AbeBooks' Reading Copy » AbeBooks http://www.abebooks.com/blog AbeBooks book blog Wed, 09 Jul 2014 17:04:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.3 Signed copy of Robert Galbraith’s Silkworm sells for $1,720 http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2014/06/20/signed-copy-of-robert-galbraiths-silkworm-sells-for-1720/ http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2014/06/20/signed-copy-of-robert-galbraiths-silkworm-sells-for-1720/#comments Fri, 20 Jun 2014 13:42:39 +0000 http://www.abebooks.com/blog/?p=21245 One day, that’s all it took for The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith to become a collectible book. Yesterday, the day of the novel’s release, a signed copy of The Silkworm written by JK Rowling under the Galbraith pen name sold for $1,720 on AbeBooks.

The book was sold shortly after being listed for sale on the marketplace. It had been signed on the title page by ‘Robert Galbraith’ with a JK Rowling hologram attached to the opposite page. It appears a small number of signed copies were distributed to certain bookstores in the UK.

The Silkworm is Rowling’s second novel writing as Galbraith. The book is a crime mystery starring Cormoran Strike – a one-legged ex-military policeman. The sale confirms that the Rowling magic has not dimmed and that book collectors are still interested in anything that carries her signature. There are currently five signed copies for sale on AbeBooks ranging from $1,600 to $2,100 in price.

Yesterday, AbeBooks also sold a first edition of The Cuckoo’s Calling – the first Robert Galbraith novel – for $1,206. The book was not signed. It appears only a small number of first editions of The Cuckoo’s Calling were printed, perhaps 1,500.

The most expensive Rowling book to ever sell on AbeBooks was a rare first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, which sold for $37,000 in 2005.

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Copy of first Playboy Magazine sells for $2,000 http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2014/05/16/copy-of-first-playboy-magazine-sells-for-2000/ http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2014/05/16/copy-of-first-playboy-magazine-sells-for-2000/#comments Fri, 16 May 2014 18:05:09 +0000 http://www.abebooks.com/blog/?p=21156 A copy of the first ever Playboy Magazine, published in December 1953, has sold for $2,000 on AbeBooks.com. Aside from being a landmark moment in popular culture, the magazine famously features Marilyn Monroe on the cover (clothed) and on the centerfold (naked) against a red velvet background.

This issue is undated and cost 50 cents at the time. Apparently 53,991 copies were printed. The magazine had been produced by Hugh Hefner from his kitchen.

This is the only time that I have heard of a copy of the first Playboy for sale on AbeBooks since I joined in 2005, and it’s by far the most expensive copy of the magazine to sell through this marketplace. I think $2,000 might be a bargain.

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Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar 2014 contest http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2014/04/22/colorado-antiquarian-book-seminar-2014-contest/ http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2014/04/22/colorado-antiquarian-book-seminar-2014-contest/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 18:02:08 +0000 http://www.abebooks.com/blog/?p=21077 Are you thinking of becoming a rare bookseller? Or have you just started to sell collectible books? The Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar is a week-long educational event held in Colorado Springs in August, 2014 for booksellers, librarians and collectors that offers expert discussion about rare books.

This is your opportunity to enter for a chance to win admission to attend the event, including instructional materials, breakfasts and lunches, and accommodations. There will be two lucky winners. Each prize package is worth U.S. $1,610.00. Transportation to and from the event is not included.

More details about the contest.

Contest rules.

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Letter signed by Joseph Stalin sells for $4,500 http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2014/03/29/letter-signed-by-joseph-stalin-sells-for-4500/ http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2014/03/29/letter-signed-by-joseph-stalin-sells-for-4500/#comments Sat, 29 Mar 2014 11:56:02 +0000 http://www.abebooks.com/blog/?p=20944 A letter signed Russian dictator Joseph Stalin (1878-1953) has sold for $4,500 on AbeBooks.

The “confidential” two-page typed letter dates from World War II, and is dated April 1943. It commands the creation of a ‘Major General’ position within the tank section of the Soviet military. Stalin has signed in red, “I, Stalin”

 ”National Commissar of Defense, Union Socialist Soviet Republics, April, 1943,

To: Commanders of Fronts and Military Districts

To: Commanders of Tank & Military Camps

To: Superiors of Armor Tank Centers,

“Issue a position of Vice-Commander of Department into Staff # 010/418 of Administration of Tank and Mechanical Department. The Military Title is – Major General (VUS) – 1. Salary is 2200 rubles. March of Soviet Union, I. Stalin.”

In the early months of 1943, the Soviet war machine was attempting to replenish its top ranks after suffering heavy casualties in the Siege of Leningrad. Stalin seized power in the mid-1920s and died from a stroke in 1953. More than eight million Soviets soldiers and around 15 million civilians are believed to have died in World War II under his rule.

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21 Booksellers Who Blog http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2014/03/18/18-booksellers-who-blog/ http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2014/03/18/18-booksellers-who-blog/#comments Tue, 18 Mar 2014 17:00:25 +0000 http://www.abebooks.com/blog/?p=20847 BookstoreMany AbeBooks booksellers are also dedicated bloggers. Each seller’s blog is one of a kind, created with a deep love of books – from sharing images of vintage cover art, to cataloging recent acquisitions and sales, to publishing in-depth educational articles, to recounting highly entertaining stories of personal experiences, both in the trade and about the book life in general.

Check them out – we think you’ll be impressed. We certainly are.

If you’re an AbeBooks bookseller who blogs, let us know – we’d love to add you to the list. Send the URL for your blog to media@abebooks.com.

Any Amount of Books – London, UK

Any Amount of Books’ blog, Jot101, wants to be a place known for its “dogged curiosity and thirst for knowledge – however abstruse”. It’s a blog where anyone can submit a ‘jot’ – notes and comments on readings, obscure data discovered through a variety of sources. Their old blog, Bookride, is still available and also contains many fascinating stories about rare books and their values.

Bauman Rare Books – New York City, Philadelphia, Las Vegas

Bauman Rare Books blog features the stories behind great works in literature. The blog also includes Rare Books 101, an online mini-course covering all the fundamentals of collecting rare books. Rebecca Romney, manager of Bauman’s Las Vegas location, also maintains her own blog, called Aldine by Rebecca Romney.

SimonBeattieSimon Beattie – Chesham, UK

Simon Beattie’s blog is about ‘The Books You Never Knew You Wanted’ – featuring rare books, manuscripts, music, and ephemera with a European cross-cultural focus.

The Book Faerie – Las Cruces, New Mexico

The Book Faerie uses her blog, Journey of a Bookseller, to “write reviews from a reader’s point-of-view and spread the magic of reading”.

Books Tell You Why – Mount Pleasant, South Carolina

One of our long-time favorite blogs, Books Tell You Why is an invaluable resource for collectors, booksellers, journalists, and anyone interested in the world of books. Covering an eclectic mix of topics, recent posts range from ’10 Surprising Facts about Albert Einstein’ to ‘How to Identify First Editions from Doubleday’.

Bromer Booksellers, Inc. – Boston, Massachusetts

Bromer Booksellers’ blog, called Books @ Bromer, features rare and beautiful books in their inventory, as well as news and events from the bookselling world.

Cabin Fever Books Ltd. – Calgary, Alberta

Cabin Fever Books’ blog focuses on books in their inventory, book events, and collecting.

Callum James Books – Portsmouth, UK

Callum James Books’ blog, Front Free End Paper, is an “eclectic mix of book collecting and dealing” covering a wide range of subjects, combined with “a personal journal of life and memoir”.

Hang Fire Books – Brooklyn, New YorkHangFireBooks

The Hang Fire Books’ blog – a personal favorite – is one of the best repositories of vintage pulp fiction cover art I’ve ever come across.

Peter Harrington – London, UK

Peter Harrington’s Rare Books Blog is another perennial favorite, presenting well-researched, interesting articles on treasures in their inventory and the stories behind them.

Hoonaloon Books – Derbyshire, UK

The Hoonaloon Books blog is an online newsletter highlighting interesting books in stock and new acquisitions.

Indy Library Store – Indianapolis, Indiana

The Indy Library Store’s blog, called Bookselling for Libraries, is an educational blog intended to help librarians and Friends of Library groups with the business of online bookselling.

Logos Books & Records – Santa Cruz, California

Logos sells books on AbeBooks and books and records in their store. Their blog features both.

Old Scrolls Book Shop – Stanley, New York

Old Scrolls Blog covers collectible books and authors of interest but especially fascinating are the stories and photographs of visits to other bookstores around the US.

Pistil Books Online – Seattle, Washington

Pistil Blog features interesting books, news, items ‘found in books’, etc.

Powell’s Books – Portland, Oregon

Powell’s Books’ blog includes everything from author interviews, book reviews, buyer Q&A, book lists, and more.

Rainy Day Books – The Basin, Victoria, Australia

Rainy Day Books’ blog features some of their recent window displays and book events.

Reed Books/The Museum of Fond Memories – Birmingham, Alabama

Jim Reed is as much a writer as he is a bookseller, and his blog, redclaydiary.com, is a rabbit-hole of entertaining stories and ramblings on a wide variety of topics, from musings on an unfamiliar customer to memories of childhood roller skates to the beauty of the book.

Sekkes Consultants – North Dighton, Massachusetts

Sekkes Consultants’ blog, called Rare Books Digest, is an educational and informational site about rare, old, and antiquarian books.

Sleepygirl’s Used Books – Joplin, Missouri

Sleepygirl’s Used Books’s blog, called Bound4Escape, features book reviews and book related news, images, and quotes.

BookPatrolWessel & Lieberman Booksellers – Seattle, Washington

Wessel & Lieberman’s blog, called Book Patrol: A Haven for Book Culture, is “a blog to celebrate the book in all its forms … spanning the internet to bring you book news, images and related content from all corners of the globe.”

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A fishy rare book tale from the pope’s doctor http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2014/03/08/a-fishy-rare-book-tale-from-the-popes-doctor/ http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2014/03/08/a-fishy-rare-book-tale-from-the-popes-doctor/#comments Sat, 08 Mar 2014 23:37:01 +0000 http://www.abebooks.com/blog/?p=20820

Who needs to sail when you have Rome’s fish markets?

Last month’s most expensive sales on AbeBooks.com span five centuries of natural history, physics and philosophy, and fiction from John Steinbeck. There is also 20th century art and the ultimate book for North American tree-spotters.

The oldest book to sell last month, published in 1554, was also our most expensive – Aquatilium animalium historiae, a study of Mediterranean fish, from a Vatican doctor called Ippolito Salviani, who showed that research can come in many forms. Rather than going to sea to find samples, the man who kept popes healthy trawled the fish markets of Rome.

See the list

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Heritage Edition of The Saint John’s Bible in Victoria, B.C. http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2014/02/14/heritage-edition-of-the-saint-johns-bible-in-victoria-b-c/ http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2014/02/14/heritage-edition-of-the-saint-johns-bible-in-victoria-b-c/#comments Fri, 14 Feb 2014 17:54:33 +0000 http://www.abebooks.com/blog/?p=20667 Saint-Johns-Bible-Historical-Books

Anyone in the Victoria area on February 26th will enjoy a rare opportunity to view two volumes of the Heritage Edition of the Saint John’s Bible at the University of Victoria.

In 1998, the Benedictine Monks of Saint John’s Abbey in Minnesota commissioned the first handwritten illuminated Bible since the advent of the printing press. Created by a team of scribes and artists under the artistic direction of British calligrapher Donald Jackson, the seven-volume Bible took 15 years to complete.

The Heritage Edition is a full-size reproduction of the original – and ‘full-size’ means two feet tall by three feet wide when open. Limited to 299 signed and numbered sets, many of the illuminations were touched up by hand and burnished in gold leaf. The set is also available in a less expensive folio-sized trade edition, about the size of coffee table books.

A Heritage Edition is being donated to the University of Victoria’s Centre for Studies in Religion and Society by the friends of Bishop de Roo as the inaugural text in the Found in Translation Collection. Bringing the Bible to Victoria is Jim Triggs, Executive Director of the Heritage Program at Saint John’s University. Triggs, who has worked closely with institutions that have acquired the Bible, including Yale University and the Vatican, will give a talk on the Bible and display two of the seven Heritage Edition volumes.

The event is free and open to the public and will take place on Wednesday, February 26, at 7:00 pm, in Room B180 of UVic’s University Centre.







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Congratulations to our Hackathon contestants http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2014/02/03/congratulations-to-our-hackathon-contestants/ http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2014/02/03/congratulations-to-our-hackathon-contestants/#comments Mon, 03 Feb 2014 19:37:57 +0000 http://www.abebooks.com/blog/?p=20602 Congratulations to everyone who took part in the second AbeBooks’ Hackathon, staged in conjunction with the University of Victoria’s computer science and software engineering programs this past weekend. This 24-hour coding challenge saw three teams of students deliver demonstrations of remarkable quality.

The judges from AbeBooks were treated to a Chrome extension that tracked and recorded a viewer’s Anime episode consumption, a website that recorded prices and coupons for products from local retailers, and a java script tool for a 3D product display system.

One team recorded their adventures as they worked, so enjoy this video, and we’ll see you all next year.

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The top 100 most searched for out-of-print books in 2013 http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2014/01/13/the-top-100-most-searched-for-out-of-print-books-in-2013/ http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2014/01/13/the-top-100-most-searched-for-out-of-print-books-in-2013/#comments Mon, 13 Jan 2014 21:33:38 +0000 http://www.abebooks.com/blog/?p=20313 What do Ray Bradbury, Madeleine L’Engle, Arthur Hailey, Nora Roberts, Stephen King, Salvador Dali and Dick Cheney’s wife have in common? They all appear on the annual BookFinder.com list of the top 100 most searched for out-of-print books in North America.

As usual, the list is topped by Madonna and her famous spiral-bound Sex photo-book, which is still in demand 22 years after its publication. Putting aside the pop star and her sexual antics with Naomi Campbell and Vanilla Ice, the list offers an interesting snapshot of American culture, including guns (four books), needlework (five), food (three) and art (six). The gun-related books include an example of pro-gun lobby fiction called Unintended Consequences by John Ross – a firearms enthusiast who, according to his website, “fires upwards of 20,000 rounds of ammunition per year.” Stephen King has four titles on the list, including Rage, which will never be brought back into print as it concerns school shootings.

Codex Seraphinianus by Luigi Serafini – dubbed the world’s weirdest book – has dropped off the list after a new edition was printed in October 2013. Vincent Price’s ever popular cookbook returns as does Fast Times at Ridgemont High by Cameron Crowe.  The Afronauts, a photography book (pictured above), by Cristina de Middel is a newcomer. Self-published in 2012,  The Afronauts reimagines the true story of the bizarre Zambian space program in 1964. De Middel’s images show Zambians dressing up in Buck Rogers-style space outfits made by her grandmother. Copies now sell for more than $1,000. Birds of Britain (not the feathered variety) and Women Are Beautiful are two other photo-books that are in demand.

There are two Formula One books on the BookFinder list.  A Different Kind of Life is a biography of team manager Frank Williams written by his wife Virginia Williams.  Life at the Limit: Triumph and Tragedy in Formula One is an autobiography by Sid Watkins, the long-time Formula One on-track doctor.  Watkins attended to Ayrton Senna as he died in his wrecked car after a 140mph crash in 1994 and he treated numerous other drivers involved in crashes.  One of the more interesting how-to guides on the list is Mediumship Made Simple, published by the College of Psychic Studies in 1996, although Make Your Own Handcrafted Doors and Windows also looks handy.

The BookFinder Top 100

1 Sex by Madonna

2 Rage by Richard Bachmann/Stephen King

3 My Pretty Pony by Stephen King

4 The Harvard Classics (51 volumes) edited by Charles W. Eliot

5 On the Nature and Existence of God by Richard M. Gale

6 Promise Me Tomorrow by Nora Roberts

7 The Jerusalem Bible by Salvador Dali

8 A Treasury of Great Recipes by Vincent & Mary Price

9 Mandingo by Kyle Onstott

10 The Centurions by Jean Larteguy

11 On the Psychology of Military Incompetence by Norman F. Dixon

12 Labyrinth by A.C.H. Smith

13 365 Bedtime Stories by Nan Gilbert

14 The Road We are Travelling, 1914-1942: Guide lines to America’s Future by Stuart Chase

15 The Afronauts by Cristina de Middel

16 The Body by Stephen King

17 Mastering Atmosphere & Mood in Watercolor by Joseph Zbukvic

18 The Angelique Series by Anne Golon

19 Murmurs of Earth by Carl Sagan

20 Beyond the Plough by Janet Woods

21 The Modern Gunsmith by James Virgil Howe

22 A Different Kind of Life by Virginia Williams

23 Life at the Limit: Triumph and Tragedy in Formula One by Sid Watkins

24 Finding the Winning Edge by Bill Walsh

25 Cards As Weapons by Ricky Jay

26 Country Landscapes in Watercolor by John Blockley

27 Advise and Consent by Allen Drury

28 Dark Carnival by Ray Bradbury

29 The Pink Dress by Anne Alexander

30 A Pattern Book of Tatting By Mary Konior

31 The French Advance by Tony Kosten

32 Unintended Consequences by John Ross

33 Fly Fishing: Memories of Angling Days by J.R. Hartley

34 Cyborg by Martin Caidin

35 Phoebe and the Hot Water Bottles by Terry Furchgott & Linda Dawson

36 In A Dark Place: The Story of a True Haunting by Ray Garton

37 Airport by Arthur Hailey

38 Mediumship Made Simple by Ivy Northage

39 Final Truth: The Autobiography of Mass Murderer/Serial Killer Donald ‘Pee Wee’ Gaskins by Donald Gaskins & Wilton Earle

40 Make Your Own Handcrafted Doors and Windows by John Birchard

41 Ilsa by Madeleine L’Engle

42 Collector’s Guide to Colt .45 Service Pistols by Charles W. Clawson

43 Sisters by Lynne Cheney

44 On the Mountain by Peter Dombrovskis

45 Anybody Can Do Anything by Betty MacDonald

46 Sam’s Sandwich by David Pelham

47 Floatmaker’s Manual: Expert Methods for the Practical Angler by Bill Watson

48 Confessions of a Starving Artist: The Art and Life of Harley Brown by Harley Brown

49 First Lessons in Painting and Drawing by Jack Hamm

50 Stuart: A History of the American Light Tank by R.P. Hunnicutt

51 Covenant with Death by John Harris

52 Fast Times at Ridgemont High by Cameron Crowe

53 To Drop A Dime by Paul Hoffman

54 Hello Baby by Jenni Overend

55 I Go Pogo by Walt Kelly

56 Big League Sales Closing Techniques by Les Dane

57 Drum by Kyle Onstott

58 Colt .45 Government Models by Charles W. Clawson

59 The Big Country by Donald Hamilton

60 The Book of Indians by Holling C. Holling

61 Apple Pigs by Ruth Orbach

62 Alternating Current Machines by M.G. Say

63 Jose Rizal: Life, Works, and Writings of Genius, Writer, Scientist, and National Hero by Gregoiro F. Zaide

64 Almonds and Raisins by Maisie Mosco

65 Crochet Lace: An Illustrated Guide to Making Crochet Lace Fabrics by Mary Konior

66 Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns by Barbara Brackman

67 Birds of Britain by John D. Green

68 War in the Modern Great Power System 1495-1975 by Jack S. Levy

69 102 Favorite Paintings by Norman Rockwell by Norman Rockwell

70 The Act of Creation by Arthur Koestler

71 The Vision: A Terrifying Prophecy of Doomsday That is Starting to Happen Now by David Wilkerson

72 Hell, I Was There by Elmer Keith

73 Professional Pattern Grading for Women’s, Men’s, and Children’s Apparel by Jack Handford

74 Good Vibes by Jay Cronley

75 Betty Feezor’s Carolina Recipes by Betty Feezor

76 History of Art by H.W. Janson

77 Basic Building Data by Don Graf

78 The McCoys: Their Story by Truda Williams McCoy

79 The Barrakee Mystery by Arthur Upfield

80 The Law o’ the Lariat by Oliver Strange

81 Women Are Beautiful by Garry Winogrand

82 Golden Book of the Civil War by Charles Flato

83 Bowman of Crécy by Ronald Welch

84 The Chestry Oak by Kate Seredy

85 The Black Sun by Kyle Onstott & Lance Horner

86 The Colorado Kid by Stephen King

87 Turkish Delight by Jan Wolkers

88 The Reluctant King: The Life & Reign of George VI 1895-1952 by Sarah Bradford

89 Angels on Horseback by Norman Thelwell

90 Women and Men by Joseph McElroy

91 The Bible in Pictures for Little Eyes by Kenneth Nathaniel Taylor

92 The King Ranch by Tom Lea

93 Pookie by Ivy Wallace

94 Fire Command: The Essentials Of Local Ims by Alan Brunacini

95 Macauley by Arthur Bryant

96 The Bumper Book: A Harvest of Stories and Verses by Watty Piper

97 A History of Hand Knitting by Richard Rutt

99 Alla Prima: Everything I Know about Painting by Richard Schmid

99 The Ark/Noah’s Ark by Rien Poortvliet

100. Atlas of Topographical Anatomy of the Domestic Animals by Peter Popesko

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Life in the Old Goat yet – a bookseller profile http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2014/01/09/life-in-the-old-goat-yet-a-bookseller-profile/ http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2014/01/09/life-in-the-old-goat-yet-a-bookseller-profile/#comments Thu, 09 Jan 2014 19:57:15 +0000 http://www.abebooks.com/blog/?p=20310 A newspaper in Waterloo, Ontario, has profiled Michael Loubert, one of our booksellers and the owner of the wonderfully named Old Goat Books.

Michael opened Old Goat Books in March 2001 and has sold with AbeBooks since October 2002. The shop offers over 24 000 books and more than 16,000 are online with our marketplace.

It’s an interesting article about life in the used book trade.

Loubert is guided by general rules that evolved from his long experience in the trade. He buys books that are in good shape, and books that have a market. Poetry does surprisingly well, and Charles Bukowski’s books fly off the shelves.

He does not stock political biographies or hardcover editions of popular fiction. The demand simply does not last. But science fiction and fantasy have a large, loyal following and are always in demand.

Loubert almost always buys up books by Philip K. Dick , J.R.R.Tolkien, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Kurt Vonnegut, Charles Dickens, Rudyard Kipling, Joseph Conrad, Mark Twain, Truman Capote, Henry Miller, Robertson Davies, Margaret Atwood, Margaret Lawrence and Alice Munro.

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