buyer ask to me photograph the names inside the books I had for sale so that she could choose which books based on the appearance of the names.

Think about that.  A buyer is more concerned about the appearance of a name inside the book than on the appearance of a dust jacket that is outside the book.

Other buyers are obsessively concerned with the item specifics.  I refer to that box that shows in eBay listings above the item description.  The item specifics box identifies the book as hardcover or softcover and gives a condition rating for the book.  The part that worries these buyers is the condition rating.  They especially don't like it if the condition rating doesn't quite match the item description.  They assign a higher significance to the condition rating than to the item description that was typed out by the seller.  Let that sink in for a moment.

Perhaps the buyers aren't aware that sellers commonly copy one listing to the next and often don't change the condition rating in the item specifics.  The only reason many sellers include the items specifics is because eBay forces them to do it.  Many sellers assign the condition rating of "acceptable" to every single book they sell regardless of condition.  They do this in order to avoid accidentally having too high of a condition rating in the item specifics box.  This is why less significance should be placed on the condition rating than on what the seller has typed out.

A couple months ago, a buyer purchased a large number of books from me, including one book with pulp paper from 1945.  After the buyer received the book, he asked to return it because he did not consider the paper to be fit to be read.  He didn't realize that the pulp paper would be as bad as it was.  He returned the book, and I refunded him.  This was not a problem, by the way.  Pulp books can be tricky to sell.  Because of that return, I have tried to stress how bad the pulp paper is in listings created since that return so that hopefully no one else will be disappointed.

Ten days after the buyer returned that book, he queried me about one of my listings.  He wrote:
I would like to see more pictures: a picture of the copyright page, of the cracked hinge, of the first page of the last chapter, a few random pages of the book. I would like to know if it has damaged pages due to food stains or water. The coloring of the pages: are the pages bright as if they were new, or yellow/deep yellow? Please let me know. Thank you.
Even though this was not a book with pulp paper, I assumed that the buyer was worried about the paper quality due to the previous return or was worried that he might have to return another book.  I took a few photos and added them to the listing.  I told him, "The pages are lightly yellowed.  The book is not water-damaged or stained.  I added a few photos to the listing."

Finally, the buyer let me know what the real problem was.  He responded, "Will you please explain to me the condition of the book. Why is it only 'Good.' I've bought from you other books and I have to trust you when you say 'Very Good' or just 'Good.' "

Ah.  I then realized that he is one of the buyers who think that the item specifics are more important than the written description.  I responded as follows:
Always use my written description for notes about the condition of my books.  Never use that box that has the item specifics.  The information in that box gets copied from one listing to the next.  I try to change the condition value for that box up and down from one listing to the next, but sometimes it does not get changed.  That is what happened with this listing.  If that box contradicts the written description, go with the written description which will be accurate.  I apologize for the confusion.
I also knew as I sent my response that this buyer would never purchase from me again.  I knew that since he considered the item specifics to be of utmost importance that he would never trust me again.  He has not purchased from me again, at least not yet, and this was six weeks ago.  He had made several purchases from me previous to asking about the item specifics of that listing.

The buyers who are overly concerned about item specifics or names written inside are likely a small percentage of buyers.  Most buyers are probably more concerned with the overall condition of a book and jacket.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Cherry Ames Mountaineer Nurse and Clinic Nurse

In Cherry Ames #12, Cherry Ames, Mountaineer Nurse, Cherry goes to help Bertha in the mountains of Kentucky.  Bertha has injured her foot, so Cherry has to assist her with nursing the locals.  Soon, Cherry learns that the people are superstitious and that two families are engaged in a bitter feud.

I was interested as I read the first few pages of the story, but I should have known it was too good to last.  The first 7 1/2 pages tell the reader the necessary information as Cherry begins her stay in Kentucky.  Next, the book goes into a flashback where a lengthy letter from Bertha to Cherry requests Cherry's help in Kentucky.  Bertha's letter lasts for close to four pages.  The letter explains what we already know from the first 7 1/2 pages, but with greater detail.  Back to the present, Cherry and Bertha discuss the situation for 2 1/2 pages.  Next, Cherry writes a letter home to her mother, telling her mother what we already know with even more detail.  The letter to Cherry's mother lasts for five pages!

I was strongly reminded of Harriet Pyne Grove's book, The Adventurous Allens Marooned, in which events from the book are retold in a very lengthy and boring diary entry.  It's never good when I am reminded of Harriet Pyne Grove.

This book contains a lot of dialect, where the words are spelled phonetically the way the characters speak.  This always makes reading harder.  Often, I have to pause and think about how the word would be pronounced in order to figure out what the word is supposed to be.  Sometimes, I have trouble figuring it out.  In one case, "biled" was used.  I was puzzled and kept reading.  The next statement mentioned cooking, so I read the previous statement again and concluded that "biled" meant "boiled."

In this book, I found that I often skimmed or skipped the dialect since I didn't want to take the time to sound out the words.  Dialogue written phonetically almost always annoys me, and this time was no exception.  This is a good story, but many conversations are in dialect, which makes reading this book very tedious.  Not only that, but a very large portion of the book is dialogue, consisting of lengthy discussions between Cherry and Bertha about what to do and how to proceed.  The plot crawls at a snail's pace. 

What I am finding as I read the Cherry Ames books is that most of the books annoy me for some reason or another.  With Cherry Ames, Mountaineer Nurse, it is the dialect and the excessive amount of discussion.  Otherwise, this is an enjoyable book.  With less discussion and more action, this book could have been outstanding.

In Cherry Ames #13, Cherry Ames, Clinic Nurse, Cherry is back home in Hilton.  Dr. Joe has opened a clinic, and Cherry has taken a position at his clinic.  One afternoon, Cherry is leaving the clinic when a man abducts her, blindfolds her, and takes her to a location deep in the woods.  Cherry is forced to assist in a surgery, and then is released.  Cherry later tries to remember enough details of the journey so that she can figure out where she was taken.

This book has fewer expository details than the other books, which made it easier to get into the book.  Cherry is abducted on page 34, and I was thrilled, since Cherry had never been abducted.  I knew that I would end up greatly liking this book.  The book is solely a mystery from the abduction through the rest of the book.

This is the first book in quite a few titles that a Cherry Ames book has not annoyed me.  As I read the previous book, Cherry Ames, Mountaineer Nurse, I reflected that I was not liking the Cherry Ames books enough to want to ever read them again.  I decided that if the trend were to continue that I would sell my set after finishing reading the books.  I enjoyed this book enough that I may have to reconsider selling all of the books.  I'll have to see what happens with the rest of the series, but right now, I'm thinking that I will sell some books and keep ones that I really like.

I greatly enjoyed reading this book.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Cherry Ames at Spencer and Night Supervisor

In Cherry Ames #10, Cherry Ames at Spencer, a man is accused of a crime he did not commit.  Cherry seeks to prove his innocence, or something like that.

To be honest, I didn't read most of this book.  I found the expository information to be excessively boring.  I was so bored that I quit reading the book a few chapters in and read Brandon Mull's Five Kingdoms series.  I then tried to continue reading this book but was so very bored.  I tried skimming and couldn't get to anything that seemed interesting.  I decided to go on to the next book.

In Cherry Ames #11, Night Supervisor, Cherry goes to work at a rural hospital that is understaffed and in great need of money.  The hospital was to receive a large sum in a man's will, but he changed his will.  Soon, Cherry has reason to believe that the will was not changed and is missing.

The beginning of this book also bored me, almost as much as all of Cherry Ames at Spencer.  I can only read series successfully when I do not allow myself to read other books in between titles.  Since I let myself read the Five Kingdoms series, I ruined my enjoyment of Cherry Ames.  I enjoyed the Five Kingdoms books far more than I am enjoying Cherry Ames.

I ended up having to skim a lot of this book.  Finally, the book began to interest me sometime past halfway through the story.  I skimmed some of the later part of the story, but at least I was able to enjoy some of it.  I felt as I reached the end of this book that my Five Kingdoms experience was losing its hold and that I would be able to enjoy the next Cherry Ames book.

I also want to mention that I do not like Midge.  The reader is supposed to like her, but I don't.  I also don't like Dr. Joe.  My negative reaction to both characters, who are very important to Cherry, make it harder for me to enjoy these books.

Friday, May 8, 2015

People Selling Books or Requesting Book Valuation

I rather often have people contact me wanting me to assess the value of their books.  They often spend lots of time typing up a long list of what they have.  Most often, they have Nancy Drew books.  One recent message went like this. look like an expert on Nancy Drew. Could you help me? I have 44 books.

The Bungalow Mystery 1930​ /25 Chapters​ Original text/First Printing
The Bungalow Mystery 1930​ /25 Chapters​ Original text​ ​most likely printed in 1955
​The Mystery at Lilac Inn 1930​​/25 Chapters/Original Text/Most likely Printed in 1953​
The Secret of Red Gate Farm 1931​ 25 Chapters/Original Text/ Most likely printed in 1955/56 With Dust jacket​
The Secret at Shadow Ranch 1931​ 25 Chapters/Original Text/ First Printing​
Nancy's Mysterious Letter 1932 ​25 Chapters/Original Text/ Most likely printed in 1954​
​The Clue in The Diary 1932​​ 25 Chapters/original text first printing ​
The Password to Larkspur Lane 1933​25 Chapters/Original text/First Printing​
The Password to Larkspur Lane 1933 (c​olored front cover) 25 Chapters/Original Text/Printed 1964/65 (aprox)​ (I can only fit some of them here) Can you help me value them. I need to sell them Thank you
I received three other messages with the rest of the books listed.  I felt bad that this person spent so much time compiling a list which did not tell me anything.  I had very little idea of what this person had to offer since I need to see the books to assess age, condition, and value.  I'm not going to take the time to ask questions or even ask for photographs. 

Speaking of photographs...

These people obviously haven't read my series of posts, "Buyer Confusion on Nancy Drew."  In that series of posts, I detail all of the information that can be gleaned just by looking at a photograph of a Nancy Drew book.  The copyright page information is normally not necessary, nor is the number of chapters.  Here are two posts that will help explain what I mean.

Buyer Confusion on Nancy Drew #3
Buyer Confusion on Nancy Drew #9

My point?  Don't type up a long list of titles, copyright dates, and number of chapters.  Take a photograph of the books with the spines facing out.  That's all I need.  I can give an approximate value by looking at a group photo of books with the spines facing out.

Even better, just go ahead and search eBay for the books you have, then click on "sold" items in the left sidebar.  It's really that simple.  What the books sell for is what they are worth.

I also often have people contact me wanting to know if I wish to purchase their books.  Here are two examples of messages that I have received in recent months.
I have a number of old Erle Stanley Gardner books (Perry Mason and others) as well as Dana Girl Series books that I am looking to get out of my basement. I would be happy to send you a list if you are interested in seeing specific titles. Thank you.

Hello! I enjoyed looking through your site. Do you purchase books in this era?
I ignored both of these messages.  They weren't worth the trouble.

Another recent message read, "I have eighteen books from the Beverly Gray series. Do you have any interest in them?"  Of course, that person could have had Beverly Gray at the World's Fair with a perfect dust jacket, but it's rather unlikely.  Once again, I didn't want to take the time to try to figure out what they have.  Besides, most of the Beverly Gray books are not currently worth much.  I'm not purchasing any to sell at this time.  I responded, "Only if you want to sell them for about the cost of postage. You'd probably get more selling them in an eBay auction. I don't need any of them for myself, and others who are building a set would be willing to pay more."  And that is the truth.  You don't want to offer me your books unless you want to sell them cheap.

I had someone else want to sell me a very scarce book.  She wanted me to make an offer.  I'm not sure why saying what one wants for a book is so difficult.  I replied upfront that I wouldn't offer much and that I would rather the book be sold to someone who needs it.  She persisted, so I made an offer since it is scarce (despite not really wanting the book) of what I could pay and be able to sell it at a narrow profit.  She was disappointed in my offer and finally told me what she wanted, which is about the current market value.  I have to pay less than what a book is worth in order to sell it to get my money back.  I can't pay the current fair market value for books I already own.

Here's another message I received from someone else.
I have 9 Ken Holt by Bruce Campbell books, 12 Rick Brant by John Blaine & Science Projects by John Blain. I also have 4 single books: Rover Boys at School, Mystery of the Timber Giant, Hardy Boys House on the Cliff & Divers Down. All are in good to excellent condition.
I tried to write more descriptions, but ebay would not send the message because I included my email address. But they deleted the message that I had taken so long to write!
If you know of anyone or if you are interested in buying the lot of them, please contact me.
I do not have the time or patience to sell them myself individually.
This message sounded promising so I gave suggestions on how this person could get a message to me.  I couldn't give an email, either, for the same reason that this person couldn't, but I gave some options. I never heard back. I don't understand why I was contacted, then the person didn't follow through.  It could be that they figured out the value of Rick Brant's Science Projects and reconsidered offering the books to me.  I can't say that I blame them.

I am receiving requests for me to buy books around once each week.  As mentioned, I often ignore the messages.  Whenever I engage them, I find that I end up wasting my time because they want more for the books than I wish to pay.

Most of these people contact me because they don't want to sell on eBay.  They say that it's a hassle.  Somehow, they think that I will happily take whichever random books they have.

I suggested that one person utilize the series books groups on Facebook.  That person doesn't use Facebook.  I get it; many people don't use Facebook due to privacy issues or because they think Facebook is stupid.

I have a Facebook account, but I have very little personal information in it.  I do have my correct birth date entered, but Facebook wouldn't know if someone entered a fake date.  If you don't trust Facebook, you can set up an account in such a way to fully protect your privacy.  If you do that, you can then not use your account for anything except for the groups.  I only use Facebook for the groups.

Here's my advice:  If you are going to contact me or anyone in an unsolicited email wanting them to buy books, you need to provide upfront the price you want as well as photographs of the books with the spines facing out.  It saves so much time and trouble.

I also want to add that I am not currently interested in buying books, except for certain very specific and difficult to find books for my collection.  I am trying to cut back on my extra books, so I am not interested in purchasing bulk lots or any books that are duplicates of books I already own.

Previous posts on this topic:

People Who Want to Sell Me Books
People Who Want to Sell Me Books #2

Monday, May 4, 2015

Cherry Ames Visiting Nurse and Cruise Nurse

In Cherry Ames #8, Cherry Ames, Visiting Nurse, Cherry and all of her friends (how convenient!) get positions with the Visiting Nurse Service of New York.  The girls rent an apartment in Greenwich Village.

Most of the girls are disappointed in their apartment.  They are angry with Gwen, who rented it.  I'm used to protagonists making the best of a bad situation, and I personally didn't see what was so awful about the rooms.  Were they actually expecting to board in a fancy place?  Finally, the girls get past their displeasure.

On page 111, "paper handkerchiefs" were mentioned.  Of course, nowadays, we call them "tissue" or "Kleenex."

On page 116, we learn that in Miss Culver's home "[w]ell-chosen books, borrowed without cost from the public library, lay on her table."  I thought that the description of "well-chosen books" was interesting.  I suppose all of us would choose our books well, but what is "well-chosen" to one person would not be to another.  

I greatly enjoyed this book.  In fact, I wish that Cherry had been a visiting nurse in more than one book.  I really like the setting.

In Cherry Ames #9, Cherry Ames, Cruise Nurse, Cherry collapsed from exhaustion from her visiting nurse job and was sent home to rest.  A cruise was recommended, so Cherry gets a temporary job as a cruise nurse.

I was glad that an explanation was given for Cherry to leave her visiting nurse job in order to become a cruise nurse.

The expository information was a bit much for me, which has been the case with most of the Cherry Ames books.  I am not at all interested in nursing, so lengthy descriptions of nursing technique is boring to me.  Also, Cherry gets extremely sentimental every time she leaves home for another job, and sometimes, this goes on for several pages.  I find it uninteresting and end up skimming those scenes in the books.

Timmy is so much like Bobby from the Trixie Belden series, so much so that it is uncanny.  I wondered if Julie Tatham wrote this book instead of Helen Wells.  I immediately quit reading and ran some searches in the Yahoo! Groups, and sure enough, I learned that Julie Tatham wrote Cherry Ames, Cruise Nurse, even though Helen Wells is credited as the author.

I greatly enjoyed this book.