Saturday, June 20, 2015

Boxed Sets... are they worth anything?

     The pictures in this post are some of the boxes I have in the book case in my office, I looked over, and felt as if something needed to be said on this subject.

     I see them pretty often out in the wild, those boxed sets of typically three books together, looking pretty damn cool. Normally, you can get them for cheap. More and more rare at the paperback exchanges that I go to, one time I was event told they are removed from the box and the box trashed.

     The short answer is no, they are typically not worth more money with the box included. I'll explain: By the time the third book is in print in the box set you are going to buy, the first and second books are reprints. If your getting a first edition paperback, the only hope you have is that the third book is a first edition, and what third book in a series, let alone a paperback is worth anything?

     The long answer is.. maybe. Perhaps people are looking for that really old Lord of the Rings trilogy with the faux gold leaf that they made millions of in the 70's and 80's. People go nuts for LotR stuff, which may drive up the price a couple of bucks, but nothing significant.

     My personal opinion? Pick 'em up. Who knows? Does it look cool to you? Is it a different cover variant that you don't have? Is it a bargain? I'm all in when I see the box sets, they look awesome on the shelves, and they are almost always a popular book series, which justified the box. Sometimes there is old coupons or advertisements in the box sets that are pretty cool. Someone asked me once, "What's the most common box set you come across?" I've seen more "Time of the Twins" Dragonlance Trilogy books in different box sets than I care to admit. I cruise by the Fantasy/Sci-Fi section at Barnes and Noble and there is always one there. In two or three years it will be the ever popular Game of Thrones sets at garage sales and swap meets.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Arizona Paperback Exchange Haul


     My stepfather was visiting from Arizona when my mom started posting pictures on Facebook of the local paperback exchange in her area closing it's doors after many, many years. When we talked on the phone, she made a remark that everything that you could fit in a bag was a dollar. She said when Brian went back to Arizona they would go and buy out most everything they knew I would like and send it on over.

    I saw some telling pictures on Facebook:

 Click to Enlarge

    I was getting pretty excited at this point. What could they possibly find way out in the desert? Well I got the mail this morning, and I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. I did not take pictures of all the books, or individual books, or we would be here all day. Feast your eyes:

 An ace double! I collect these. Super rare now.

 Star Trek books.. so what, I have a sickness.

 I opened the THX 1138 paperback to the advertisement...

 And found the book it was selling in the box.

Amazing cover art.

 Most of the paperbacks

Hardbacks. Those DAW compilation books have the sheets promoting them sent to suppliers inside.

    Just relaxing with a cold Sam Adams Lager, enjoying the scenery.

 Mom, you did good. As a reward, here is the box you sent the books in, trapping my cats. They also enjoyed the plastic bags some of the books were wrapped in.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

New house, DIY Book Cases, Made from Beer Pallets

     Again, sorry it's been a while. My wife and I bought a large house and it took a while to get settled. The books were stashed away in boxes in the closet just begging to be released. We purchased a smaller book case for our new office, and although it was one of the better book cases I've had in recent memory, it still... well it sucked. I felt like the shelves were too close together, or not enough shelves, or both. That and that weird cardboard backing is the worst. I feel as if the whole case is just.. wobbly. Considering I work for a beer company, and we have access to an unlimited supply of broken pallets, the choice was easy. (And cheap!) Guys, keep your wives away from pinterest!

   The first day consisted of me just ripping in to pallets with gusto. Armed with a mini-sledge and a pair of pry-bars, I was ready for the task.. kind-of. It was back breaking labor. My stepfather, pictured in the background drove all his amazing tools from Arizona to Florida to help me build my dream book case out of beer-wood scraps. After the first 6-8 pallets, and sweating through three shirts in 90 degree weather, we decided the circular saw would be the best way to go, and we would just buy the 2x4 pieces of wood instead of scrapping them.

     Ferring strips were purchased, as they were long enough and really cheap compared to 1x8's. All wood was separated from the scrap pallets in to piles, and were cut in to different shapes and sizes we needed for the job. Almost three full days of the project itself was prep: Staining, Cutting, running for more pallets, etc.

Staining sucks.

Really sucks.

What a mess. My garage was full of wood.

    My wife helped where she could in between watching my son, and fixing us glasses of water and the occasional sandwich. We put in over 10 hours each day, only stopping for bathroom breaks and food. This went on for five days.

     Framing everything and measuring where the shelves were really got me excited, like this was really going to happen. My own bookcases!

     After getting most everything cut and stained in the garage, it was assembly time! The book cases are 8 1/2 feet tall, so were a huge pain in the ass to get in the house without banging in to anything. We clad the cases with more scrap wood blocks and pallet pieces we had stained the night before. Thank god for the nail gun!

     Starting coming together really fast at this point. The cases being over 200 pounds each, were mounted in to the studs of the wall with anchors at several different points.

     When taking a lunch break during the last bit of framing, we decided to hook up a projector and get a feel of where we wanted that to be. Found out that we would have to get rid of our old 55" monster Sony Wega and put a temporary TV in it's place until we got a replacement, or hopefully a ceiling mount for the projector setup I have.

     Holy shit it's done! The base boards were trimmed and put back in place, and the base of the bookcase was red oak saved from a keg pallet, which we had ran through the planer to get rid of all the nasty old beer on there. That is a 36 inch TV in the middle, which will be replaced here in a few weeks as time permits.

     I was able to fit around 1700 books in the case, with room to grow. I saved a ton of wood if I need to ever make it bigger...

Time: 65 Hours over 5 days
Cost: $120 in random parts, wood
Injuries: One broken toe

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Flea Market Pick Ups 5: Star Trek & Castlevania

Breakfast first.

     I really had no intentions to go out and find books today. The longest week/month in my life, working tons of hours and then deciding to go to Tampa for the weekend just killed all my energy for anything outside of work. I know it's been a while since I've updated, and I'm sorry for that, but I'll try to get back in the swing of things with this post. Back to the farm: My wife and I decided to go downtown for breakfast this morning at The Oasis in Fort Myers. Best food, servers and owners are seriously friendly. It was here that we decided to go and hit the Flea Market nice and early.

The book depository.

     We walked all around and looked at everything and got a few things for my wife (pictures later). I went to my typical haunt in the building outside the main complex and ran in to my buddy busy as hell selling books. Check out the crowd!

Digging for fantasy gold.

     He pulled me back behind the shelves where his car was parked, told me how he finally got to see the blog and loved it. I guess we are fans of each other now in a strange way. He dug through some boxes and found two he saved aside, and put them on the tailgate of his truck for me to take a look at.

Tailgate wonderland!

     Found about ten books I did not own, nice old crusty first editions in my ball park. My wife added some magazines to the bunch and a movie and he gave me everything for $16.00. "I know this is over your $10 budget, but I think it's a pretty good deal". Yeah, it was. Before I show you the goods, here is a few pictures of behind the stalls:

The Nazi storage warehouse at the end of Lost Ark

     There is no lack of inventory in this place. Movies, books, comics, magazines, vinyl, games.. just tons of stuff. I found a cool book back here unrelated to Science Fiction believe it or not.

Artax holding the books to the table.

As always, you can click to zoom.

 The wife haul. She spent more than me, and we both blew our budgets.

     Above is my wife's finds. All but the plates were pretty much given to me by our buddy at the book exchange. The Dragonslayer graphic novel is the first of two parts, which I have owned before but mailed them to a fan of a Dragonslayer page I made in the 90's as a gift. Good to have one of them back! The Starlog mags are from the early 80's, which was the golden era of Starlogs. I could do several articles just on them! Oh, I almost forgot! The Worlds of Power book.

     Every five or so pages had some kind of game hint written upside down. I'm not sure if this is something kids actually bought for the hints (as the book sucked) or they were just so in to the game, that they had to have some kind of closure to it. Either way, that's all I got, see you next time.