Saturday, February 29, 2020

Sweet Dreams #37 Portrait of Love and #38 Running Mates

Sweet Dreams #37 Portrait of Love, Jeanette Nobile, 1983

Samantha's not sure she's gong to like Santa Barbara.  It doesn't have skyscrapers or the Yankees.  And the cheesecake is lousy.  But it does have Tony Pappas, boy artist.

Tony likes Samantha, but there's a big problem.  Art is Tony's first love.  And worse yet, Samantha's mother is teaching painting—to Tony.  The two of them spend hours talking and working together.  Samantha feels like the odd man out.  How can she get Tony's undivided attention?

This is another book where the girl likes a boy, but I feel nothing.  How can I care when I feel nothing?

I read enough of the book to determine that I wasn't interested.

Sweet Dreams #38 Running Mates, Jocelyn Saal, 1983

Carole and Steve were a couple once.  But that seems like long ago.  Carole thinks Steve is just too conservative.  She wants to change things.

And what better place to start than the election for school president?  If Steve can run, thinks Carole, so can she.  And may the best candidate win.

Carole's surprised at Steve's support, despite their rivalry.  He seems to be changing, opening up, and Carole finds herself falling in love again.  But what will happen when the votes are counted and only one is a winner?

I was not very interested in this story, but I skimmed the book up to page 95.  I try to give each book a decent chance before I quit completely.  When Carole's parents actually laugh at her for running for class president, I decided to quit.  How disgusting.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

The 2020 Friends of the Library Book Sale

I continue to be frustrated that many collectors who post in the Facebook groups believe that all series books should be priced low or that all series books can be found cheaply.  These people apparently are able to find series books at extremely low prices.  Just recently, someone mentioned a thrift store that sells its series books for $0.10 each.  I am astonished that a store would sell books at that low of a price.

Here in Oklahoma, all thrift stores price the books at $2.00 and up.  Yes, quite unfortunately, even softcover children's books in bad shape are $2.00 each.  I am dumbfounded that others can find books for $0.10 these days.  This must be an extreme anomaly.  I doubt that more than just a handful of thrift stores scattered far and wide would price any books that low.  $0.10 is how a thrift store might have priced a book 40 or more years ago.  I personally have never seen a lower price than $0.25 in a thrift store, and the last time I saw that low of a price was around 30 years ago.

I mentioned a couple years ago in my post "The Expectation of Low Price Regardless of Scarcity" that just about the only people who mention prices in the Facebook groups are those who find books for $0.10 up to $1.00 to $2.00 each.  Since those are almost the only prices mentioned, collectors have unreasonable expectations regarding pricing of series books.

The reality is that books cost most of us a lot more than others think.  I recently wrote the following in a comment on Facebook.
This is how I look at it. If the book is there and at a price that I can afford that is not completely insane, then I will purchase it if I need it.

For example, let's say that a book sells online for $10 to $20 on average.  Keep in mind that postage often must be paid in addition to the selling price, so the $10 to $20 book might be more than that.

Sometimes the book might sell for $5 online, but postage gets added to the total, so that book will end up being around $10.  Tax is now paid by a majority of online buyers, so there's that as well.  Online prices once were not taxed, which made online purchases cheaper.  That's not the case these days for most of us.

Let's say I am in a store and see the book I described above for $25.  The book is in nice condition.  I can examine the book in person and see all flaws.  I am there, and the book is there.  I will purchase the book if I need it.  I don't worry about how I might possibly find the book for $10 to $15 someday.  Someday might never come.  I have the book in hand, so I purchase it.
I mention all of this because I'm going to be more upfront than usual about what I paid for some books this last weekend.  I usually do not disclose prices, because many people have this odd idea that no one should make even a slight profit on anything that they sell online.  They get upset if they think someone might even have made $0.50 on a transaction.  Seriously, they do.

You would be surprised at how much online sellers sometimes pay when they source their items.

I purchased the above books in a couple of stores.  Remember my comment about books not being priced at below $2.00 each in Oklahoma.  You now know by what I stated that I must have paid at least $2.00 per book.  The cheapest ones were the softcover books.  But what about the others?  It would have been great if they had been $2.00 or so each, but they weren't.

The original text Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books are getting very hard to source.  I enjoy selling them and helping others to build their collections.  This gives me great personal satisfaction, but the original text picture covers are now, for the most part, 50 years of age or older.  They are now very scarce in excellent condition and are getting hard to source even in rough shape.

The picture cover books seen in the above photo are a bit rough.  I paid $6.00 each plus tax for the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys picture covers.  That is a bit steep for the condition, but I am really struggling to source the original text picture covers at this time.  I was completely out of extras of several titles.  When I sell the above picture covers, the markup will not be very much due to the condition.

The local Friends of the Library book sale was this weekend.  This year, the sale had around 800,000 books.  It is always a large sale with between 500,000 and 1 million books.  I always go to the sale on the first day, and I was the 12th person in the line for the section I always go to first, which is where the more collectible books are located.

The Nancy Drew and other series books were in three locations in the same part of the building.  I must move quickly and make split-second decisive decisions on what to pick up.  I must avoid selecting books that I would need to put back.  I don't have the luxury of thinking about a purchase with a few thousand people filing into the building behind me and some of them coming for the books I want.  My position in line only gains me just a few minutes.

My mind is frenetic, and I feel like I have ADHD in those few minutes.  I keep my movements controlled, since being rude is unacceptable.  Most of the people are very polite and apologize when they accidentally brush against someone else.  The behavior is by and large quite good at this sale.  There are always a few incidents, but mostly everyone is polite.

I mentioned making split-second decisions.  I don't check prices, except for a few scattered books, probably only a few per 50 books selected.  I know that the hardcover books will be $2.00 to $4.00 each.  Softcover books will tend to be $1.00 to $1.50.  I don't have time to verify prices, so I trust that the prices are the same as always.

I won't get into all of the particulars of my experience this year, but I always scan quickly, looking at the spine designs and selecting what I want.  If I see books that obviously have very heavy wear, I try not to select them.

I visit each location where the books might be located, just looking for patterns in the spines.  After I make my initial selections, I go back to each location, going slower and reading titles.  This is when I notice books that are of interest that are much less noticeable.  These types of books are also ones other people won't get at first glance.  I have to be quick in finding the Nancy Drew books so that I can have first choice, because the Nancy Drew books always go very fast.

Here are pictures and some comments about what I purchased.

The softcover Nancy Drew books seen above are in very nice shape.  These thrill me the most of the books I purchased.  I will be comparing the above books to the ones in my collection, in case some of them are in nicer shape. 

In the below photo, the original text Nancy Drew books are in rough shape, as is typical these days.  Fortunately, I didn't have to pay $6.00 each for these books.

Some of the tweed Nancy Drew books seen below are in rougher shape than I would like.  However, I always end up with some books that I really shouldn't have bought.  As mentioned, I don't have time to think over purchases, so I end up with some books that I wish I hadn't purchased.

The flashlight edition Nancy Drew books seen in the above photo are either high-numbered ones (#58, 60, and 62) or are the textured flashlight editions.

The Weed Walk is a scarce book by Margaret Sutton, who wrote the Judy Bolton books.  The Mystery of the Shaky Staircase is a very scarce book by Margaret Scherf, who was the ghostwriter for the original text of Nancy Drew #27, The Secret of the Wooden Lady.

The Whispering House caught my eye, and I opened it just to see if it might be interesting enough to purchase.  This was after I had already gone over the books more than once and was browsing more leisurely.  As soon as I opened the book, I saw that it was signed by the author.

I still don't know if the book is good, but I wasn't going to leave a signed book behind.  And yes, as you can clearly see, the book was priced at $2.00.

The Oz books are probably not worth much more than what I paid, but at worst, I should be able to get my money back.

A bunch of the Nancy Drew Twin Thriller editions are seen above.  Some of the books have $3.00 written inside, which I truly believe was supposed to be the price for those books.  Other books do not have a price written inside.  At checkout, the volunteers decided that the books were a "set" as defined and sold by the library sale and came up with a rather low total cost for the "set" of books.  They made this decision based on stickers that were on the covers of some books, seen in the next photo.

I cannot be certain, but I don't think the stickers had anything to do with the library sale.  In any case, the set of Twin Thrillers was cheaper than it should have been.  You'll notice that I'm not revealing what they charged me.

In the long run, pricing errors average out.  One time, I was quite overcharged for some books without realizing it until later.  These things balance out over the years.

My favorite part of the sale is the table in the general section where the vintage teen paperback books are located.  I don't get to these books until around 45 minutes into the sale, since I have to complete checkout in the other section with my initial purchases and then get those books loaded into the car.  I doubt that I miss out on too many of the vintage teen books, since those are not nearly as high in demand as the vintage Nancy Drew books are.

Most of the books seen in these pictures will be sold eventually.  The prices will be marked up, but I deserve that.  For those who might think I shouldn't do that, consider my true cost for the books.  I paid for a library membership.  I took the day off work and had to pay for my substitute.  I waited in line for hours for the sale to start.  I shopped at the sale for around three hours.  I went back the next day and spent another hour at the sale.  I drove round trip 25 miles each day when I attended the sale.

My final cost is higher than the sum total of my sales receipts.  Keep that in mind when you peruse the listings of online sellers.  The sellers have to source the books, and much time and effort is involved, in addition to the cost of acquiring the books.  The buyer pays a convenience fee to the seller, who did the legwork in finding the books.  I am eternally grateful to all the sellers over the years who have found good books that I ended up purchasing for my collection.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Sweet Dreams #35 Forbidden Love and #36 Summer Dreams

Sweet Dreams #35 Forbidden Love, Marian Woodruff, 1983

Patti's been hoping Tim will notice her, but it's purely accidental when she backs into his car in the school parking lot.  Boy, is she embarrassed.  But instead of being angry, Tim asks her for a date.

It's the beginning of a wonderful relationship until both of their parents start arguing about the accident.  And the argument turns into an all-out war. 

Tim and Patti continue to see each other, meeting secretly.  But they hate sneaking around.  Their parents are acting like babies.  Why won't they just listen?

This book didn't interest me, so I read very little of it.

Sweet Dreams #36 Summer Dreams, Barbara Conklin, 1983

Katy's summer promises to be the most challenging one of her life.  She'll be taking care of Michael, a little blind boy, helping him get over a recent tragedy.  It won't be easy.  But Steve will be helping her.  Katy's been admiring Steve for a long time.  Together they'll spend golden days building castles in the sand, teaching Michael to laugh again.

But it's not turning out as Katy had hoped.  Michael's almost more than she can handle, and Steve, though friendly, remains distant.  As the summer draws to a close, Katy wonders if her dreams will crumble along with their last sand castle.

This book has a good hook with the blind boy and Katy struggling to take care of him.  After the first few chapters, this book firmly grabbed my attention.

The summary of this book is misleading.  I don't understand why the publisher cannot just tell the truth.  This book does have an interesting story, and a truthful summary would suffice.

Steve isn't distant.  His relationship with Katy just progresses very slowly and naturally.  As for Michael, he's really not more than Katy can handle since she has a little help.

This is a very good book.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Sweet Dreams #33 Dear Amanda and #34 Country Girl

Sweet Dreams #33, Dear Amanda, Rosemary Vernon, 1983

Everyone's wondering who is behind "Dear Amanda," the new advice column in the school paper.  Everyone, that is, but Tina.

Tina loves playing Amanda.  She's excited about her mysterious new identity, and thrilled by the success of her column—students really are taking her advice!  But something is still missing from her life—that special feeling for one particular boy.  How can she be so unhappy when things are going so well, Tina wonders.  Is she asking for too much?  Why are other people's problems so much easier to solve than her own?

This story didn't grab me.  I skimmed through the book and was never interested.

Sweet Dreams #34, Country Girl, Melinda Pollowitz, 1983

Edie falls for Sean as soon as she sets eyes on him.  But soon after they begin dating, he suddenly drops her for another girl.  Hurt and angry, Edie thinks she'll never be able to forget him.

Then she meets Jake.  Fun-loving and caring, he makes Edie feel warm and happy inside.  They spend long, happy days laughing together and taking quiet walks in the country.  Part of Edie is sure that Jake is the boy for her, but after losing Sean, she's awfully frightened.  Can Jake's feeling for her really be as strong and true as he claims?  Can she learn to give her heart again?

This summary makes it sound like Edie's relationship with Sean was a really big deal.  They only saw each other a couple of times.  The summary hugely exaggerates the importance of the relationship.

The summary is also misleading about Edie and Jake.  Edie isn't frightened; she wants Jake to feel something for her, but she's worried that Jake is interested in her older sister.  The summary is pure fiction.

Edie wants to feel a "zing" with Jake.  My observation is that I needed to feel a "zing" as well, and I never felt it.  This story is blah.  I read most of the book, but it is not very compelling.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Sweet Dreams #31 Too Close for Comfort and #32 Daydreamer

Sweet Dreams #31, Too Close for Comfort, Debra Spector, 1983

For years Drea and Derek have been best friends.  They've climbed trees together, played baseball together, and gotten in trouble together.  They've always loved each other, but when Derek asks Drea for a date, their feelings grow stronger, until finally they're in love.

Then things start going sour for Drea.  Is it because Derek's becoming so possessive?  Or because Sam Hennessey's getting interested in her?  Suddenly Drea's not quite sure she wants Derek as a boyfriend.  Should they break up?  And if they do, can they ever be friends again?

The summary reveals enough that I knew that the relationship would be doomed.  For that reason, I did not find the book to be that compelling.  I could tell that the relationship did not have the necessary ingredients for a lasting romantic relationship.  However, the book is interesting enough that I read it all the way through.

Sweet Dreams #32, Daydreamer, Janet Quin-Harkin, 1983

When Lisa's parents split up, she has to leave glamorous Hollywood, her father, and her movie-star mother—to live with a grandmother she hardly knows.  How can she ever be happy again?

All too often, Lisa finds herself escaping into daydreams—dreams of fame, friends, and boyfriends galore, Hollywood, her parents, and falling in love.  But when her fantasy bubble bursts, she has to open her eyes to the fact that, in real life, things don't always work out they way they do in dreams.

On page 53, Lisa has embellished the truth about her life in Hollywood.  When Lisa's friend tells her how much she wants to go to Hollywood, Lisa feels bad about the lie.  So often in these books, the girls feel no remorse about lying, which is wrong.  I tend not to like those books.  It is refreshing for a girl to realize that she shouldn't have lied.

I enjoyed this book.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Sweet Dreams #29 Never Love a Cowboy and #30 Little White Lies

Sweet Dreams #29, Never Love a Cowboy, Jesse DuKore, 1982

Bitsy is thrilled when she moves from crowded New York City to colorful Austin, Texas, and even more thrilled when she sees handsome Billy Joe riding his horse to school.  For Bitsy, it's love at first sight.

But even when Bitsy's new school radio program grabs everyone else's attention, Billy Joe's eye remains on gorgeous Betty Lou.  Can a city girl like Bitsy ever win the heart of a Texas cowboy like Billy Joe?

I was biased against this book before I ever started reading it...  Wildfire Romance #37 Sing About Us... need I say more?

The book ended up as unbearable as I thought it would be.

Bitsy seems to be intelligent in all scenes except when she is talking to a boy.  She is not presented as nervous by the author.  It's like Bitsy is too involved in her own interests to know anything about really basic information that anyone her age with half a brain would know.  Perhaps the author thought it would be humorous for Bitsy to be dumb around boys, or perhaps the author figured that silly girls with a crush always act that way.  Whatever the purpose, Bitsy's behavior around boys is horribly dumb.

Bitsy doesn't know what a bandanna is.  She calls a football quarterback a "quarter horse."  She calls the football stadium a "ball field."  She has to ask who the cheerleaders are.  How would a high school student not know about cheerleaders?

I read the first part of the book, began skimming, and then skipped over chunks of pages.  The next sentence is a spoiler, so skip it if you think this book might be worth reading.  Bitsy actually gets the cowboy as her boyfriend, which I don't understand.  Why is the book titled Never Love a Cowboy?  It seems like it worked out for dumb Bitsy.

I do not like this book at all.

Sweet Dreams #30, Little White Lies, Lois I. Fisher, 1983

Everyone says Nina has a good imagination, a gift for telling stories.  In fact, it's one of her stories that attracts Scott to her.  He's one of the Daltonites, the most sophisticated clique in the school.  Nina can't believe she's dating him!

But Nina soon finds that the Daltonites don't welcome outsiders.  So she impresses Scott's friends with her stories.  It's so easy: a little exaggeration here, a white lie there.

I'm doing this for Scott, she thinks.  But her lies finally start to catch up with her, and Nina's afraid of losing Scott forever.

The Bobbsey Twins are mentioned on page 4 and again later in the story.  The authors of these teen books from the 1980s really like to compare characters to the Bobbsey Twins for some reason.

Nina's lies are so stupid.  Her behavior is foolish.  I skimmed a lot of the book and overall do not like it.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Sweet Dreams #27 Too Young for Love and #28 Trusting Hearts

Sweet Dreams #27, Too Young for Love, Gailanne Maravel, 1982

It looks like Tom and Killy's friendship is turning into romance... but then Tom finds out she's two years younger than the other kids at school.

Killy is miserable, until she leaves the whole mess behind, for a glamorous vacation in Italy.

When she gets back, she feels sophisticated and grown up.  But will Tom think so, too?

At first I thought that I wouldn't enjoy Killy's trip to Italy, but that is the best part of the book.  Killy meets Fabrio in Italy, and it is not a silly romance.  Killy and Fabrio are just very good friends, and Fabrio helps Killy grow as a person.  When Killy returns home, she is able to handle teasing better.

I enjoyed the fact that the main plot of the book wraps up a few chapters from the end, so the reader gets to enjoy Killy being happy.  So many of these books wait until the last one to three pages of the book for the protagonist to be happy, and I feel like that kind of ending is too abrupt.

This is a very good to excellent book.

Sweet Dreams #28, Trusting Hearts, Jocelyn Saal, 1982

When Kathy lands an after-school job as the assistant to the town's veterinarian, she knows she's found a career she'll always love.  At the same time, her old friend Dean has become more tender and romantic toward her.

Kathy's overjoyed, until Dean starts resenting the long hours she puts in at the animal hospital, and their new love seems about to fall apart.  She'd be lost without Dean, but she loves her new job just as much.  Will she have to make a choice between them?

I like this passage from page 171.  I removed some words so as not to spoil part of the plot.
"He was a fine vet, a good husband and father, a terrific practical joker, and a ------, too.  Just like a diamond, see, with lots and lots of facets.  That's what makes a person precious, Kathy.  That's what makes him interesting."
I thought of Wildfire Romance #38 The Searching Heart as I read this book.  Both books were published in 1982 and have similar titles.  In both books, the protagonist wants to be a veterinarian.  The difference is that the Wildfire book is boring, and even worse, the Wildfire story includes three different scenes featuring animals being put to sleep.  What the heck?!

This book has none of that.  The details about the veterinarian clinic are interesting, and so is everything that Kathy does in her job.

This book is excellent.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Sweet Dreams #25 Her Secret Self and #26 It Must Be Magic

Sweet Dreams #25 Her Secret Self, Rhondi Villot, 1982

Poor Joanne.  She's failing in school, her parents have grounded her and worst of all, Rob has just ditched her for another girl.

But Joanne's got a secret—she's a natural actress.  Who else but Brooke Shields could win Rob back?  And who but Barbara Walters could get an A in journalism class?  Joanne can play them both and lots of other stars as well.  And as long as she's acting, things go great.

Now Joanne thinks she's got her problems licked... all she has to do is play a part.  But then she meets Cliff and he wants to know the real Joanne.  But will she be able to drop her "act" and let Cliff see her secret self?

From page 161:
"I hate you, Joanne."

"Hate me if you have to," Joanne said tiredly.  "I'm sorry.  There are better things to do this spring than hate anybody."
This is a powerful moment, because the other girl is consumed by hatred.  Joanne has done nothing to her, and Joanne's response is perfect.

The first part of the book is overall good.  I never like the first part of many of these books due to the excessively stupid behavior of the girl.  The last half of the book is very good to excellent.

Sweet Dreams #26, It Must Be Magic, Marian Woodruff, 1982

When her high school holds its annual madcap Genie Week, Kerrie becomes the "master" of the boy of her dreams.  Mike Price makes her wishes his commands as shy, studious Kerrie suddenly finds herself one-half of Glenwood High's wildest couple.  But will Mike go back to doing gorgeous Marcy's bidding when Genie Week comes to an end?  Maybe if Kerrie wishes hard enough, Mike will still be hers when the week is over.

I don't like the premise of a book when it involves the protagonist attempting to steal a boyfriend away from another girl.  It's too Jessica Wakefield for my taste, and it's never as much fun in these books.  In fact, it's never fun unless Jessica does it.

The author misdirects the reader so effectively that the ending didn't satisfy me at all.  I was just taken aback, since I expected a different ending.  I didn't like this book very much, but I was able to read most of it

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Sweet Dreams #23 Falling in Love Again and #24 The Trouble with Charlie

Sweet Dreams #23, Falling in Love Again, Barbara Conklin, 1982

Mariah's not one of those girls who's never been kissed.  She had a boyfriend.  Once.  It seems like a thousand years ago.  But Paul died, and Mariah thinks she'll never find anyone as special again. 

She hadn't counted on the school play, though.  Somehow her crazy friend Amy ropes her into working on the props.  Before she knows it, Mariah's the understudy for the female lead!  And she can't help but notice Dan Gordon, the male lead.

When Dan asks her out, Mariah doesn't know what to think.  He's sweet and funny and understanding—but she can't forget Paul.  His memory always seems to be between them.

Then Dan gets tired of being second best, and Mariah knows she must choose—between Dan who loves her now, and Paul who loved her first...

This is the sequel to the first Sweet Dreams book, P.S. I Love You.

Most people really like this book.  I enjoyed the beginning of the story, but then I gradually lost interest.  I found P. S. I Love You to be much more compelling than this book.

Sweet Dreams #24, The Trouble with Charlie, Jaye Ellen, 1982

Here's Charlie.  She has two big brothers so her dating life must be terrific.  Right?  Wrong!

Her brothers act like watch dogs everywhere she goes and all the best guys have been scared off.  Now only the wrong guys ask her out.  Charlie's about to give up altogether.

Then Charlie gets friendly with Andy, the terrific guy who lives next door.  But Andy's always helping her gets dates with other guys.  And what's worse, he's her brothers' pal.  Boy has Charlie got boy trouble!

This book is overall very good, although Charlie's brothers are extremely annoying.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Hidden Clues #7 Judy Bolton Picture Cover Scarcity

Picture cover editions are a favorite format among current series book collectors.  The Judy Bolton picture cover books are particularly difficult to acquire.  It is believed that most of the Judy Bolton picture cover books went through just one printing, which is why they are so exceedingly hard to find.  Also, a bunch of remaindered picture cover copies were turned into library editions, which reduced the number of surviving picture covers.

#30, 31, and 33 were never printed in the picture cover format, so it is impossible to get a complete set of Judy Bolton picture covers.

I rarely ever see Judy Bolton picture covers in stores.  I have seen #1, 2, and 3 multiple times.  I have seen all of #36-38 at least once and some of them at least twice.  I have also seen #11, 18, and 23 one time each.  I have never seen any of the other Judy Bolton picture cover books in any stores ever since I began collecting series books in 1991.

Judy Bolton did not switch to picture cover until 1964, two years after Nancy Drew and the other Grosset and Dunlap series made the change.  The series ended in 1967, so the picture cover format was only in print for around three years.  That is a very short amount of time and is why most all picture covers likely had only one printing.  The Judy Bolton series had low sales during the 1960s, which is what led to the demise of the series.  It is quite unlikely that the majority of the titles had more than one printing in the picture cover format.

Some Judy Bolton titles were printed later during that three year period than other titles.  Grosset and Dunlap would have continued to use existing stock in the dust jacket format before printing any picture cover books.  The picture covers that are the most scarce, which is unfortunately a large number of them, probably were not printed until towards 1965 or 1966.

Grosset and Dunlap must have had sufficient copies of #30, 31, and 33 in the dust jacket format to avoid ever needing to print any picture cover editions of those titles.  That is why those three do not exist.

As I began this post, I wrote the following paragraph going by memory of what I remembered seeing for sale over the years.
#1 had at least two printings, since it has two different cover art and text versions.  #2, 3, and 4 might have gone through more than one printing since they aren't as hard to find as all later titles.  #5-29, #32, and #34 are quite hard to find, so I believe that they all had one printing each.  For some reason, I find that #35 through #38 are just slightly easier to find than most picture covers, but they almost certainly would have had just one printing each since they were printed late in the set.
I then decided to see if I could find evidence of multiple printings of any titles, in particular #1 through 4.

Below, I give the list information for the picture covers.  In red, I indicate the list information given in Clarke's Guide to Margaret Sutton's Judy Bolton Mystery Stories for variants that I do not own.  In blue, I indicate the list information provided by collectors who own the books with those lists.  All lists in black are from books that I have actually seen.  Notice that many of the books list to #36, which means that they were probably not printed in the picture cover format until 1965.

 #1 1932 text - to #34 back cover and no interior list
 #1 1964 text - to #34 back cover and #35 inside
                        to #34 back cover and #37 inside
                        to #34 back cover and #38 inside
 #2 - to #34 back cover and #34 inside
        to #34 back cover and #36 inside
        to #34 back cover and #38 inside
 #3 - to #34 back cover and #35 inside
        to #36 back cover and #36 inside
        to #36 back cover and #38 inside
 #4 - to #34 back cover and #35 inside
        to #34 back cover and #36 inside
 #5 - to #34 back cover and no interior list
 #6 - to #34 back cover and #34 inside
 #7 - to #34 back cover and no interior list
         to #36 back cover and #36 inside
         to #34 back cover and #37 inside
 #8 - to #34 back cover and #34 inside
 #9 - to #34 back cover and #34 inside
#10 - to #34 back cover and #35 inside
         to #34 back cover and #37 inside
#11 - to #34 back cover and #34 inside
#12 - to #36 back cover and #36 inside
#13 - to #34 back cover and #34 inside
#14 - to #36 back cover and #36 inside
#15 - to #36 back cover and #36 inside
#16 - to #34 back cover and #35 inside
#17 - to #34 back cover and #35 inside
#18 - to #34 back cover and #34 inside
#19 - to #34 back cover and no interior list
#20 - to #34 back cover and #34 inside
#21 - to #36 back cover and #36 inside
#22 - to #34 back cover and #35 inside
#23 - to #34 back cover and #35 inside
#24 - to #36 back cover and #36 inside
#25 - to #34 back cover and #35 inside
#26 - to #34 back cover and #34 inside
#27 - to #34 back cover and #35 inside
#28 - to #36 back cover and #36 inside
#29 - to #34 back cover and #34 inside
#30 - does not exist
#31 - does not exist
#32 - to #34 back cover and #34 inside
#33 - does not exist
#34 - to #36 back cover and #37 inside
#35 - to #34 back cover and #34 inside
         to #34 back cover and #35 inside
#36 - to #36 back cover and #36 inside
#37 - to #34 back cover and #37 inside
#38 - to #34 back cover and #38 inside

This information reveals that #1 had at least four printings.  #2, 3, and 7 had at least three printings. #4, 10, and 35 had at least two printings each.

This information confirms what I suspected.  I find it especially interesting to confirm two printings of #35.  I have always considered #35 to be more common than the other high-numbered titles and have wondered about it.  Now I know that #35 did have more than one printing.

I completed my set of Judy Bolton picture covers in the early 2000s.  I spent at least $30 each for 19 of the books.  7 of the books cost between $20 and $30.  Most series books have gone down in value since that time.  The Judy Bolton picture cover values have not gone down, for the most part, due to the extreme scarcity of the books.  The value of #34-38 has decreased substantially due to reprints, but the titles that exist from #4 through #32 still retain value that is close to their historical value.  People who want a set of Judy Bolton picture cover books must be willing to pay high prices for some of the books in order to complete the set.

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Sweet Dreams #21 All's Fair in Love and #22 Secret Identity

Sweet Dreams #21, All's Fair in Love, Jeanne Andrews, 1982

When Anne moves to glamorous New York City, she meets Greg at an exclusive athletic club... and he's pretty special.  But Anne's afraid she won't be able to win Greg's heart.  After all, she's only a beginner and Greg likes winners—just like his sister Sarah, the club's champion gymnast.

Then Anne challenges Sarah for the championship.  She's determined to show Greg that she's a winner too.  But if she fails, will she lose everything—including Greg?

From page 55:
"You're entering a gymnastics competition to prove to Greg that you're better than his sister?  Isn't that just the slightest bit insane?"
That sums up the book.  Anne is an idiot, and I don't like her.  The story is okay, but Anne is too stupid for words.

Sweet Dreams #22, Secret Identity, Joanna Campbell, 1982

When Jena Maxwell meets Eric Bliss, she forgets her disappointment about not going to Europe for the summer, forgets everything that has been upsetting her.  Eric is gentle, handsome, and Jena's falling deeply in love.

But as their fabulous summer passes, Jena begins to wonder about Eric:  why is he so mysterious?  Where's his family, his friends?

Then Jena learns the truth about Eric, and her beautiful summer of happiness and love is shattered.

I like the setting and think that the story is probably good, but it didn't really grab me.  I decided not to read it.