Monday, December 7, 2015

Hunting for Books Online

Most collectors say that they prefer to find books in person rather than search for them online.  Fifteen years ago, I felt the same way.  Now, my feelings have changed.  I enjoy looking for books in person, but only when I find something.  Otherwise, I find it very unsatisfying.  In fact, I dislike going to antique shops and seeing the same books that have been there for years, with nothing new for me to find.  I end up leaving the store feeling very depressed.  You read that right; antique shops now depress me.  So for that reason, I don't go to antique shops very often anymore.  I do still check out some of the local book stores, but I even find those stores often to be depressing.

I find it much more fun to look for books online.  I've spent a lot of time in the last year building very difficult sets of books to acquire in short periods of time by looking for them online.  It's like a scavenger hunt.

I first run searches on eBay. For the most of the scarce books, I usually won't find any on eBay.  I next check and I can usually find a copy that meets my specifications on one of those two sites.  But sometimes I won't find one at all.  The next step is to go to Google to search, then to any other site that comes to mind like Bonanza, Etsy, and Ecrater.

I built a set of Bret King books this summer.  I was not able to find a copy of The Mystery at Blizzard Mesa in dust jacket.  I had to settle on a tweed copy in very rough shape.  Recently, I began reading the books and realized by the time I reached The Mystery at Blizzard Mesa that I liked this series so much that I really needed to upgrade that book.  I tried again to find a book in dust jacket, but I still couldn't locate one.

Not satisfied, I ran additional searches.  I had this idea that a copy had to be online somewhere.  Through Google, I found a short listing that mentioned a dust jacket, but the copy was on a foreign site that pulls listings from American sites.  This told me that a copy was somewhere on one of the main sites I search, but for some reason, I wasn't finding it.

I went back to, and this time, I ran a search under the author's name, Dan Scott, along with the title of the book.  And there it was.  I had been using the series name, Bret King, in my searches.  Since the seller had not mentioned Bret King in the listing, that copy was left out of my search results.  I ordered the book. 

I find it very satisfying to finally find a book like this online in a search after fruitlessly searching previously.  I get a rush. That is similar to winning a hotly contested auction,  It's a lot more fun than going into an antique shop and being depressed because nothing is there. It's like a great treasure hunt online.

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