Lucky Book Find

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by jondanger, Jun 20, 2019.

  1. jondanger

    jondanger Poster Extraordinaire

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    Some of you might know that I used to work in a used and rare book shop. We would go to book sales from DC to Florida looking for high dollar items and then mostly sell on the Internet marketplaces. There are a few modern first editions that I knew to lookout for, but never put my hands on. I’ve had firsts of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (~$800), Game of Thrones (only ~$100 at the time), various Cormac McCarthy titles, etc.

    One that always eluded me was Robert Jordan’s The Eye of the World. Well, yesterday I took my wife to a doctor’s appointment, and we stopped into a Habitat for Humanity Re-Store. I like turning old stained glass fixtures into hanging lamps, and you can usually scoop one or two up for less than $15. So as we were leaving, I saw a small bookshelf in the corner, went over to peruse, and there it was! I picked it up and told my wife “this is $400 right here.” We went to pay for it and I didn’t have a scrap of cash, so she paid the 53¢ that they were asking for it.

    The edges of the text block were pretty dusty and discolored, so I gently hit it with some 400 grit sandpaper (you learn some weird tricks in the book business. We used to have cigarette house books in plastic tubs full of kitty litter all over the place), and they brightened right up!

    So now it’s listed for a bit of a reaching price - $550 - we’ll see if I get any reasonable offers.

    The big questions - what gear should I buy and do I have to share any of the proceeds with my wife? She did pony up the money for it after all.

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  2. jondanger

    jondanger Poster Extraordinaire

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    Text block edges before and after:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. jhundt

    jhundt Doctor of Teleocity

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    maybe you should give the profits to Habitat for Humanity, and offer to help them in the future. The world won't be a better place because you made a bunch of money and bought some guitars. But it might be a better place if you helped other who are helping others.
     
  4. jondanger

    jondanger Poster Extraordinaire

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    My friend, I work with abused and neglected children every day. Trust me, I’m doing my part to make the world a better place.

    I bought the book for the asking price, and am using a piece of esoteric knowledge that I gained through previous employment to perform a little financial alchemy.
     
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  5. chulaivet1966

    chulaivet1966 Tele-Afflicted

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    Wow...good luck in the sale/auction.

    I know nothing of valuable books but I like Robert Jordan.
    I have (3) of his Conan books (along with the complete Ace series 1-12 by Carter/DeCamp) and I enjoy his writing style.
    I have Sagas Of Conan/Chronicles Of Conan/Further Chronicles Of Conan.....hard backs.

    As far as what gear to by?....I'll take a semi-hollow...maybe an Ibanez AS73 or the like. :)

    Seriously....looks like an interesting book find.
    Keep us posted....
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2019
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  6. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

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    jon....I agree that the book is yours to do with as you wish, and go for the gear if that's what you want. But maybe consider a small "extra" donation next time you're at Habitat.....I'm glad you shop there, and know that YOU know what a great organization they are.......no judgment here at all, but maybe????? :)
    Thanks!
     
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  7. idjster

    idjster VERY grateful member Silver Supporter

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    Great find! I have a few collectables but nothing that I've sought out, just books that I love. My favourite is the first edition hardcover of "The Last Western" by Thomas S. Klise. Not hugely valuable but very, very hard to find.

    And I don't need to buy anything from Habitat but when I realized that my woodworking future had ended I made sure to donate all my tools and power tools to them. They do good work!
     
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  8. jhundt

    jhundt Doctor of Teleocity

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    nothing wrong with that, my friend. I just thought I would try to jab you a little bit... I would probably do just what you are doing.
     
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  9. johnny k

    johnny k Friend of Leo's

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    It sells for 1 euro 50 cents and about 4 euros for shipping. should i buy it ?
     
  10. Lonn

    Lonn Friend of Leo's

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    Hopefully no prospective buyers will google it and come across this thread.
     
  11. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    @jondanger I don't think I knew you used to be in the trade. I started around 1995 and only sell to a list of folks, now, and only occasionally. I still think about going full-time.

    You made a good score. To folks who don't know the economics of the used/fine book trade, it's the very occasional outstanding cost/profit-ratio book like this that makes you actually profitable. The other 95% of the sales just keep the lights on and the doors open. An open shop of fine books has one turn of inventory every 10-30 years depending on the stock and the good scores support the business.

    As for monetary donations to the sources of books, there are times when it seemed the right thing to do, and times when it didn't. It depends. No one gets to impose a 3rd party morality on this. There are a billion moralities and none of them gets precedence except that of the person with the book.
     
  12. jondanger

    jondanger Poster Extraordinaire

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    I started in a regular old used book store, and when two of my coworkers/roommates started their own shop, I followed to help them after about a year. When that shop started to fold under the weight of the owner’s pretty serious personal issues, I went back to the place I had worked before and helped them change their training process so line staff could spot expensive stuff before it hit the floor. I haven’t done it for about 8 years, so my modern fiction knowledge is a little rusty, but there are a few titles you don’t forget.

    Still have my eye out for that Blood Meridian somewhere in an antique mall!
     
  13. Ivorytooth

    Ivorytooth Tele-Meister

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    The Wheel Of Time Series is a great series. I have all of them. I don't know if I have any first editions though.

    Grats on the score!
     
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  14. Nightclub Dwight

    Nightclub Dwight Tele-Afflicted

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    As a kid I wanted to go into the rare book field. We had a rare book library at my college and the librarian was kind to me. His advice about my career choice was to find something else. :(

    Nevertheless, I persisted. Then, as I was moving from one residence to another a freak flood ruined most of my budding collection that I had acquired in the first 25 years of my life. That put a damper on that pursuit, though I still have a great affinity for books. In a way it was a blessing since it forced me to reconsider my collecting habits and I became much more selective after that.

    Good for you @jondanger for your find. Its a hard way to make money, so its nice to see a rare gem come along.
     
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  15. Paul in Colorado

    Paul in Colorado Telefied Ad Free Member

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    My question is why is the warrior princess on the cover riding some weird sort of side saddle?

    I know nothing of the book or it's place in pop culture.
     
  16. Artslap

    Artslap Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    At least pay the wife the .53c.

    Plus interest.

    Seriously, split it three ways, 1/3 for the Charity, 1/3 for the wife, 1/3 for you.

    CP.
     
  17. mherrcat

    mherrcat Tele-Holic

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    Let's say I come across an ad from some little old lady selling an obviously valuable vintage guitar for peanuts because she doesn't know the value of it. I couldn't do it. Karma you know. I'd tell her what it was really worth.

    I saw a Craigslist ad a few years ago for an "oak bookcase." In looking at the pics I realized it was made by Stickley, and worth over $2,000. It was listed for $150. The guy was getting divorced and moving. He lived about 3 hours away. I called and asked if he was really selling it for $150. When he said yes, I told him I was on my way. When I was halfway there, he called me back and said a friend of his wife's saw the ad and told her about it. She had called him to say she wanted to keep it. Thinking quickly I said, "I'll give you $300 for it. Call her back and tell her you already sold it and you'll give her the $150." He got his $150, the wife got $150 and I still got an excellent deal on the bookcase.
     
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  18. thunderbyrd

    thunderbyrd Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    If you ever stumble onto a copy of "the phantom prince" by Elizabeth Kendall for a buck or two, grab it, even if it's beat up.
     
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