Saturday, September 29, 2018

The Thrill of Finding Books Online

Many collectors say that they prefer searching for books in stores.  I now prefer to do my searching online.  I get a kick out of finding an impossibly scarce book online.  The process often requires a good bit of creative thinking.

A few months ago, I worked on building sets of books written by L. P. Wyman.  I successfully built complete sets of the Lakewood Boys and Golden Boys series.  The Hunniwell Boys series proved to be problematic.  I placed orders for seven of the eight books.  Two sellers cancelled the orders due to unavailability.  Fortunately, I was able to locate those two books later on eBay.

I was not able to locate a copy of The Hunniwell Boys in the Caribbean.  A few months passed as I read various books.  Finally, I read the Golden Boys series.  After I finished, I wanted to start the Hunniwell Boys series, but I still didn't have that one book.  I searched on Bookfinder and elsewhere, and not a single copy was available.

I have this belief that even if I do not see an online listing for a book that a copy could still be somewhere on the Internet.  It's just like when people visit various stores looking for books.  A copy of any book on the buyer's want list is likely for sale somewhere, but the problem is locating the store where the book is.  Instead of doing that kind of hunting, I work on cracking the secret of where the book is located on the Internet.

After I checked again a couple weeks ago, I still didn't see a copy of The Hunniwell Boys in the Caribbean anywhere online.  I sat and stared at the computer screen for a moment.  I was thinking to myself, Where is it?  How can I find that book?  It must be somewhere.  Then it came to me.  I thought of searching for "Carribean" instead of "Caribbean."  And there it was.  At the top of the search results was a link to an AbeBooks listing.

I clicked on the link to see the price, hoping it wouldn't be extreme.  Thank goodness.

To some of you, $35.00 plus $4.00 probably seems too expensive.  However, this is not too high for a book that isn't available anywhere else and that I want to read now.  I purchased the book, and then I waited, hoping that the order would be confirmed. 

The order was confirmed, and I received the book.  Yay!

In the meantime, I began reading the Hunniwell Boys series.  As I read The Hunniwell Boys and the Platinum Mystery, I discovered that the book has a binding error. 

Oh, no!  Pages 49 through 64 are missing, and pages 65 through 80 are duplicated.  Fortunately, I had a another copy that I thought I had upgraded to the copy with dust jacket that I was reading.  Now I have to keep both copies.  One has a dust jacket but is missing pages, and the other is in rough shape but has the complete story.

All of the books seen in the above photo were purchased from April through September.  Completing my set of Hunniwell Boys sets was difficult and not a smooth process, but at least I do have all eight stories complete in nine books.

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