Where do you get your books?

ForumAncient History

Melde dich bei LibraryThing an, um Nachrichten zu schreiben.

Where do you get your books?

Dieses Thema ruht momentan. Die letzte Nachricht liegt mehr als 90 Tage zurück. Du kannst es wieder aufgreifen, indem du eine neue Antwort schreibst.

Jan. 13, 2009, 3:03pm

Just curious :-)

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.... ;-)

Jan. 13, 2009, 3:42pm

Oh my, from a variety of sources. I'm lucky in the fact that my hometown has a fairly large number of bookstores (for antiquarian, used, and new books).

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...

Jan. 13, 2009, 4:05pm

BookMooch. If it weren't for BookMooch I'd never be able to find (or afford) books about my wacky interests.

Jan. 13, 2009, 4:10pm

I buy from chain bookstores a bit now. I used to try to avoid them and buy from independent stores, but many of them have vanished. I ALWAYS buy books from Northshire Bookstore when I go up to VT. That has to be my favorite independent that isn't majority used books.

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.

Jan. 13, 2009, 5:54pm

Wow that would be great! I don't know how many times I've found out about a library (i.e., absolute blow-out) booksale AFTER the fact!

Jan. 13, 2009, 6:01pm

Bearbeitet: Jan. 13, 2009, 6:29pm

"I want to be in America...." *sigh*

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".

Jan. 13, 2009, 7:20pm

I am a collector so I tend to buy recent books new, if possible. I also try to shop at independent boksellers if I can find them. I live in Western Mass now and Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley is a gem. I also shop in big box bookstores like Barnes & Noble and Borders, with a focus on their large selections of bargain books and publisher remainders. When I order on the web, I usually utilize Amazon or Barnes & Noble online, but I too scour Ebay for unusual dealsFor the most adventure, however, I troll used bookstores. The best in Western Mass is Troubadour Books in Hadley IMHO. Oh, Fecht, I have a good friend who raves about the Book Barn and we keep plotting a "field trip" down there one of these days. I am also from Connecticut (Fairfield) and I never knew of Book Barn till I moved out-of-state.

Jan. 13, 2009, 7:52pm

Dude... it's seriously the best bookstore I've ever been to, and everything is DIRT CHEAP. I'm not joking; I'm talking all paperbacks $1, the vast majority of everything else $4. Even super rare stuff is cheap; I assume it's because they just get so much stuff that they have to try to get rid of it, as opposed to "not knowing what they have"...but whatever.

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

Jan. 13, 2009, 8:12pm

So you are right near it when you're home! Well, perhaps we can meet up when we take our trip down. A beer after browsing perhaps?

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.

Jan. 13, 2009, 8:15pm

Oh yeah I don't let people borrow anything either, unless it's something I don't want :-) Although I'm the opposite in regard to the way I treat my books; there's often more of my ink on the inside of them than there is from the printing press :-D

Jan. 13, 2009, 10:11pm

On rare occasions, the local Goodwill used merchandise store will have a gem of a book for sale, and for only a couple dollars. I comb through their shelves every 4-6 weeks, and rarely pay more than $2.00 for a book. Several years ago a chance find there became one of my greatest resources for studying Jewish Biblical history.

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.

Jan. 13, 2009, 10:21pm

Ah yes, the Goodwill! A couple years back the one here was having deals where they were selling 10 books for a dollar and stuff... I had to pick up a few "borderline" books I'll probably never read just to make it to ten sometimes :-D Nowadays they're back up to like 3 bucks a piece though, which doesn't really make me feel like digging through the piles of garbage they have in there, hehe.

Bearbeitet: Jan. 13, 2009, 10:31pm

I'm afraid that my buying days are over. When the kids came along it quickly became apparent that all four of us couldn't purchase books at the rate that my husband and I previously had, or we'd have to buy an additional house. So now it's the library for the wee ones and ILL for me.

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 :)

Bearbeitet: Jan. 14, 2009, 3:08am

That Book Barn looks to be about 3 hours away from me, but next time I head out to The Cape, I am allotting a couple of hours stop-over.

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.

Jan. 14, 2009, 9:18am

My favorite place was a consignment shop about 15 minutes from my old job. I had an hour lunch break, so I'd drive over twice a week, write everything down that looked interesting, research it and go back the next day to buy if it was worthwhile.

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

Jan. 14, 2009, 10:57am

I have three regular sources for books in the areas of history in which I am interested. First is the Ithaca (New York) semi-annual library book sale. This is held on the same two weekends a year, so one doesn't have to wonder when it is, and since there are both a university (Cornell) and a college in Ithaca, the literacy level is high. Second is Scholar's Bookshelf, which sells mostly remaindered books. One has to be careful, but a long list of prospects is handed to my husband every late fall to help him with Christmas shopping. I find both Alibris and Abe useful also, if I am looking for a specific book. If we travel I am always on the lookout for second hand bookstores, but that is pretty much a hit-or-miss proposition. Since we are retired, I rarely buy at retail -- I wish I could, but I can't afford it, so it has to be a really special and needed volume before I will spring for a new book. I'd rather wait.

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.

Jan. 14, 2009, 5:31pm

@ Sean: That's great! I can't believe you found books that were that old (and still together!) but it happens sometimes. I'd almost feel guilty for selling something that old as opposed to keeping it, but then again I don't exactly have the book preserving conditions prevalent at the British Library either, so I guess it would be better off in the end :-)

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!

Jan. 14, 2009, 6:12pm

I just got the Cunliffe book too. I have to say, the cover is quite nice as are the color photos throughout.

Jan. 14, 2009, 7:30pm

Which cover did you get? I was hoping for the one they had on Amazon with the artifacts and stuff on it, but instead they sent the one with the bas relief; it's not bad looking, but I already have so many other books that kind of look just like it...

Not to be superficial or anything :-D

Jan. 14, 2009, 7:50pm

Hmmm. Hard to answer that, because barnes and noble has the one I didn't prefer http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/results.asp?WRD=cunliffe, but that has artifacts.

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?

Jan. 14, 2009, 8:23pm

Ah yeah, I wanted the B&N one :-) but ended up with the one that you like. Like I said, it's not bad or anything, but It seems like every book I have either has a relief, neoclassical painting, or ancient pottery on it sometimes :-D

Jan. 14, 2009, 10:38pm

Re: Sean, sounds like you're an entrepreneur. I guess I should start approaching it that way, but unfortunately I'm too greedy to build my own collection and I never look at the actual valie of a book, only its intellectual value to me and its aesthetic value sitting on my shelf.

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.

Bearbeitet: Jan. 14, 2009, 11:20pm

Garp, Europe Between the Oceans a great book, I really recommend it. Not exactly a "sequel", unless you consider any book you read after another one a "sequel" though... hehe :-D But it's cool, it is basically a crash course in the history of Europe from the last Ice Age to the Viking period, and like I said, you can sort of just "drop in" and read any given chapter all on its own :-)

Jan. 15, 2009, 2:28am

Wow, I guess not a lot of you are from Oregon. But if your ever in that neck of the woods, no trip to Portland, OR is complete without a trip to Powells. It is an independent bookstore that takes up and entire city block in Portland's downtown. It has four floors, including a rare book section, of both used and new books. They also have a website for when, like me, you move away and still need to buy books from them. It has a few other locations in Portland, but the one downtown is the most impressive. I have never seen anything like it in all my travels and it will always be my favorite place to feed my addiction.

Jan. 15, 2009, 6:17am

I have purchased from Powell's online. I had no idea it had such a huge facility. If I'm ever in Oregon ...

Jan. 15, 2009, 9:36am

18: Feicht - the books were in French, so the only thing I could understand was the roman numeral date of publication. The funny thing was, it sold to someone in Germany. It was a three volume set, I had volume 1 and 2. The person who bought told me they hoped to pick up volume 3 at some point. I figured it would be a long shot to find just the third volume of a collection that's a few hundred years old...and yet, months later I get an email. He had just gotten back from vacation - which caused him to miss the single 3rd volume, which sold for around $250. A complete set is worth at least $1100. Horrible luck.

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.

Jan. 15, 2009, 7:29pm

Sean -- what book or books on collecting would you recommend. This sounds interesting to me.

Jan. 16, 2009, 10:05am

Hey Garp,

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!

Jan. 16, 2009, 5:28pm

I bought Europe Between the Oceans today ... beautiful volume. It was the last one Barnes & Noble had and they said they had no more on order. I got a cup of coffee there and read it for about a half hour. So far I'm very impressed. Thanks for the recommendation

By the way, I got the bas relief cover, I guess...

Jan. 16, 2009, 11:52pm

Ah, well, Saturday at the local Goodwill is half-off day, and if you are considered a "senior" you get an additional discount. So, tomorrow, Saturday, I'll pick up a virtually new copy of Einstein in Berlin for about $0.99.

Jan. 18, 2009, 3:07pm

I would call Europe between the Oceans a sequel to Facing the Ocean, (Cunliffe, 2001) which I think is an even better book, because of the unusual perspective he uses to describe early European civilization. Instead of covering the continent by country, he focuses on the zones around the various oceans that border Europe (for example tying together areas of France and the low countries and England that face each other across the Channel. That way it's easier to understand possible links between the various areas. The quality of this book, as far as paper, binding, and photos, is as outstanding as it is in Europe Between the Oceans. I've gone back to it a number of times, and probably will do the same with my new one.

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.

Jan. 18, 2009, 4:11pm

>32 MaryinHammondsport:
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!

Jan. 18, 2009, 4:30pm

Mary: As Stellar says, Facing the Ocean can't be found for cheap or else I'd own it already! Also I'm glad you mentioned The Extraordinary Voyage of Pytheas the Greek because I own it but haven't picked it up yet because I was worried it might be disappointing when viewed against Cunliffe's other books I own (including The Oxford Illustrated Prehistory of Europe which you mentioned!) For some reason, the title always struck me as sort of sophomoric, and I had a stinking feeling it was some "other" Barry Cunliffe that wrote it :-P

Jan. 18, 2009, 4:58pm

Ordered Pytheas; looking for a good price on OIPoE

Bearbeitet: Jan. 18, 2009, 6:16pm

Mary, I wonder why Facing the Ocean is so expensive. Makes me glad I picked up Europe Between the Oceans before it goes out of print & the price shoots up

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"

Jan. 18, 2009, 8:09pm

It's got to be because it's out of print. It's a real shame. Hope you can find it somewhere at a lower price, because I really really enjoy it.

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.

Jan. 18, 2009, 8:55pm

It's okay; technically if it's spelled with the Latin alphabet, it's ALREADY "misspelled", right? ;-)

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 :-)

Feb. 13, 2010, 11:06pm

> 34 I just ordered Facing the Ocean for 35 pounds from Amazon UK. Considering what they were asking for it over here in Canada I see it as a good price.

Feb. 13, 2010, 11:21pm

Hey, speaking of The Extraordinary Voyage of Pytheas the Greek, I finally got around to reading it a week or so ago, and while it was really light reading, it was enjoyable. It almost bordered a little too closely to "popular history" for my liking, but it wasn't a real problem. The only thing I was a little iffy on in reading it was that it felt like there wasn't really enough *actually* known about Pytheas and his journey to write a whole book about, so a lot of Cunliffe's story is educated guesswork about the journey and digressions on things he might have seen along the way, like tin mining and amber collection.

Feb. 14, 2010, 3:32am

What exactly qualifies as "popular history"? Does Tom Holland count, for example?

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.

Feb. 14, 2010, 9:28am

Actually I guess I don't have a precise definition of "popular history". Holland might count, but he at least uses footnotes! Cunliffe explicitly states that he hasn't included footnotes and references because the average person doesn't care.

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).

Feb. 14, 2010, 12:49pm

In approximately this order:

Black & Read, Arvada, Colorado, USA
Amazon.com, everywhere
Red Letter Bookstore, Boulder, Colorado, USA
Trident Bookstore and Coffee, Boulder, Colorado, USA
Tattered Cover Books, Denver, Colorado, USA
Barnes & Noble, everywhere
Borders, 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

Feb. 14, 2010, 1:25pm

It is tough to talk about popular and scholarly history properly because most scholarly history is so drily written as to make you want to shred the pages as you read them, and most popular history does not follow the rules with citations. Holland seems to me to transcend these classifications and writes history as it should be written -- with scholarly attention to facts and a narrative that brings the history to life.

Bearbeitet: Feb. 14, 2010, 4:58pm

Absolutely agreed. The scholarly histories are good for citations though, even if you can't bear to read them cover to cover. Actually what I think is interesting is when one author is capable of doing both. You mention how Holland straddles the line, but howabout a guy like Peter Green; the guy wrote the unbelievably readable The GrecoPersian Wars, and also relatively dry tomes like Alexander to Actium. I mean, I love both, but it's really hard to compare the two. He can tell a compelling story like in his Alexander of Macedon, but he can also blow 50 pages telling you more than you ever needed to know about numismatics on the Hellenistic-Asian steppe/mountain frontier zone :-D

Feb. 14, 2010, 5:09pm

"... but he can also blow 50 pages telling you more than you ever needed to know about numismatics on the Hellenistic-Asian steppe/mountain frontier zone."

i can't imagine EVER knowing enough about this actually, but your point is taken.


Feb. 14, 2010, 5:21pm

I KNEW you'd say that! :-D

Feb. 14, 2010, 5:25pm

ahhh crap, i'm already becoming predictable.


Feb. 14, 2010, 6:46pm

Actually I like citations and footnotes. They firstly let me know where the infomation is coming from. They also let the author state things which are not strictly on topic. Both enrich the text and allows the reader to see things about the subject and the author which otherwise remain hidden. At times these citations and the footnotes are more informative and entertaining then the text itself.

Feb. 14, 2010, 7:46pm

Absolutely. That's what I like the most about Holland. Ditto with Green, since when he wrote "popular histories" he still had the text sprinkled with Greek, totally not pandering to the masses who can't read it. Actually, his doing this is part of what made me want to learn Greek in the first place :-D

Feb. 14, 2010, 9:20pm

Iowa City, IA has three bookstores that are absolutely amazing. The Haunted Bookstore (used) Murphy-Brookfield (used but more of the scholarly type) and Prairie Lights which sells new books and now has coffee and food. There are several other bookstores but those are my favorites.

Feb. 15, 2010, 1:39am

Of course citations and footnotes help in evaluating the claims and bases of the author's work. But having read Holland's Rubicon, I was struck by how few footnotes there were, and these were almost exclusively references to ancient sources. He gave almost no documentation of any other aspects of the story he was telling. I enjoyed the book very much, but wasn't particularly impressed by his references.

Feb. 16, 2010, 8:34am

An update on my good luck - I found a first print of The Da Vinci Code in my local library's donated/for sale book section. I figure it's worth the $1 for the $35 to $40 I should be able to get for it.

Feb. 16, 2010, 11:43am

Be careful Sean. The book club edition of Davinci Code says "first edition" in it even though it's not.

Feb. 16, 2010, 11:46am

Okay, but at $ 1.- I would give it a try too. (I mean, try and see if I could make a profit, not actually reading it).

Feb. 16, 2010, 2:37pm

No - sure it's not a book club - book clubs I can usually tell just by picking them up with the weight - at least in the past I could...second, there's a price on the dj, and third (the definite) there's still the 30% off label from Borders on the front cover ;)

Feb. 16, 2010, 2:38pm

Also, even without the Border's tip-off, it's the full numberline, I don't think I've looked the the BoMC editions, but their numberlines don't go down to "1" I would think?

Feb. 16, 2010, 6:06pm

The only reason I know about the confusion at all is because I was going to buy a "first edition" of it at a book sale and looked it up on my blackerry:

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.


Feb. 17, 2010, 8:38am

Yep - that's pretty standard. Book Club rarely have prices on the dustjacket (if ever?) I know if I don't see a price on the jacket of a mass-printed book, it's a book club edition. Also, the first printing ranging from 1 to 10 only works for some publishers - others use letter (from A to J usually - 10 letters) and I know Random house had in the past, but not home right now to check a more recent book, but their first print numberlines started at "2"

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

Feb. 17, 2010, 11:36am

If folk are still looking, there is a hardback copy of Facing the Ocean on U.S. Amazon for about $56 at the moment.

Feb. 17, 2010, 4:32pm

Sean you may have been the one who recommended "Book Finds" by Ellis to me. That's pretty much all I know, plus whatever I've looked up on the web. Like I said, the only reason I know anything about the DaVinci code thing is because I got all excited about what I thought was a first edition. I would love to learn more so I could shop and turn this stuff over to feed my book habit, but alas I am a real neophyte

Feb. 17, 2010, 5:03pm

Yes Garp - I see I suggested that to you in this thread a long time ago! Hope it has helped a little? My next research project is to find where I can actually sell books I don't want for a good price since ebay is horrible now. Too bad too, I've been on there for years and have 100% positive feedback with 634 people. But I think I'll be on there very little in the future with all the changes they've made that harm the little guys trying to sell things.

Feb. 17, 2010, 5:46pm

Personally I think the best citations & notes are those at the end of each chapter. i wish more writers would do this. Notes on each page tends clutter things up and distract the reader and end notes require far too much flipping around. I love the notes as I often find new books to add to my reading list this way.

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.

Bearbeitet: Feb. 17, 2010, 5:54pm

It is inconvenient to do what I do: 2 bookmarks, one for the page I'm reading, and another at the back where the notes for that page are.

Feb. 17, 2010, 8:10pm

I like to see notes that enhance or annotate the text on the same page as the narrative, but sources, citations, etc at the back of the book.

Feb. 17, 2010, 8:46pm

Here's an excellent online source for booklovers where you can comparison shop several places at once:
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

Feb. 21, 2010, 6:50pm

I too, spent many hours (and dollars) at the Book Barn (Niantic, CT), building an impressive classics collection.

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...

Feb. 21, 2010, 11:56pm

Yeah it's true... I can think of a few times when I've thought I was getting a good deal and then realized at checkout that it was costing 3x as much as I was thinking :-)

Mrz. 5, 2010, 5:21pm

I have lived in southern Rhode Island, Amherst, MA, and now Champaign, IL, so I know about some of the stores mentioned and would like to add a few things.

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?

Mrz. 5, 2010, 6:06pm

Hey obscured -- thanks for your post!

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.

Mrz. 7, 2010, 10:06pm

If I ever move to Western Mass it will be for the used bookstores, and to drink Bob's bourbon with Garp.

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.

Mrz. 7, 2010, 10:31pm

I don't have the privilages of American citizenship so far, but live to the great Dominion to the North. In the mid -north for some clarification but if I was ever to give up my Canadian citizenship it would be for the sole reason of those bookshops which seem to over populate New England. I do absolutely envy you! As it is, it is Amazon and its ships in Canada and the United Kingdom have saved life (plus a little thing called The Folio Society)and ruined my bank account. From the above descriptions it would seem to me that I would have to visit your bookshops wiith a full wallet of American money in large dednominations and a multiplicity of open credit cards all of whom would be emptied or maxed out by the time that I was finished. Then there would be the little matter of explaining to various gaurdians of the border the neeed to trake huge numbers of "worthless" books from the United States to Canada.
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.

Mrz. 8, 2010, 5:32am

Barton, there's no need to leave the country. Just come east to Halifax. We may not have a barn, but there is JWD's, two floors so stuffed with used books that I'm afraid the weight of them will cause the store to collapse in on itself, forming a singularity in the center of the city. I seem to be unable to walk by without parting with at least some of the contents of my wallet. There are also a number of other used book stores here worth browsing, such as Schooner Books and Back Pages.

Jul. 6, 2010, 12:10pm

@69 obscured: I just yesterday ran across that seminary bookstore in Hyde Park while surfing: http://www.semcoop.com/

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?

Jul. 6, 2010, 3:48pm

I happen to be driving through Providence this coming Saturday. hmmm....

Jul. 6, 2010, 6:59pm

New one for me. Been downloading quite a bit for the Kindle. The sucky part is that there's no drawings. But that doesn't always matter.

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.

Bearbeitet: Jul. 6, 2010, 7:19pm

I can see you'll be well-trained to survive the vaunted catastrophe. :=)

Jul. 6, 2010, 10:51pm

Pam, Let us know how the Asia-on-a-bike book is. I've been considering it...

Jul. 7, 2010, 1:04am


Bearbeitet: Jul. 7, 2010, 3:05pm

Setnakht, is George's the little bookshop in the roundabout/midan on Talaat Harb, near the pensions & the Museum? If so, that's the best selection of English language books I've seen in Cairo, though I'd like to check out the book market by the old Opera House some day.

Jul. 7, 2010, 6:28pm

>80 Cynara: I really don't remember; I was last there in 1993. However, the place I'm thinking of was on the second floor of a building accessible only by an extremely dubious elevator, and specialized in Egyptology books. Entirely possible that the location has changed in the interim.

Bearbeitet: Jul. 8, 2010, 8:15pm

#77... *snort* :))
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.)

Jul. 8, 2010, 10:05pm

Ah, must be different. The little place on Talaat Harb mostly has novels.
If you remember where it is, let me know!

Jul. 9, 2010, 10:51am

>83 Cynara: Got these at George's:

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.

Feb. 14, 2011, 11:35am

Really depends. I use Amazon, AbeBooks, Eisenbrauns, Oxbow Books, and used book stores in my area.

Mrz. 24, 2011, 5:14pm

Various sources.

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.

Mrz. 25, 2011, 5:07am

These days I buy almost all my books online, most commonly at Amazon (.com, .de, or .co.uk), or bokus.se, or adlibris.se

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.

Mrz. 25, 2011, 7:57am

I hate buying on line because the book often arrive less than perfect. Barnes & Noble is especially famous for their form-fitting cardboard wrapper that is so tight that it bends the corners or mauls the dust jacket.

Mrz. 25, 2011, 4:03pm

Nowadays I buy almost exclusively from Amazon or ABEBooks because I now live in the southern Nevada desert where the bookstores usually don't have what I'm looking for. I used to try to patronize the locals, but it got to be a waste of gas. When I lived in San Francisco, the bookstores were many and varied. I was in one or more several times a week, especially the used book stores. Amazon makes it so painless. And now I'm buying Kindle versions when I can because of the convenience.

Apr. 9, 2011, 7:43pm

My wife took me to Boston for my birthday weekend (hotel overlooking the harbor) and of course I fit in a used bookstore crawl – the wife sits in the sun in the park while I explore dark corners of literary wonders. One of the stores I visited is Brattle Bookshop, one of oldest used bookstores in the country.

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

Apr. 9, 2011, 7:51pm

Nice haul, Garp!

Apr. 9, 2011, 8:06pm

And all I got for my birthday this week was a cashmere sweater, no accounting for taste...

Apr. 9, 2011, 9:15pm

I plan on getting zero presents for my birthday this year, haha.

Although my friend is visiting from America, so that's a fair tradeoff :-)

Apr. 10, 2011, 4:30am

Happy birthday Garp and Barton.

Apr. 10, 2011, 6:47pm

No birthday books yet - just lots of cake.

Apr. 10, 2011, 7:15pm

Happy B-day Barton et al

And thanks for all of your well-wishes. I had a great time, but the bookstore crawl was the best!

Bearbeitet: Apr. 11, 2011, 10:01pm

My niece and and god-daughter made an ice-cream cake with a caramel centre, still no books, those I will have to get my self. Some people are of the opinion that I have way too many books as it is, they are obviously self-deluded souls..

Apr. 12, 2011, 2:52am

There is no such thing as too many books, only too many unread books.

Apr. 29, 2011, 5:05am

>98 AndreasJ:, I disagree in theory. One could have too many books on subjects that are of no interest. For example, I might have books on dieting, even one of which would be one too many.

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?

Apr. 29, 2011, 5:19am

If you have books on dieting, the problem isn't you have too many books, the problem is you have the wrong books. You should sell the dieting books and use the money and shelf space to acquire worthy books.

Apr. 29, 2011, 8:18am

or use the money on cake!

Apr. 29, 2011, 11:05am

Unread books are crucial to a library! Anyone who has read all his books either has few books or is lying.

The unread book is buried treasure, precious potential awaiting the moment of discovery.

Apr. 29, 2011, 11:23am

The unread book is also a vessel of reproach, sitting there in the corner, taunting you. "What? You said you were going to read this history of Canada. Have you changed your mind? What's that you've got there, another genre novel? I've been talking to Auden's Forewords over there, and we suspect you're not serious about your commitments to us."

Bearbeitet: Apr. 30, 2011, 4:04am

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.

Apr. 29, 2011, 6:33pm

>102 stellarexplorer: - 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.

Apr. 29, 2011, 8:02pm

>105 Poquette: - ...engenders an expansive feeling of well-being.

Yes, it's books as therapy -- and as much as I spend it's still cheaper than a psychologist.

Apr. 29, 2011, 10:44pm

>105 Poquette: Maybe it is apropos to cite here a quote on my profile page:

"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".

Apr. 30, 2011, 12:37am

Stellar, your version is a lovely sentiment itself.

pmackey - good point. I'll remember that every time I promise myself to stop buying so many books!

Mai 1, 2011, 9:44am

#102 "The unread book is buried treasure, precious potential awaiting the moment of discovery." -- ABSOLUTELY! Very well put. I bought an anthropology book called Nisa by Shostak in the early 1980's that sat on my shelf until it reached out and grabbed me in 2006. I devoured it then and it is a favorite. Currently I'm reading her sequel: Return to Nisa

#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?

Mai 1, 2011, 12:16pm

> 104 The tag cloud is a cool tool for looking at the mind, along these lines. I look at my tag cloud and feel like I'm seeing a fascinating window into my mind and interests. This view combines the books owned with the way we want to look at them and categorize them.

Mai 1, 2011, 2:10pm

Yes, the tag cloud is like a revelation, as you said, a window into the mind, a key that says, "Open sesame!" and carries us off as on a flying carpet.

Mai 4, 2011, 11:21am

#109. Please do, Garp83. Glad you liked it!

Mai 27, 2011, 4:09pm

I've just been reading Illuminations, a collection of essays by Walter Benjamin – not exactly ancient history, but the first essay therein is called "Unpacking My Library," in which he discusses in the most charming way various venues for book acquisition, two of which haven't yet been mentioned in this thread, and one of which for good reason, I should think. He tells an amusing story about his experience at auction, and I have to say, that is a very exciting way to buy books. I actually went to a book auction once and it was quite thrilling. It turned out that the item I wanted was not bid on by anyone else, so I got it at the minimum, which wasn't cheap, but I got it at a price I was anticipating, and that was the main thing. The other method of acquisition wittily alluded to by Benjamin is something I'm sure none of us has engaged in, and that is by pilfering in one way or another.

Jan. 4, 2012, 6:48pm

I do have some purposly unread books, just for conversation starters.
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...

Jan. 4, 2012, 7:02pm

If you don't have unread books, what kind of library do you have? I've always maintained that anyone who claims to have read all his books either has very few, or is not being truthful.

Jan. 4, 2012, 7:13pm

Sometimes I have books that I know I'll never read (like the big hardcover on Polynesian Sailing), but I know if I give them up, I'll never see them again.
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.

Jan. 4, 2012, 8:53pm

Yeah I've been asked several times already if I've "really read all those", and that's just of the 200 or so picks of the litter I brought with me out here. I guess since most people don't actually read books anymore it comes as a shock when they see so many in one place. Or something.

Jan. 5, 2012, 12:49am

People also tend to assume books are just to be read, not realizing that they may also serve as fetishistic objects.

Jan. 5, 2012, 12:56am

Or as furniture. That old set of encyclopedias make good footstools or little pillars on which to rest my cup & glasses while reading.
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

Jan. 5, 2012, 12:02pm

@119 People also tend to assume books are just to be read, not realizing that they may also serve as fetishistic objects.

That's why all mine are bound in black patent leather.

Jan. 5, 2012, 5:09pm

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!"

Jan. 5, 2012, 8:17pm

>122 poulsbolibraryguy: But that's what I use my old 5 1/4" floppies for.

Jan. 8, 2012, 7:36pm

Sounds like fun - and some great acquisitions!

Jan. 8, 2012, 8:55pm

It was great. You should have been there. And I forgot one title that you would especially admire:

Penguin Historical Atlas Of The Bible Lands

Jan. 8, 2012, 10:01pm

You are very right: I should have been there and I would enjoy that book. (Though I do have The Macmillan Bible Atlas, which is quite good. But there is no reason to have only one atlas on a subject of great interest!)

Jun. 9, 2012, 7:54pm

sex while reading? Someone is underperforming.

Jun. 9, 2012, 7:55pm


Dez. 7, 2012, 10:27pm

The cheapest possible way to 'get' a book is, of course, to check it out of the library! But if you're fixated on actual ownership...

Dez. 10, 2012, 2:15pm

I just went and bought a used bookstore, so now people bring cool books to me! And, since the rule of thumb is to pay 1/3 of what I'm gonna sell the books for, I usually get some great stuff pretty reasonably.
Nothing outstanding in ancient history so far, but I have scored some remarkably rare and interesting 20th century history books.

Dez. 10, 2012, 6:08pm

131 -- It is my dream groovy -- I wish you luck!

Dez. 10, 2012, 9:01pm

>131 groovykinda:

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."

Dez. 10, 2012, 11:38pm

Awesome, groovy!

Dez. 11, 2012, 6:45am

#131 That's sort of a retirement dream of mine. All it would need to do is break even, or close to it. And it would keep me out of trouble.

Dez. 11, 2012, 7:18am

Ah #131,

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 :-)

Dez. 11, 2012, 8:36am

It all depends on your books, clients and suppliers. If you're buying and selling, say, scholarly works or antiquarian, then you're doing well to get them for a third!

Dez. 11, 2012, 12:12pm


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?

Dez. 11, 2012, 12:51pm

Yes, I tried to do the same with my own father's mathematics books. It depends on the subject. Classics, say, would sell. Old computer science books perhaps not.

Dez. 11, 2012, 3:31pm

>133 setnahkt:, I almost did that. When I worked here for the former owner, someone brought up a copy of The Silmarillon in Japanese. I can't read Japanese, but I'm a huge Tolkein geek, so I wanted it.

>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!

Dez. 12, 2012, 8:08am

Only trouble is #140,

I am getting older.
And I do remember how quickly LP shops disappeared. 6 months or so!

Dez. 12, 2012, 2:59pm

Que sera, sera. At least I will have had fun. Plus, a cool library.
And I've got at least two books that aren't on the Internet at all, so I could always just do online stuff.

Dez. 25, 2012, 6:04am

I think that it is a dream of many who love to read. The idea of relaxing in a nice comfortable chair and reading and then helping customers find the types of books they are looking for. It is tough to decide if one would want to own a rare book store, a genre book store (like a mystery store), a store with only paranormal or vampire books (might have to change that when the trend ends) or just sell new books.

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.

Dez. 25, 2012, 7:17am

It sounds like something that would be awesome. I just don't know that I could deal with the folks who amble in looking for "Fifty Shades of Gray" or whatever ;-)

Dez. 26, 2012, 2:08pm

Well, between donations and the books I have to go get (darn! I have to go buy books again!), and the groups that sell to me, I don't really have any time to read at work. Very rare are the days when I get to sit down at all.
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.

Dez. 26, 2012, 3:42pm

I guess it's like a 16 year old buying condoms at the drug store: somewhat awkward

Dez. 26, 2012, 6:35pm

And quite needlessly when Amazon serves that function very well (perhaps for the condoms too!).

Dez. 26, 2012, 9:55pm

Wouldn't be surprised...

Dez. 26, 2012, 9:57pm

Uh, yeah. Just checked. They are well supplied.

Dez. 27, 2012, 6:02am

Never understood why folks were bashful about buying condoms, especially when Western culture is so geared towards "LOOK AT ALL THIS SEX I AM TRYING TO HAVE" as it is.

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

Dez. 27, 2012, 11:06am

And add in being 16 and you don't exactly want anyone to tell your mom about it...

Dez. 29, 2012, 11:49pm

Heh. I wouldn't mind selling most bestsellers. Fiction is okay - it's a big family, and we're all part of it (though yes, you may not feel very cozy about cousin Fifty Shades, and that's your prerogative). I'd hate selling fad diet books and stuff like The Secret.

Dez. 31, 2012, 6:34am

#150 Feicht -- so maybe a store that sold used books and condoms?

Dez. 31, 2012, 6:40am

Selling used condoms?

Dez. 31, 2012, 9:01am

I guess it would depend on who they were used by.

Dez. 31, 2012, 12:21pm

Garp: That could work, although then you'd have to be extra-conscious of which books you were buying if you were picking up some condoms at the same time. The looks you'd get buying a used copy of Reign of the Phallus: Sexual Politics in Ancient Athens with a box of Trojans would be priceless, though.

Dez. 31, 2012, 1:30pm

>156 Feicht: just read that aloud. The guests and I are still laughing over that one!

Jan. 2, 2013, 6:49pm

#156 -- have you read it? LOL

Jan. 3, 2013, 3:18am

Not cover-to-cover... haha. It's a good source for vase paintings, though. Especially ones with dicks on 'em. Which covers like 90% of Greek vases, so there ya go ;-)

Jan. 4, 2013, 2:32am

So now one knows where to go for ancient dick vase paintings.

Jan. 4, 2013, 5:36am


Jan. 4, 2013, 6:16am

Feicht, two bookstores with online sales are Half-Price Books out of Texas. Web site HPB.com. Very good pricing. The other is Powell's out of Portland, Oregon. Powells.com is excellent. They have tonage and are reasonably priced as well. You can browse their subjects and receive emails for recently arrived items by subject. Be careful though, you get a daily email and it is seriously hard not to buy something every time I get one.

Aug. 2, 2013, 10:45pm

I may regret saying this (I'll add to my competition) but estate sales can be amazing. Admittedly, I'm in the NYC metro area and there are as many as 200 sales on a typical weekend (lots of book people in NYC metro, and just lots of people period, packed close together). You find the sales on estatesales.net, which will send you a weekly newsletter of the sales, most with photos of the contents. Books don't often get prominent display so the secret is to just go to a lot of sales -- 4-5 a weekend. Most will be terrible -- you may go 3-4 weeks with little success. But then you hit the one with 2,000 books, at $1 apiece, and you're in heaven. And people with 2,000 books tend to like history.

Bearbeitet: Aug. 10, 2013, 12:29pm

For random reading (usually novels or for hyper-popular books like Lean In) I tend to buy on my Kindle via amazon.com. For history/archaeology I either hit up the book stores (when I'm just browsing), or go online and order directly from the publisher (when I've got something specific in mind). And I always get at least one book after visiting a museum and its gift shop...

Aug. 10, 2013, 1:41pm

>163 SteveJohnson: I'm in the NY area....Aha! Now I know the secret...Thanks! :)

Aug. 13, 2013, 10:01am

I am in the UK, and have family who live very close to Hay-on-Wye (one bus trip away). This is an extremely dangerous position to be in. Nearly every time I am in that area I end up with a backpack full of spine-damaging levels of history.

For more specialist stuff, abebooks is useful.

Aug. 21, 2013, 10:41pm

I'm an estate sale junkie, which is understandable if you love books and live in the NYC area. The trick is to go to lots of sales, 8-10 every weekend. Only about one in ten or so have a significant library, but that is way more than enough if hardbacks are $1 each. And every 40-50 sales, you hit a real treasure. A few weeks ago, it was a guy in Morristown who was a member of the George Washington Society and a history buff. He had about 6,000 volumes, scattered over three floors in a wonderful home. I knew I was in a special place when I was checking the books on one shelf and realized all of them were about rivers -- the Nile, Mississippi, Amazon, Hudson, etc. I can't resist battered leather-bound books from the 1800s with engravings and I ended up with more than 20 for $20.

They're listed on estatesales.net.