Thursday, October 27, 2022

More Nancy Drew Library Edition Auctions on eBay

I have listed these Nancy Drew library editions on eBay in separate auction listings.

This is round 2 of 2.  I have no other library editions except for very ordinary ones, most of which are up for sale in fixed-price listings.  I went with a starting bid of $49.99 on each book except for Missing Map, which I listed at $29.99 due to its heavier wear.

Nancy Drew Library Edition Auctions

This is my previous post about the first round of Nancy Drew library edition auctions.

Nancy Drew Library Edition Auctions and a Soapbox Moment

These screen captures are of the winning bid prices of the previous Nancy Drew library edition auctions.  Click on the images in order to see them clearly.

I also have a temporary sale on most of my vintage teen book listings on eBay.  I have way too many of those books due to slow sales over the last year.  Most of the vintage teen books are 15% off until Sunday night.

Books currently 15% off through Sunday night

Jennifer's Series Books on eBay

Monday, October 17, 2022

More Books Listed on eBay and Etsy

I really pushed myself to list as much as possible during fall break.  I'm close to being finished with what will be listed.  I might do a handful of additional items, but it's unlikely that I will get much more listed today.

Jennifer's Series Books on eBay

On eBay, I listed Hardy Boys Digest paperbacks, Hardy Boys books with dust jackets, Hardy Boys Casefiles, Nancy Drew Files, and some miscellaneous books.  What Happened to Amy? and Mystery of the Witches' Bridge are two excellent books that are worth seeking out.  Reviews of both books can be found under this tag here in this blog.

Jennifer's Series Books on Etsy

On Etsy, I listed nearly all of the Dana Girls picture cover books.  I also listed many tweed Nancy Drew books, both with and without dust jackets.  Quite a few Trixie Belden and Three Investigators hardcover books were added to my Etsy shop.

Nancy Drew Library Edition Auctions

On eBay, I have a small number of Nancy Drew library editions up for auction.  I have some additional Nancy Drew library editions which will be listed after this first group of auctions ends.  That might be this Friday evening, or I might end up waiting a week to list them.

I doubt that I will list many books between now and around Thanksgiving.  I have had pretty good sales the last few days since the stores just reopened, but I expect sales to fall steeply within around a week.  The economy is still in bad shape, and I doubt that I will be selling many books in the coming weeks.  At least I will have the books available for those who are interested in buying books.

Friday, October 14, 2022

Nancy Drew Library Edition Auctions and a Soapbox Moment

I no longer know how to price Nancy Drew library editions due to the greatly increased interest.  I cannot sell them at fixed prices until I gain an understanding of what they are worth.

To clarify, I need to gain an understanding of what the Nancy Drew library editions are worth when I sell them.  I tend to get less for my books than other sellers do. This is because I don't gush about my books and pretend that they are in better condition than they actually are. 

I am continually amazed to see books for sale that have clear signs of wear and tear and yet are described as "pristine."  Not only that, but people don't see books in photos for what they actually are.  Take this photo of mine that is of the first Nancy Drew books that were given to me when I was a young child.

When I posted this awhile back on Facebook, I was praised at how I took such good care of my childhood books.  It was said that the books were in "pristine" condition.  I cringed and didn't respond.  The unwarranted praise took away most of the enjoyment I received from the other comments made on the post.  I was left feeling a bit empty inside.

Enlarge the photo by clicking on it, and take a really good look at the spines.  The books have fairly strong spine slant.  The lower spines have noticeable wear.  The books are not pristine.  I would say that the books have moderate wear and are in "good" condition at best.

I most certainly did not take good care of my childhood Nancy Drew books.  The books still exist, and I do still have them.  In that respect, I took good care of them.  In other ways, I did not. 

My childhood books are worn.  They were much loved, and they were read many times.  I wasn't careful with them.  I used some of my childhood Nancy Drew books to prop up a broken bed post.  I felt so chagrined and shamed to be told how I took such good care of my books and how I was such a careful child.  No, I wasn't.

My point is that people see what they want in photos.  When sellers gush over their books, buyers see books that are in better condition than what they are. 

I take the opposite approach.  I strive to be blunt about the condition and very often overstate the flaws on purpose.  I try to avoid having my buyers be disappointed like I have been so very many times.

Back to the original question:  What are Nancy Drew library editions worth when I sell them?  Are they worth much at all?  Will my blunt descriptions cause the books to have lower value than when other people sell them and gush about the books?

I want to find out.  I selected some of my extra Nancy Drew library editions to place in auctions.  I selected books in varying condition and with different binding styles.  I arranged the books according to different price points.

The plan was to price the books on the far left the lowest, and the ones towards the right the highest.  I believe that the cameo binding style which uses white and black (and sometimes brown) on the cover illustration is the most desirable subtype of that binding style.  That is why I think that Wooden Lady is worth the most of the books seen in the above photo.  I will find out whether others agree with me about that.

The books have been listed.  

It will be interesting to see whether I just get the opening bid prices or whether any of the auctions close at higher prices.  Many collectors won't want my books, because they only want library editions if the books are perfect.  That's unrealistic for books that by their very nature are library discards, but it's how most collectors feel.

Imagine if all collectors could overlook condition.  The books would end up selling at extreme prices.  That won't happen, and it's amazing that the prices have gone up as much as they have based on how few collectors can overlook the condition of library discards.

Among the books I have listed are a few that have the bottom corners of some of the pages torn off.  For me as a library binding collector, that is of no concern whatsoever.  I collect the binding, which means that I care most about the exterior of the book, not the condition of the interior.  The inside of library editions tends to be rough.

Since many collectors cannot overlook the condition, they won't want the books with torn off page edges.  That is good news for those of you who think like me.  You'll have less competition.

Nancy Drew Library Edition Auctions

Jennifer's Series Books on eBay

Thursday, October 13, 2022

Books for Sale on eBay and Etsy

I feel like I can probably handle selling books right now and in the near future.  I am on fall break, and I'm just coming out of a significant outbreak of hives that may have been partly triggered by the bivalent Moderna Covid booster that I received on September 23.  Now that I'm not itching as much, I feel like I can handle selling books.  After all, if I was able to endure what I just endured, then I should be able to deal with some extra tasks.

I have fully reactivated all of my eBay and Etsy listings.

Jennifer's Series Books on eBay

Jennifer's Series Books on Etsy

I am still kicking around the idea of running some auctions of Nancy Drew library editions.  I am not sure if I will list any this weekend or whether I will wait a bit longer.  If I do list any auctions, then I will be sure to mention them.

Also, I could shut back down if at any point I decide that I don't want to sell.  I used to think that I had to stay open constantly just because, and that is not true.  I sell when I feel like it.  I think that I will likely shut down again later in the year.  This would be in late December or thereabouts.  For now, I'm open.

6 More Hardcover Christopher Pike Library Editions

With the publicity surrounding Netflix's Christopher Pike adaptation, The Midnight Club, an above average number of Christopher Pike books are coming up for sale.  I was fortunate to acquire six hardcover library editions, purchased in two separate listings.

I shelve all of the retro teen books together, both softcover and hardcover library editions.  The oversized modern books and the Spooksville series are shelved elsewhere.  I prefer books to be the same size when shelved together.  We all have our collecting quirks, and that's one of mine.  Each image can be selected in order to view at a higher resolution.

Saturday, October 8, 2022

Taking a Chance on a Nancy Drew Library Binding

 I saw this Nancy Drew library edition for sale online.

The tape was a big drawback.  However, the book was still worth purchasing depending upon the condition of the spine underneath the tape.  I knew that the tape would no longer be sticky and that the adhesive backing would be dry and stuck to the book.  It wouldn't be pretty, but the situation was salvageable depending upon the condition of the spine.  

I knew that the spine could be completely intact, partially intact, torn, or missing completely.  I decided to take a chance, and I purchased the book. 

You might wonder why I wanted to purchase the book, since I have nearly 200 examples of this binding, and eight of them are copies of Black Keys.  

Did I need a ninth copy of Black Keys?  Why yes, of course I did.  The one with tape on the spine is another variant.  The book is the same as the one seen in the top left corner of the above image except that the series name and author name on the front cover are in white.  That's why I wanted the book.

Images can be enlarged by clicking on them.  If viewing via the web version in a browser, the images can be compared by enlarging a photo and then navigating forwards and backwards.

Once I had the book in hand, I was certain that the spine was intact under the tape.  The above photo shows the outer spine visible at the bottom edge.  I proceeded to remove the tape.  I used manicure scissors with the book open so that the tape was pulled away from the hinges.  I cut through the tape at the front hinge.

Excellent!  Yes, I am serious.  The spine looked bad because of the dried adhesive, but I knew that would be the case.  I was thrilled that the spine was still intact, although a bit worn near the top and bottom edges.

A blue and white multi endpaper can be seen at the top edge of the photo.  It fell out of the book while I cut through the tape.

I finished removing the tape.

The next step would be the hard part.  Getting the dried residue off of the book is very difficult.  I have done this before, and it is impossible to remove all of it.  The goal is to remove as much as possible without damaging the cover.

I first took a dry paper towel and rubbed at the book, freeing the dusty remnants of adhesive that weren't firmly stuck to the cover.  I next used some lighter fluid on a paper towel and rubbed at it.  I also tried some Windex on a paper towel.  Each attempt removed some dried adhesive.  I then quit because it was late, and I planned to do more the next day.  The book's appearance had already improved.

The next day I realized that I was going to have to start scraping the residue off.  There was no other way.  I have a rounded plastic scraper that came with a bottle of Un-du adhesive remover that I purchased around 20 years ago.  I use it for scraping.  Library edition covers are durable enough that they can withstand some scraping.  I wouldn't do it on a regular edition.

During a few sessions over approximately a two-day period, I scraped at the dried adhesive.  I finally decided to call it "done" even though I could probably remove more of it.  I'm satisfied with where the book is now.  I knew that this would be a worn copy, and I'm okay with that.

I love owning all sorts of variants, and I don't mind if some of them are quite worn.  

This book is now shelved with the rest.  

Sunday, October 2, 2022

Prepping for the Premiere of Pike's Midnight Club on Netflix

I have been alternately excited and worried about the upcoming adaptation of Christopher Pike's The Midnight Club.  Past adaptations of Pike's work have not been good, which is why Pike has refused to consider most adaptation proposals.  The book Fall into Darkness was made into a TV movie in 1996.  The book is excellent, but the movie is terribly boring.

In 2020, I watched the movie on YouTube:

I found the 1996 television movie Fall into Darkness on YouTube.  It was adapted from Christopher Pike's novel, Fall into Darkness.  In my opinion, the movie starts off boring but gets more interesting during the second half.  I like the book better since it has all the most suspenseful parts that were not included in the movie.  It also didn't help that the YouTube video has horrible picture quality. However, at least I have now seen the movie.

In response to a comment, I wrote this:

I pretty much just decided that I would watch it tonight no matter what.  It really is a snooze at first.  The lengthy piano playing, the boring party, etc.  Even the climax falls far short of the suspense in Pike's book.  Also, the poor quality of the video made my eyes hurt.

The part of the book where the reader finds out what happens to Ann after she goes over the cliff is just really excellent.  That was not in the movie.  Of course not!

The movie was an epic fail since it was full of boring filler content and omitted most everything good or interesting from the book.  This makes no sense.

I enjoyed reading Christopher Pike's Spooksville books for younger readers, so I tried watching that television series in 2020.  The preview made the show sound so good.

Earlier this year I tried to watch the television series, Spooksville, which is based on Pike's Spooksville series.  Pike is my very favorite author of all time.  I like the Spooksville books a lot.  With difficulty, I made it through several episodes of the Spooksville television series and found it to be boring.  Pike's books are great because of his voice.  His writing appeals strongly to me.  Pike's voice is absent in the television series, so it falls flat.  If Pike had actually written the script (and if the actors had been better), then the show could have been really good.

We have had a total of two Pike adaptations, and both were boring.  This is unacceptable. 

Pike's books were very special to teens like me in the late 1980s.  Pike wrote books for us that were written in our vernacular, just as if a teen from the 1980s wrote the books.  That's not uncommon nowadays, but books written in the language of teens were a rarity in the 1980s.

I have read some of the articles about the upcoming Netflix series and have checked out some discussions on Reddit.  Mike Flanagan's fans are thrilled about this new series.  They have made a lot of comments referring to Flanagan's previous works.  Fans have most often referred to Flanagan's Midnight Mass Netflix series, probably because both series have "midnight" in their titles.  So that I could understand the comments and get a better idea of what to expect from the upcoming series, I watched Flanagan's Midnight Mass series on Netflix this weekend.
As I watched the first two episodes, I felt that they were dragging along too slowly.  The content was not uninteresting, but it needed to move faster.  I forwarded repeatedly to get through those episodes faster.  After I had watched two episodes of Midnight Mass, I felt like The Midnight Club series was doomed to be another boring failed Pike adaptation.  I had a really bad feeling about the upcoming series.

Midnight Mass became more interesting in the third episode.  I found the series to be pretty engaging from that point on, although it still contained a large amount of what could be considered filler content.  While I understood why the church services and the rituals were shown, I felt that they should have been reduced in length considerably.  It was unnecessary to spend such a large amount of time on them.  I forwarded through many of the scenes.

Midnight Mass also contains an excessive amount of very long character monologues, which is apparently a trademark of Mike Flanagan's work.  The monologues are good, but they are a bit much at times.  I forwarded through many of them.

Overall, I would say that Midnight Mass is a pretty good series.  The last two episodes were quite suspenseful and interesting, so I'm once again feeling hopeful about The Midnight Club

One article (Mike Flanagan's Latest Midnight Club update is good news) mentions that The Midnight Club won't have as many monologues as Flanagan's other works and that it will have more scares.  I certainly hope so.

I decided to reread The Midnight Club book to refresh my memory.  It is not one of my favorite Pike books.  When I reviewed The Midnight Club here, one person took issue with my opinion of the book.  They didn't like that I said that the book depressed me.  Um, it did, and I can't help that.  

I have read many comments in the last few weeks on Reddit where people say how much they loved the book, The Midnight Club.  For me, it is a below average Pike book that is near the bottom.  Pike has written 84 books.  Of those 84 books, there are only around 10 of those books that I like about the same or less than The Midnight Club.  The Midnight Club book falls low on my list of Pike's books, because I find it depressing.  The short stories embedded within the book are great, but I do not like the main plot of the book.

After I finish reading The Midnight Club again, I'm going to try to quickly reread every Pike book that is used in the Netflix series.  The goal is to finish all of them by Friday when the series drops.  When I watch the shows, I want to have the books' plots fresh in my memory.

101. "The Final Chapter"
102. "The Two Danas"
103. "The Wicked Heart"
104. "Gimme a Kiss"
105. "See You Later"
106. "Witch"

107. "Anya"
108. "Road to Nowhere"
109. "The Eternal Enemy"

110. "Midnight"

The episodes marked in blue are based on Pike books of the same name.  I have read far enough into The Midnight Club to see that "The Two Danas" is based on one of the short stories featured in The Midnight Club.  That short story features a girl named Dana who is cloned by the devil.  Both Danas are able to experience both lives at the same time.  The first Dana lives her normal life, and the second Dana parties.  Both Danas experience both lives simultaneously: one in person and the other in her mind.  As can be expected, this doesn't work out well for Dana.

As of this writing, I'm getting quite excited about the new series and hope that it does indeed meet my expectations.  I hope Mike Flanagan did justice to Pike's works.  Mainly, I just want the series not to be boring.  No more boring Pike adaptations, please.

Saturday, October 1, 2022

A Thick Judy Bolton Library Edition and Thoughts on Value

I was excited to find an online listing for a thick copy of Judy Bolton #2 The Haunted Attic that has been rebound in a library binding.  

The book has all four glossy illustrations.  This is not the first printing book (no birthday mention on invitation).  

"5-15-2008" has been written in the upper right corner of the front free endpaper.  The date has been covered with correction fluid, although it can still be seen.  The book does not appear to be a library discard.  There are no library markings and no evidence of past library markings.  The book has very light wear.

I assume that the book was rebound in 2008, perhaps by somebody for their private collection.  It certainly does not appear to have been circulated.

I am kicking around the idea of writing up another blog post about the values of the different library editions.  I see some common misconceptions where collectors do not understand that some library editions have little value while some others have great value.  The style of the library binding, the series name, and the condition of the book are very important and can wildly swing the value either high or low.

A book like the one featured in this post is certainly worth what I paid for it, which was $20.26 including shipping and sales tax.  It could possibly be worth a bit more, maybe $35 or so.  

I place the value that high for three reasons. 

1.  The binding is very attractive and falls under the category of what I consider to be a "handsome binding."

2.  The book has very light wear.

3.  The book is thick with the glossy internal illustrations.  Thick books don't show up in library bindings very often.

If this were instead a Nancy Drew library edition with all of the same characteristics (very light wear, attractive binding, thick with internals), then the book probably would be worth $50 to $100 in the current market.  Judy Bolton library editions won't sell for as high of prices as Nancy Drew library editions.  The series makes a big difference.

If this same text block (thick with internals) were bound in a plain library binding, like the one seen below, the value would likely be only $10 to $15 at the most.  The binding makes a big difference as well.

The book seen in the above photo was rebound from a tweed edition.  I place its value at $5 or so.  The bottom line is that all library editions are not equal.

Here are all of the thick library editions that I own.