Thursday, May 16, 2019

An Exciting Library Edition Find

A woman has been selling her deceased sister's series book collection in the Facebook groups.  The deceased collector was known to me, and I sold her a number of books years ago.  I decided to purchase an eclectic mixture of the books, focusing primary on library editions.  The books were purchased solely based on short descriptions provided in a number of spreadsheets.  I did not have pictures of the books.  I selected every library edition since I figured there was a chance the collector might have owned some variants that I did not have.  I also purchased some other miscellaneous books.

The books arrived today.  Here is a photo showing what I received.

The books were in small stacks wrapped in plastic, and I unwrapped one stack at a time.  I was dumbfounded—and rather excited—when I saw the following library edition of The Message in the Hollow Oak.

This binding is known as either the "Magnifying Glass" or "Cameo" library binding.  I have collected these books for 18 years.  I have 182—now 183—of them for Nancy Drew #1 through #34, except for one title that I have never seen anywhere.  Guess which title that is?  The Message in the Hollow Oak!

I have never understood why this one title has never before surfaced for me.  It wasn't logical that it would have been skipped in the sequence, but binderies do not necessarily rebind every title in a series.  I had pretty much decided that The Message in the Hollow Oak did not exist in this binding.  I am thrilled to be wrong.  The copy I have is pretty rough, but at least I now have one.  I never reject rough condition copies.  They are always stepping stones to better copies.  Most importantly, this copy proves that this title does exist in this format.

I also really like these library editions.  I like the spine design, and the books are in excellent condition.

This next book is neat.

All three outside edges are stained red.  This is the first library binding I have ever seen in this style.

As I gazed at the group of books, I wondered if I had just repurchased any books that I had sold to this collector.  It's been too many years to know what she purchased from me.  My eyes immediately fell on the Bound to Stay Bound binding of The Clue in the Diary that is seen in the top right corner of the first picture in this post.  Hmm.  The lettering "F" with "Kee" right beneath looks mighty familiar.

I opened the book, and it is from Houchin Elementary in the Moore Public Schools.  Moore, Oklahoma, is a city just to my south in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area.  That just about clinched it.  I immediately went to my set of Bound to Stay Bound books and spotted multiple books with the same lettering on the spine.  They are all from Houchin Elementary.  While I cannot remember any details, I know that I must have purchased a bulk lot of books that came from Houchin Elementary and sold all the extras.  The other three Bound to Stay Bound books that I just received today also came from Houchin Elementary.

It's likely that some of the other library editions came from me as well, although I will never know for sure.  Anyone who buys and sells series books over the years will end up with the same books coming back at times.  It probably happens more often than I realize, and I only know when the books have distinctive markings that are memorable.

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