Monday, November 21, 2022

Nancy Drew and Mary Louise Gay Books

Last Tuesday morning, I checked eBay and saw four different listings that were all of high interest.  I had to make a fast decision on whether to purchase the books in order to avoid missing out.  I detailed what happened on my Facebook page immediately after I completed the purchases.

This just happened.  I checked eBay as one of my first activities of the day.  I saw a bulk lot of low-value Nancy Drew books with one library edition.  I felt certain that I had that particular variant.  (My goal is all titles in all colors.  Yeah, I know.)  I then noticed all three Mary Louise Gay books in separate listings.  The jackets were not faded and were A. L. Burt editions.  Now I knew that one or more of mine were faded.  However, I had to check on the library edition first.

The fixed-priced Nancy Drew library edition listings go fast, sometimes extremely fast.  I went to the other side of the house to verify that I had Moss-Covered Mansion in that color.  I saw only three copies in fairly bad shape and none of them that color.  Omigosh!

I jogged back to the computer, still feeling like I ought to have that one.  Nevertheless, I quickly purchased the bulk lot.  I then went to LibraryThing, where I found no evidence of having that variant.  Wow.

I then proceeded to the Mary Louise Gay listings.  Since the books were just mentioned on Facebook in one of the groups in passing, I knew that I needed to decide quickly.  I knew where most of my A. L. Burt books were, but I didn't see the MLG books at first glance.  I pulled out some of the Burt books from in the front and found them in the back.  All three had noticeably faded spines!

I went back to the computer and added all three books to my cart.  I then double-checked each listing to make sure that all three were Burt and that all three jackets were original and not reproductions.  Everything looked good, so I purchased the books. 

What an unexpected exciting start to my day!

The books from both orders arrived today.  Here is the library edition.

The library edition does have a hideous stain on the outside vertical edge.

No matter.  I collect the books for what is on the outside.  The book will still look great on the shelf with its three siblings and many cousins.  

It is the third book from the left in the front row.  

The Mary Louise Gay books arrived just as described.  The camera flash makes the spines appear slightly faded.  In person, they do not appear faded at all.  The jackets are in really nice shape.

When I posted about the books on Facebook, one person asked how I could tell that the jackets were not reproductions.  I answered as follows.

In most cases, you can't be sure.  I have to depend on the seller's honesty.  I believe that this seller is knowledgeable enough to know and that they are not lying about the jackets.  I don't see any warning signs that the jackets are reproductions.  Usually reproductions look too sharp and straight at the edges and the colors will be off a little bit.

The jackets are real.  Here are photos showing the ads on the reverse side of each jacket.

Here are the spines of the jackets of the books that I have owned for years.  The fading is quite noticeable.

It was more important to me to own Burt editions with good quality paper than to settle for Saalfield editions with pulp paper.  The Burt editions are much nicer than the Saalfield reprints, and I was okay with faded spines so long as I had original Burt editions.

The Burt editions are extremely scarce as compared to the Saalfield reprints.  I would say that out of every 20 copies of the Mary Louise Gay books that come up for sale, only one of those books will be a Burt edition.  That was why I had to act fast when I saw the listings.

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