Where do you get your books?
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My library is in an almost constant state of expansion; I usually pick up interesting looking books off half.com after reading reviews on here or Amazon. Sometimes I'll get books from Borders, but usually only if I have a gift certificate or a substantial coupon; I kicked myself in the ass pretty hard when I realized that the prices on Amazon are already usually 35% or so off the cover price, which is still a better deal than the vast majority of coupons I get sent from Borders.
Also there's this used bookstore in Connecticut called the Book Barn that sells books for unbelievably cheap, but I didn't learn about it until I moved away! Now whenever I go back I buy as many as I can cram into my baggage...last time I had to take the train back home because I would've had way too much weight to fly on a plane :-D
But anyway, as a student, I'm always looking for the cheapest ways possible to get more books, so if you guys have any particular tips.... ;-)
But, since I have a taste for unusual books, I also get a lot of my books from abebooks.com and from ebay (you would be amazed what you can find there at reasonable prices if you bother to look around and use the search options well). Postage is killing me at times though...
I buy from sellers on ABE a lot, on ebay rarely and I used to go to a book auction once a month. Sometimes I go to other sales, I found a site that lists all the book upcoming library and big book sales. I'll post a link if I remember when I'm on my home computer.
The local library sales put flyers on the check-out desk of the library, and that's all the advertising there is. you either go to the library every few days to check before the flyers are all gone, or rely on the 'feeling in your waters' to find out when the sales are on.
Does anyone else search for several misspellings and variations on authors and titles for a work on abe? i've got some really good bargains that way. Smith's dictionary of antiquities for $20 because it was listed as being by Jowett for instance. Smyth's greek grammar was only $10 as "Smith's".
I wouldn't consider myself a "collector" but I do have a thing for old books from the glory days before ISBNs :-) I picked up a few of the old "Historians' History of the World" volumes from 1904 (no one writes multi-volume histories anymore!!!) as well as a few European historical geographies as well from the same time period... all for $4 each :-o ...these books aren't always super useful because of some of their biases and strange assumptions back in the day, but I find them fascinating for their historiographical value!
Anyway, I'd encourage you to hitch up the "Lil Lugger" and go down there to load up on awesome books.... but I want there to still be stuff there when I come back!!!
(Btw, I'm "from" the Groton/Mystic area) Cheers :-D
Btw, when I say I'm a "collector" I don't mean of rare stuff, although I have a few kind of rare odds and ends and I suppose I might want to get into that one of these days. But I am a collector in that I seek out very particular works for my library and I treat them with such care that many people can't believe that I've handled some of these volumes even though I have read them through. Oh, and I never loan books. I'd rather give it away than loan it since most people don't treat books the same way.
The Phoenix Main Library has a used book store, too, and the same story applies there, but, yes, if you want a recent book, the best buys are on Amazon. Too many books are impossible to find, new, after a couple of years.
The best place I ever purchased books was in the mountains of Wales. I went crazy in those used book stores. All sorts of medieval and ancient reference works. (Rather like shopping at Hogwarts, I imagine. Shelf after shelf of dusty tombs. And Blackwell's was good. Not as cheap, but definitely a place you spend several days wandering about :)
I am usually looking for a particular book, and I'll use all internet options to find it. Generally, if it's nonfiction, I'll try to find a nice hardcover copy.
Oddly perhaps, even though I have a lot of fiction and probably read at least as much fiction as nonfiction, I especially treasure my nonfiction books. While this may in fact not be true, I feel my nonfiction books reflect my interests more directly, and that just the right nonfiction book can be harder to find. The knowledge in those books is just waiting until the necessary moment, when it will offer up its treasure.
Which reminds me of a favorite quote from Saul Bellow's Dangling Man which I can only paraphrase: "My books stand as guarantors of an extended life -- a life that is far more interesting and meaningful than the one I am forced to lead daily."
I love to browse use bookstores wherever I find them, and when visiting a new city, checking out the used bookstores is high on my agenda.
I picked up a 2nd printing of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for $7 (worth about $250-$300). I also always picked up books signed by Greg Hildebrandt for $20 or so each and regularly sold them for $50.
My best though...I paid $30 for 5 books....one was a book about Spanish history from 1811, sold it for $100 or so...2 others were in French from 1540 and sold them for $500.
I also managed to get 2 signed books from barnes & nobles for $40 total (they were discounted with my membership and the regular B&N discount) and sold them for $240 that week.
I was ALMOST paying for the books I was buying to keep.
Of course, getting a 1st print of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas for $190 from a dealer who thought it was a 2nd print was a nice keeper too... ;P
I did ask for a recently published book this past Christmas -- Berry Cunliffe's Europe Between the Oceans. Which reminds me to add it to my "library" listing on this Website.
And since a couple of recent bad experiences, I will never loan books again. Ever.
Mary: I recently picked up Europe Between the Oceans as well. Good book! And like a lot of Cunliffe's books, it's sectioned off rather well, so you can pop in and out of the book at various points that interest you, and not be lost!
Not to be superficial or anything :-D
Amazon has the one i got and that i like http://www.amazon.com/Europe-Between-Oceans-9000-BC-AD/dp/0300119232/ref=sr_1_1?..., but that one is in fact part of the wall-relief from the palace of Sargon II.
Perhaps we liked different covers? Did mention I am very happy with mine?
Mary: I am intrigued by Europe Between the Oceans -- it could be a great sequel of sorts when I finish Noah's Flood
Library Book Sales are great, as are used book stores. It is my dream to one day own a used book store near the shore in Rhode Island.
23: Garp83 - I picked up a first edition/printing of a lesser-known Mark Twain book about six years ago. I thought it was so cool to stumble across something like that. I paid maybe $35 or $40 (pretty much what it's worth). From there, I bought books on collecting and read through them all. I have to read them again since I haven't been really active with the hunt for the last year or two so I've forgotten some of the first print indicators and some of the more sought-after first editions out there. I've told my wife (and proved it) that if I'm given an hour or two in a good used bookstore, I should be able to make a profit of about $50. I really would love to own a used bookstore someday and I'm also kicking around the idea of learning book binding.
I'm not an expert by any stretch - I have a full time job that isn't related to books. Magazines, yes...but books, no.
Anyway, here's a great one to start with:Book Finds by Ian Ellis
Beyond that, if you can find used books on collecting or price guides, that's one of the times that it could actually be of major benefit to get a book filled with notes and writings from previous owners (if they were good at what they were doing!)
I'm a little embarrassed by my library now that I've added so many books I read when I was in high school...don't let it mislead you!
By the way, I got the bas relief cover, I guess...
On the subject of Cunliffe's work--I also recommend The Extraordinary Voyage of Pythias the Greek and also one he edited titled The Oxford Illustrated Prehistory of Europe. As you can tell, I like his focus and his style.
Thanks --I'd like to get that first book -- I can't seem to locate it online for less than $138; Amazon has it for $227!
Sean, I just ordered "Book Finds" by Ian Ellis from eBay -- thanx for the tip. I spend enough time in used book stores, I might as well find a way to "feed my habit"
My main interest is Neolithic and Mesolithic Europe, and there's enough in there to keep me going back. I sort of look at Cunliffe as a touchstone to compare other authors to.
Your mileage may vary on Pytheas, Feicht. I've visited enough of the areas he covers in the book to have it interest me from that angle, also. Yes -- it may be "lighter" than some of Cunliffe's other books; I got the impression that he was just really taken by the story and felt it was worth telling. It is more of a popularized subject that some of his other work, but it is an interesting story and he tells it well. And thanks, by the way to both you and Stellarexplorer for correcting my spelling; I should have gotten up a third time and gone in to get the book, because I knew it didn't look right, but I got lazy. I'll do better from now on.
And yeah, I figured as much about the book. I too have been to a lot of the areas that I know Pytheas was supposed to have voyaged, which is kind of one of the reasons I picked it up in the first place. Thanks for the insight though, I'm sure I'll crack into it eventually. There's nothing wrong with "popular" narratives as long as the writer has their facts straight--something which I couldn't imagine Cunliffe not doing :-)
I read (and reviewed) Circumference: Eratosthenes and the Ancient Quest to Measure the Globe and had a similar reaction. It amounted to a biography of a man about whom almost nothing is known. The filler required is a challenge. Still liked it though, even if in large part to be reminded of the ancient method for doing the measurement.
I dunno, maybe I'm just too accustomed to reading books for a well-schooled audience that I kind of flinch a bit when an author has to explain things that I think everyone should know already (for instance, that Asia Minor = Turkey).
Black & Read, Arvada, Colorado, USA
Red Letter Bookstore, Boulder, Colorado, USA
Trident Bookstore and Coffee, Boulder, Colorado, USA
Tattered Cover Books, Denver, Colorado, USA
Barnes & Noble, everywhere
Capitol Hill Books, Denver, Colorado, USA
Powell's, Chicago, Illinois, USA
The Tin Can Mailman, Arcata, California, USA
Stagehouse (gone), Boulder, Colorado, USA
Museum Books (gone), London, England
George's Bookshop, Cairo, Egypt
i can't imagine EVER knowing enough about this actually, but your point is taken.
The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
Collecting The First Edition
Identifying the First Edition:
There are only two things that you have to know to insure that you are buying a true First Edition in dustjacket (aka first printing) of The Da Vinci Code.
On the copyright page (backside of the titlepage), there must be the words "First Edition" and a numberline reading as follows: 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1. The "1" in the numberline must be present;
There must be a price on the top center of the front dustjacket flap of "U.S. $24.95/Canada $37.95".
Important Note: If the book that you are considering doesn't have a dustjacket, then you must take one additional step to verify that it is a collectible First Edition. - Measure the book. The authentic First Edition is 9 1/2 inches tall. The book club edition is 8 1/2 inches tall. - Please scroll down to the last section of this buying guide for more information on How To Tell The Difference Between Book Club Edition Copies Of This Book And First Edition Copies.
Size of the First Printing (Is it Rare?):
In pre-publication announcements, Doubleday stated that there would be 85,000 copies in the first printing. Numerous newspapers and other publications quoted the announced 85,000 number in articles printed then and subsequently.
However Doubleday actually printed over 218,000 copies in the first printing, as was reported in the March 31, 2003 issue of Publishers Weekly.
Doubleday had initially printed 5000 copies of the ARC (Advance Reading Copy)*. But after explosive interest by booksellers and reviewers, Doubleday went back to press and printed another 4,500 ARC's, and substantially increased the planned size of the first printing.
*Advance Reading Copies are sent to critics, reviewers, and booksellers to promote a book, before it is actually published and available for purchase by the public.
The same Publishers Weekly article also states that the first through fourth printings totaled 262,000 copies. As a result, copies from the second, third and fourth printings are quite scarce, while true first printing copies are regularly available for sale by online booksellers.
Printing Errors in the First Edition:
There is a commonly held mistaken belief that the first printing (and only the first printing) has an erroneous spelling of "scotoma" as "skitoma", and that a city name of "Lyon" was changed to "Lille" in later printings.
However the truth is that the two errors occur not only in the first printing, but in several subsequent printings as well, before they were eventually corrected at some point. They also occur in the book club edition of the book.
As a result, those errors are "false points" and are irrelevant to identifying a first printing copy of the book (aka First Edition).
The Book Club Edition:
A significant number of copies listed online as First Editions (aka first printing copies) are actually the book club edition.
With some specific exceptions (and this is not one of them), book club editions are generally not considered collectible and are only suitable as reading copies.
Both the book club edition and the First Edition of this book have the same information on the copyright page, so you cannot rely solely on the First Edition statement and numberline for identifying the real First Edition.
However the book club edition can be easily differentiated from the First Edition by the following:
The book club edition is unpriced. While the First Edition has a price of "$U.S. $24.95/Canada $37.95" on the center top of the front dustjacket flap.
The lettering on the book club dustjacket is flat, with no embossing. The dustjacket for the First Edition has embossed (raised) lettering on the front panel.
The book club edition is 8 1/2 inches tall. The First Edition is 9 1/2 inches tall.
Eventually, you get pretty good at just picking up a book and before you even open it, you'll know it's a book club - they usually use cheaper paper, so the books are noticeably lighter. I major exception would be around WWII when they were using shoddier paper because resources were being thrown into the war effort.
I'm sure there's hundreds of people on LT that know more than me...I just do it as a hobby and I'm a little rusty right now since I've been spending more time putting hours in at work and working on our new house than treasu...er...book hunting ;p
As far as places to get books, if you like used books The Strand Bookstore in NYC is wonderful. Prices vary but you can find good bargains all of the time. Plus they often seem to get whole collections at once so you have a good chance of coming across a hard to find out of print book.
The link above is for used/out-of-print books but there is also a tab for new books. Some of the results come from abes, alibris, amazon, half, Strand, Powell's... 40 bookstores, 20,000 dealers. I've been using this site for years and have always been satisfied. I especially like that you can search by ISBN in addition to other criteria such as binding and first edition
I love roaming used bookstores, and have one just a few minutes away. It's name? Also, The Book Barn! If there are any really old Yalies out there you may remember the Whitlock brothers had a shop on Broadway, New Haven as well as 2 buildings out in the country on the Woodbridge/Bethany border. Those 2 old barns are still open.
Lately I've been bargain shopping on half.com. But with shipping costs, even those 75 cent beauties can add up...
Book Barn in Niantic, CT has two locations (the barn complex and the store down the road). The store down the road has the ancient material, while the barn complex has the archaeological stuff in the basement. The problem with the books at the barn is that they are subject to the elements, and the books in the basement almost always smell moldy.
Troubador Books in North Hatfield, MA has a good, often excellent, selectional of ancient language, history, and archaeology books. The prices can be a bit on the high side, but the salesperson (usually the owner) will often take a few dollars off at the counter. Try to visit when he has his "existentialist crisis sale" where books are 50% off.
There is a good used bookstore in Providence called Cellar Stories. It has a decent collection of ancient material, and the Loebs (located above the counter, to the right) are priced at $12.50 each. The general literature section is excellent. Prices are reasonable.
When passing through Columbus, I always stop at Karen Wickliff Books as it usually has an excellent collection of ancient & medieval material. Loebs are behind the counter (usually), other editions can be found on the shelves.
In Illinois, Powell's (Hyde Park) has the best selection of academic titles by far (they republish some standard Clarendon Press books, too) and a great Latin & Greek section. They have a yearly sale as well.
There's also a seminary bookstore (I forgot the name) nearby to Powell's that has a great selection of academic titles, but most of the books are new and priced accordingly. They also have a fairly complete set of Latin & Greek Loebs. Great for browsing.
When I lived in LA, I looked *everywhere* for a decent used bookstore that had ancient stuff -- I never found one. Has anyone?
Yeah we have chatted about Book Barn before on here and we are all fans. Troubadour is one of my big favorites and Bob -- the owner -- is quite the character. I think his prices are fair because the books are generally in very good condition, they don't smell, the shelves are well-organized, the store is clean, everyone is friendly & helpful, it has a huge selection and late in the day Bob will offer you a shot of bourbon.
I am not a big fan of LA but when we last visited, we checked out the shops on the strip near Mussel Beach and I found a decent little bookstore where I picked up a Loeb's Aristophanes! I can't recall if she had used books too.
There are many used bookstores here in Western Mass, in Northhampton, Amherst and elsewhere. I hit them all the time. There's Book Bear in West Brookfield which is on the same par as Troubadour (sans the bourbon!), the huge Montague Book Mill, and smaller shops like Sage Books in Southampton where I was today.
You are right about the barn obscured_. There is a weather issue there, even though it is a fun place. I haven't gotten to the down the street ancient section yet, because last year the kids rebelled in the middle of the six hour trek to the Cape. Only made it to the barn complex itself. Maybe this year, I'll just make them go to the down the street area.
As it stands I get strange looks about the amounts of packages I recieve from Amazon. I think think that I am in the midst of building some nefarious machine for Boris and Natasha.
Thanks for pointing out Cellar Stories in Providence. I plan to be in Providence soon and will try to check it out.
As far as the abundance of secondhand bookstores in Western Mass, I recall that when I lived there it was only surpassed by the abundance of secondhand bookstores in Eastern Mass. Moving from Cambridge to California was a rude awakening. There used to be a very good one under Old South Church. Is that still there?
o--Asia On a Bicycle : The Journey of Two American Students From Constantinople to Peking
o--Letters of a Woman Homesteader
o--Tillie, a Mennonite Maid; a Story of the Pennsylvania Dutch
o--A Lady's Life on a Farm in Manitoba
o--The American Frugal Housewife
and more I haven't read.
Loading up on chocolate, contraceptives, guns, and whiskey now.
#78... Stellar and Enodia: It is Wonderful! I thoroughly enjoyed Allen's descriptions of their journey and highly recommend it as a fun, educational read. Get a PDF version with the drawings and pictures though because they are amazing. (One advantage that I've found with pdf's is that you can really blow up the photos and focus in on details.)
If you remember where it is, let me know!
The Brick Pyramid at Abu Rawash by Nabil Swelim
Les pyramides des reines Neit et Apouit
La Pyramide d'Aba
Deux pyramides du moyen empire
Le monument funéraire de Pepi II - Tome III
Le Mastabat Faraoun
Tombeaux de particuliers contemporains de Pepi II
La Pyramide d'Oudjebten, all by Gustave Jéquier
Excavations at giza: The Offering-List in the Old Kingdom; Volume IV-Part…
Excavations at Giza: The Mastabas of the Sixth Season and their…
The Great pyramid of Khufu and its mortuary chapel
Mastabas of Ny-'ankh-Pepy and Others
The Mastaba of Neb-Kaw-Her
Mastabas of Princess Hemet-R' and Others all by Selim Hassan
Horus Sekhem-Khet: The Unfinished Step Pyramid at Saqqara - Volume I by M. Zakaria Goneim
Total cost was around $300; but this was 1993.
Though I enjoy the convenience and relatively low price of Amazon.com, I worry about killing off local book-stores (Borders is not exactly local, but....)
Amazon can "stick" you, too. Six months ago I paid something like $200.00 to them for a fine Taschen book, which still hasn't been delivered. The newest delivery date is now 20 May '11. We'll see.
The most recent I bought offline were a few Jack Vance books picked up for next to nothing at a stall at a gaming convention last summer.
Also had a blast in Boston that included a night at a comedy club and a beer tasting at the Harpoon brewery where they make my favorite IPA. Woo-hoo. Also visited a memorial for Colonel Robert Gould Shaw (the guy from the movie “Glory”) and revisited lots of American Revolution and Civil War stuff – it’s all over the city.
And I picked up a pretty eclectic selection of books to add to my collection encompassing ancient history, American history and anthropology. Anyway, here’s the complete list of book loot.
Birthday Presents from the Family:
The Age Of Alexander: Nine Greek Lives – Plutarch
Return To Nisa -- Shostak, Marjorie
A War Like No Other -- Hanson, Victor Davis
Products of Boston Used Bookstore Crawl:
Wealthy Corinth -- Salmon, J.B.
From Democrats To Kings: The Brutal Dawn of a New World from the Downfall of Athens to the Rise of Alexander the Great -- Scott, Michael
Union 1812: The Americans Who Fought The 2nd War Of Independence -- Langguth, A.J.
Lincoln President-Elect: Abraham Lincoln & The Great Secession
Winter 1860-1861-- Holzer, Harold
Complete Pompeii -- Berry, Joanne
Although my friend is visiting from America, so that's a fair tradeoff :-)
And thanks for all of your well-wishes. I had a great time, but the bookstore crawl was the best!
And to make things even worse, because I'm compulsive, I'd feel obligated to enter those unwanted books on LT which might then cause unwanted recommendations.
Ah, would someone please pass the cake?
The unread book is buried treasure, precious potential awaiting the moment of discovery.
I love what you have said here. I just had a self-revealing moment, thanks to you. You have provided a partial insight into why surrounding oneself with books, even the unread ones, engenders such an expansive feeling of well-being. Thank you.
Yes, it's books as therapy -- and as much as I spend it's still cheaper than a psychologist.
"My books stand as guarantors of an extended life -- a life that is far more interesting and meaningful than the one I am forced to lead daily." -- roughly recalled from memory of Saul Bellow's Dangling Man
N.B. I just looked it up, and the actual phrase is "far more precious and necessary".
pmackey - good point. I'll remember that every time I promise myself to stop buying so many books!
#104 "Equally, a library should be there as a map of our own minds. We don't buy books (or generally don't buy books) to show off with; rather, an expansive library is an attempt to illuminate what is important to us, culturally, materially or otherwise. Or what we feel should be important - but that itself is revealing. Whether we've read the books or not doesn't affect this - we know the extent of our reading, and the unread books are our border regions." -- I love this, Shikiri. Mind if I borrow it?
Every 6 months or so I get down to Powell's in Portland. It's just amazing. And my town has a great li'l used bookstore that quite often has great stuf at a good price (the owner doesn't sell online, so she rarely compares prices).
And, since I work in a library, our local friends group often gives me first pick of the donations, and lets me into the big book sales a half an hour early, before the dealers get there...
Yes, they should go to someone who will appreciate them, but still...
And then there's the huge collection of Harper's Monthly magazines (in book form) that I inherited from my mom. They go back to 1852, and they're a treasure trove of historical and social information. If I sold those they'd just be cut up for the pictures.
Most people who comment on the number of books i have will ask if i've read them all, and then tell me i have a sickness :p
That's why all mine are bound in black patent leather.
I just had an idea-bad books instead of coasters? Why have both?
"Don't set that glass down on the table! It'll leave a ring! Here, use this copy of Twilight instead!"
Greek Fire Poison Arrows And Scorpion Bombs
The Twelve Caesars
Grand Strategy Of The Roman Empire: From The First Century A.D. To The Third
A Day In The Life Of Ancient Rome: Daily Life, Mysteries, And Curiosities
Carthage Must Be Destroyed
Life In Year One
Polybius: The Histories, Vol. I – (Loeb)
Diodorus Siculus: The Library Of History, Volume III – (Loeb)
Wah-wah-wee-wah!! Great success!
Penguin Historical Atlas Of The Bible Lands
Nothing outstanding in ancient history so far, but I have scored some remarkably rare and interesting 20th century history books.
Alas, I could never do that. A customer would come up to the register. After pounding on a stack of unshelved books to get my attention (because I'd be reading), I would come up, look at the book, and say "Wait a minute; you can't buy that, I haven't read it yet."
You will never even break even if you are prepared to pay as much as one third of your selling price for a second hand book. My favourite
second hand book store only offers 10% (if she is prepared to buy) and since I am a 'horder' who has never sold a book (although I do have about 100+
duplicates - my late Dad and I had similar tastes)
I don't really know :-)
I tried to "give away" some of Dad's mathematics books to several Uni's. None were interested. Shelf space. I did give away 150 or so 'German Literature'
books to a uni.
I take your point, but wonder if that enterprise will be viable after a few years?
>136 guido47: 1/3 is what all the bookstore owners I've talked to pay. Mind you, that's not how I get most of my books. Join your local Friends of the Library organization, and you'll have access to a whole lot of good stuff and ridiculous prices.
And old science books are hot. People are crazy for them. Math, not so much, unless they're really old.
Textbooks are the same-if they're over a hundred years old people want them. I have a spelling book from 1834, and the coolest thing is the three awards for good behavior given to the owner that were still inside.
138-Well, obviously I think bookstores will still be viable in the next 10-20 years, but they could always go the way of the record store. Just remember, it's people like you who will keep bookstores around!
I am getting older.
And I do remember how quickly LP shops disappeared. 6 months or so!
And I've got at least two books that aren't on the Internet at all, so I could always just do online stuff.
Of course best idea; sell them all. I love to read stories about booksellers and those that own and or operate bookstores. This is a very tough dream right now as many small businesses are struggling, and the ones that can afford it are those who are doing it as a hobby and have lots of money, those that own the buildings where there stores are located, or somehow have a niche that the bigger stores don't cater to.
I just like smaller bookstores myself, and my special interest in mysteries, especially older ones. There are quite a few stores around the nation that sell mysteries, but not that many that sell the older volumes, unless they are collector quality.
Another dream; to collect books that I really love.
For those who have been able to follow this dream, more power to you. Hope you make it.
But it's wonderful. Even the people who don't buy are interesting and fun. After all, they go to used bookstores!
And the Fifty Shades of Grey people are much more fun than the Nicholas Sparks people. One of my library patrons (I still work at the local library) came in to buy it for her 16 year old daughter the other day. The daughter was there, but I think she thought I might not sell it to her.
That said, I guess I do try to avoid the check out aisles with old ladies in them. Not sure I could keep it together if the person ringing me up sees my box of prophylactics and says in granny-fashion, "Ohh, that's nice, dearie." :-D
For more specialist stuff, abebooks is useful.
They're listed on estatesales.net.