Sunday, July 26, 2015

Vintage Science Fiction Book Covers: Part One

     I have a ton of books, mostly vintage science fiction, and more often than not, from the 50's, 60's and 70's. I love the covers, the older the better. The retro fonts, hand drawn art work, and varying degrees of imperfections. For a few weeks I'm going to hand pick some of my favorite oddities, talk briefly about them and post the pictures. For those who are new to the blog, I take all the pictures myself, use a standard iPhone to do so, and I do it in my living room on the coffee table with random backgrounds. I do this because most of my hits come from Google Images, and I like to see when my pictures get reused. Anyways.. on with the covers!

 Thanks for reading.

Until next time.

Inside The Science Fiction Quiz Book [Signet 1977]

     The Science Fiction Quiz Book by Signet.. it's really hard. If the answers were not in the back most of the questions would be beyond my realm of Sci-Fi know how. In 1977, were people that in to the genre that they could answer these things? Maybe. Considering this is one of those mail order specials you can send away for in the back of most Signet books, you most likely were a Sci-Fi geek in the first place.

 Simple, straight to the point.

 Okay, Chapter one. Holy crap, this is way hard. I think I know two answers. The art is pretty cool however.

 Well this is a little easier, but not by much. Again, cool pictures. There is a picture almost every other page, mostly as filler. 

 I liked the picture on the left for some reason.. different. And finally, Movie Quiz! These I can get.

 Only three pages of movie quiz questions. Still, pretty cool, and most likely unlicensed screen grabs.

     The answers in the back of the book consumed about the last third of the books, with more pictures peppered in. All in all, it's a pretty interesting look at one of the many quiz books released around the time. The Star Wars Quiz book has almost the exact same theme, with the exception of a few full color pictures in the middle of the book, and almost the same format of questions in the front, answers in the back. For the few people who mailed in that self addressed stamped envelope, I thank you, and also thank you for not writing in it.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Arizona Mystery Box, The Sequel

     How long has it been since I've been out to the flea market, or garage sales or anything really? Work has been consuming my weekends, weekdays and most nights. Had every intention of going out this morning to the Flea Market, I really did, took my wife and son out to lunch, hit the comic book shop and just felt exhausted. I guess the hardest part of maintaining a collection and blog about it, is to actually.. you know, go out. My mother in Arizona has been nice enough to keep the books coming from the book store that closed out by them, which is great for me to keep me interested and excited about collecting.

     Super pumped about this lot, it has a good mix of everything! Daw yellow-spine originals, a quiz book, Piers Anthony paper backs, vintage trade paperbacks from the 50's. and more.

Anything that has a cover anything like this, I'm all in. 

I tried to read some Cap Kennedy about a year ago, and it's not terrible. Not as good as Lucky Starr.

Two great Daw originals. 

A great example of trade paperbacks from the 1950's. Such a mixed bag of quality, (or lack of it) and basic fonts. The paper from the 50's and 60's was different. Feels stiffer, holds up better to age.

 The hard backs were in great shape. The orbit books are a great time capsule to the book clubs of the 70's... the covers, the short story compilations, and of course the last few pages where you can order countless other books just like the one you have in your hand.

     I'm starting to cherry pick some of the books that I have not cataloged, and reading the first chapter or so. Being so far removed from a regular reading schedule, this is all I have time for most afternoons. When I'm done, I put them in a different pile, and just pick up another one. It's strange that although my reading habits change, they never really go away. I'm a huge Sherlock fanboy, and have to read the whole catalog every year, so that is looming over my head as the year comes to a close. I should do a small post on my copy of Sherlock Holmes complete works; It's a Barnes and Noble special missing the dust jacket on what seems to be bible paper, in eight point font. I've made notes on page, dropped tacos on others during study, but it's mine and I love it. I believe i bugged my step mother to buy it for me when I was in middle school. 

I think I've written enough. 

Until next time when I take a deeper look in to The Science Fiction Quiz Book. (Top photo)

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.