Saturday, January 29, 2005

First Book Sales of the Season

After an interlude of many months, 2005 brought two books sales in quick order. I looked forward to each with great anticipation. The promise of a discovery, large or small, at bargain prices is too great to resist.

I bought a dozen books. Here’s what I found:

  • Two Modern Library editions. I don’t think of myself as collecting Modern Library editions, but I do pick them up from time to time. I bought 7 Famous Greek Plays and The Greek Commonwealth, which was an ML first.

  • Lincoln and Whitman by Daniel Mark Epstein.

  • The Wright Brothers by Quentin Reynolds. A children’s book with dust jacket intact.

  • Brotherly Love by Pete Dexter. I have slowly assembled most of Dexter’s books. He is among my favorite writers. I remember at a signing last year that Elmore Leonard mentioned Dexter as one of the writers he most enjoyed reading.

  • Gifts by Ursula Le Guin.

  • Marlfox by Brian Jacques. This will be sold. There is already a copy on my shelves. My youngest son read most of the Redwall series and we have assembled a nice collection of American and British firsts.

  • Donald Honig’s The Last Great Season.

  • Museums & Women and Other Stories by John Updike. Used firsts of Updike are abundant at book sales.

  • A German edition of High Fidelity by Nick Hornby. It has the words "Erste Auflage" on the copyright page. I wasn’t certain what those words meant, but took the chance that they might mean first edition. That is indeed the translation. A very cool copy of Hornby’s novel with attractive pictorial boards.

  • Loon Lake by E. L. Doctorow.

  • A signed copy of Robert Crais’ Sunset Express.

Except for the ML editions, everything is a first edition. I shop at book sales to supplement my collection, not for reading material. If I were shopping for reading material, I would be spending four or five times more and bringing home sacks of books.

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