Friday, November 15, 2013

Adventures at The Goodwill Book Store

     I've been to this particular Goodwill book store before, when I started noticing them popping up all over the place, and the books disappearing out of the normal Goodwill thrift stores. Prices, meh. Selection? Pretty damn good actually, and since the last time I visited, drastically improved.

      They added a cool little reading room where all the furniture, lamps, and so on, are for sale. DVD's and Blu-Rays were also added, and they offer a pretty good selection considering everything is donated.
      The most exciting part for me was the addition of a vintage book area in the back of the store with pretty reasonable prices. Lots of Eaton Press books, history books, you name it.

     Not bad at all. Anything with a white sticker was half off, so even better! I did see some stuff that I would love to own, but passed on most of it. I have a budget of $10.00 after all.

     Just one of the many cool books I passed on. "The Arabian Nights" from the early 20's. Strange super detailed pictures throughout.

    This is what I ended up getting after all the cool stuff I saw. Two Ray Bradbury books that were .99 cents each (half off on top of that), a 9th printing "Grapes of Wrath" from 1940's-ish era, "Moon of the Three Rings" by Norton, and a super old paperback called "Flatland" by Abbott. It's a science fiction book written in the late 1800's, and this is a reprint from the early 1920's. I could not find another one like it on Ebay, Google, or the like, so have no idea on it's value.
     Here are some better pictures of the books I picked up. "The Grapes of Wrath" goes for about $100 even with the dust jacket missing, and I paid $3.99. "Moon of Three Rings" in the worst condition possible, averages around $40.00, and I paid $1.99. Overall, not a bad day! Ill do some more research on "Flatland" and try and find a value and update this post later... anyone have any predictions?


Saturday, November 9, 2013

Another mystery box in the mail!

     My step father, Brian, sent me a wonderful mystery box full of books and other oddities. He did not tell me what books would be in the box, only that they came from his personal collection.

     Batman: The Animated Series toys for my son.. he is really in to Batman right now. Not shown: Lots more toys, a hat, and more toys.

     Eighteen books total, all great books, and most of them I don't currently own. The three hard covers: Imperial Earth, The White Plague and Dayworld are all first editions. The Moorecock paperbacks are all original Daw first editions, and near mint. The Conan reprints are all books I'm missing, and always on the lookout for. Thanks Brian for the great additions to my collection! They won't be going anywhere!
     It's no secret that Dayworld is one of my favorite books, and I have never owned it in hard cover. I was so excited to see this laying on top of the pile. If you ever need a suggestion for a great book to lose yourself in, look no further guys.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Church Book Sale Finds

     I've been seeing signs for the bi-annual church book sale for about a month now. Having found some good stuff here years ago, I made a plan to actually do some book hunting. Twice a year for five hours.. five short hours to get in and get out. I got there when the doors opened at eight AM, turned around, and took the picture above.

     After ten minutes inside the building, It was shoulder to shoulder with old people. I noticed some people brought their own canvas bags, garbage bags and empty boxes, and I brought nothing with me. I went out to the car quickly and found an old gift bag in the trunk I could fill up. Yeah, I looked like a moron, but I was also the youngest by 60 years which made me feel a little better.

     There was zero organization, I had to go through every box, cart and table and quickly browse titles as fast as I could recognize them. Getting shoved around and bumped in to, I felt cramped and a little anxious, So I skipped about a four or five tables at the end. Christian book sales don't yield too much in the way of Science Fiction and Fantasy, but with this amount of books, I was bound to find a few gems.

My gift bag with a few books in it. The price was right, at ten for a dollar, but I really did not see too much that I did not have or want. No good doubles, nothing. Tons of Bibles.

     I don't know if you can see these well or not, but you can click to zoom. The two book box set is a 1965 Alice in Wonderland, worth around $30-40. I've seen older, but a nice little find. The H.M.S. Bounty is a second printing and worth around $20. The 2001: A Space Odyssey and 2010: Odyssey Two are both first editions, and in great shape. 2001 goes for about $100 any day of the week and 2010 about $30. The other four books don't really have too much value, but I didn't have them, and thought it was worth picking up. The first edition Macdonald paperback is for a friend that collects them, and I see them pretty frequently. All in all, a pretty good day! I hit some garage sales later on with no luck. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Jared's Newest Mack Bolan Super Find

     My mom sent me the above pictures when she was out with my brother Jared. If you don't follow his latest obsession, scroll to the bottom of this post to catch up on his quest to collect all the Mack Bolan, Executioner, and Stony Man novels in existence.

     Back to the books.

     He found 72 books total, most of which he did not have, and he completed his Executioner series out with a bang. At Goodwill prices, .99 cents each, minus 10% his wife's card, I'd say its a pretty good deal. I have been in similar situations where I have found a ton of books to complete my series, and they really were not in my price range, and outside of my daily budget. I'm glad he could get them all and not comprise the find.. often times you go back after cherry picking some and realize someone else had bought them. This really held me back when I was trying to complete my Forgotten Realms Series.

    Mom helped him get all the stickers off, damn you Goodwill and your stickers. At least they are easy to remove and don't leave too much crap behind. Overall a really good find, and good opportunity to pick up some stuff to trade and sell later to get more books (doubles).

Jared Part 1 - Jared Part 2 - Jared Part 3 - Jared Part 4 - Jared Part 5

I almost forgot...

*Edit* His Phoenix Force collection is complete, not whatever else I said. Sorry.
*Edit 2* It's MACK Bolan. Bolan rhymes with colon.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Paperback Exchange Pickups

     I had a few minutes to myself, so I decided to go to one of my regular haunts, The Book Rack in greater Fort Myers. This place is just a diamond in the rough. If they don't have something you are looking for, than it does not exist. The owner is nice, has no idea what's on the shelf, and most every thing is .50 cents to 1.50, tops.

     This was just one small crowded section I took a picture of. I documented all the sci-fi/fantasy shelves and book cases in this post for those who are interested. Easily 10,000 books in the genre I shop in, with more piled up in boxes. You better not be in a rush to find anything when you come here! I spent a good hour reading, unpacking boxes, moving things around and found a few things I did not have that I thought were worth taking home with me. Behold, my precious...

 (as always, click to enlarge)

     Two Forgotten Realms books I already own, but I know someone who is looking for them, three R.R. Martin short story compilation books that are pretty hard to come by, and a smattering of vintage paperbacks to round out the bunch. Most notable is Death Cloud, by Mannion. I almost never see this book for sale, and had no idea what the cover even looked like. Ebay did not have a copy for sale, and Amazon did not have this first edition cover depicted. I'd say its a pretty good find! Honorable mention to Orbitsville, by Shaw. Interesting little advertisements inside:

     When I read, I only smoke Kent Golden Lights. Also, a little insert advertising a book club that sells those BCE's we loved so much in the 70's and 80's.

     A little better picture of the Wild Cards book by Martin. Since A Game of Thrones is so popular, these go for about $15 each on eBay right now. Not that I would sell them or anything. Overall, I spent about $10.00 on everything, and found some pretty cool paperbacks. As customary on a good book hunting adventure, I will now reward myself with a Newcastle Brown Ale for my efforts. Cheers.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Shappie's Hobbit/LOTR Collection

(Click to enlarge)
     A frequent visitor and comment contributor to the blog, Shappie, took some time to send a picture of his collection of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings books he has collected over time. Good mix of books, and nice computer setup to boot. I'll let him explain further:

Top row left to right:
The Hobbit 1966 3rd edition 32nd printing
Unfinished Tales 1980 1st edition 4th printing
The Hobbit leatherback with slipcase (1988?) reprint
The Hobbit leatherback no slipcase 1966 11th printing
The Return of the King 1960 1st edition 6th printing
Bottom row left to right:
The Tolkien Reader Ballantine paperback 1960 3rd printing
The Hobbit Ballantine paperback Revised Edition 1967 10th printing
The Fellowship of the Ring Ballantine paperback 1967 14th printing
The Two Towers Ballantine paperback 1967 11th printing
The Return of the King Ballantine paperback 1967 10th printing
     Keep those collection pictures coming guys, I love to see fellow collectors proud of their finds. Thanks again to Shappie for sharing.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Book prices are.. too damned high!

    I'm late to the "A Game of Thrones" train. I do own a few old paperbacks of R.R. Martin's but nothing significant. I'm not a big TV watcher, and only watch TV while I'm eating dinner with my wife downstairs, so I miss out on most of office conversations about Breaking Bad, and The Walking Dead. I decided before I would watch the series which I recently acquired, I would read the books which should take me about a week, then I'll commit the time to the series.

     I have not bought a new book in a very, very long time. I worked at Books-a-million for a short stint in 2001 as assistant manager, and that might be the last time I bought a new book. New releases were about $16.95-$19.99 for the big releases. This week I made a trip out to Barnes & Noble to pick up the books, for about the amount that I paid in 2001. I figured there would be some kind of bundle deal, and I could pick up all of them for around.. $60-ish. Man was I wrong.

     The price on the sleeve of each book was $39.99 for the hard cover. Time four books.. is $160.00. Four fucking books. I felt instantly betrayed by the industry, moreover I wanted to leave Barnes & Noble instantly and never come back. I don't go there often and I'll admit it was pleasant, good smelling, nice coffee and snacks abound, but man was I pissed and just forgot all about the great atmosphere and fun loving treats. I said to myself, 'Well, Ill just get a paperback.' Guess what? They don't sell them separately, you have to buy them in a box set or nothing. $49.99 for all four paperbacks. I wanted to kill someone. I found my wife in the kids section with my son, and she could see how mad I was. She, very calmly, explained to me that the prices had gone up, and eBooks had something to do with it. It was something that happened a while ago and I missed it. She told me to wait outside and she would talk to someone to see if she could just get the first book in paperback.
     I know I was a little too angry about a small problem that I really knew nothing about. She found a copy of the book that was available at the register for like $13.00 which, if you read the website, know I don't pay $13.00 for anything. I digress. I took the book home and I'm reading it now, and It's pretty good. Gritty, violent and compelling. I just had to vent about the prices of books, and how they suck.
     I'll never go back to a conventional book store. I like, the prices are pretty much what you're willing to pay, the only problem is the wait. I like Amazon prime, the service is good and seems as if its a good deal. I'll stick to that. Barnes & Noble, on the Zardoz Rating System (ZRS) you get three Zardoz heads.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Zardoz Rating System (ZRS)

Warning: Humor.

     Zardoz Rating System (ZRS) works by adhering to a list of strict criteria. Basically I deem something very shitty, so shitty, that it is as bad as watching the movie Zardoz at least one time. Zardoz being the worst movie that was ever made, in this universe and in others. The movie transcends shittiness, and often rips holes in the time/space continuum, to make other things shitty.. and to leave piles of crap floating around the cosmos, inherently making other things crappy in it's wake.. of shit. I will try to give you some facts to help you with the rating system below, to better understand how to use the ZRS.

1) The Zardoz Rating System was deemed by a group of my peers to be very hard to watch. Having Sean Connery, nudity and guns do not make this movie easier to watch in any way. No human or animal should be forced to watch the movie. The soundtrack alone is known to cause blindness and impotence in one out of three men.
2) I have never met anyone who has watched Zardoz more than five times in their life. Obviously the people who edited the movie never watched it more than once, so the rating system can not go higher than five (5) Zardoz Heads, and no less than one (1) head. A rating of five heads is almost unspeakable, and could cause a shit-paradox, causing the end of the world, life and everything.
3) Sean Connery himself has been known to use this system to rate things in his everyday life. Like when has to wait in line for anything, he often has fleeting moments of Zardoz, and often compares life's worst moments to having to suffer through another filming of the flaming horse-shit career endingly bad movie that is Zardoz.
4) When selecting a Zardoz head to use for your rating, use the grainiest, shitty possible quality image possible to express how fucking shitty the movie, and whatever your rating, really is. Examples below.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Read it again? Sometimes. (Anthony, Asimov)

The theme of the day is all-in-one novels, or books that contain multiple books from the same series, taken from my collection.

     I have read the first seven Xanth books at least ten times each in high school. I felt as if they were witty, with great characters, and each book was different. After the seventh* book, the formula was:

Official Xanth Writing Formula

1) Have an issue.
2) Go to the Good Magician Humphrey's castle for a answer
3) He gives you a quest in exchange for the answer, big breasted Gorgon
4) Puns
5) Love side story that is not very good, or innuendo of a strange sexual nature
6) Puns
7) Ends on a positive note, possibly interspecies sexual innuendo

I suffered through almost 25 Xanth books before I realized they were not getting any better, and decided the best books were the ones he wrote before he was super famous, and had to be very creative. Being as prolific as he was, almost everything was a trilogy.. or a trilogy of trilogies. Later series that broke free of the trilogy suffered greatly as a result. Most people would call this "sucking ass" or "pants-shittingly bad".
     The Adept novels were awesome. Half Fantasy, half Science Fiction, they were just what the doctor ordered. The first three books were magical, perfect, and just really fun. Each of the books could be made into a detailed blockbuster movie. Stile, the main character of the first trilogy was the consummate un-hero, breaking stereotypes and winning at all costs. Then, enter the next trilogy. The frames merged, then separated, leaving a huge plot hole. To fill the hole, make the main characters have kids, and give them unoriginal names and abilities. Break rules you have made in earlier books in the series, and introduce unimportant characters to dilute the story further. Weird alien and child sexual innuendo abounds in larrrge amounts. Do yourself a favor and read the first three books in the adept series again and again, but skip the last three. To cap it all off, as if my other issues were not enough, he wrote a seventh book, and it just got out of hand. Crossover you say? Of course he had a character in Xanth visit Phaze, the fantasy world in the Adept novels. Sigh.

     Best science fiction series(s) ever written. I read these novels several times, all the way in to adulthood. Unlike the Piers Anthony books, they really hold up to today's standards. The story stays with you, and does not get watered down in sequels. The blend of science fiction, friendships, love and hate, and sometimes violence draws you to each page. Foundation is one series that ever human should have to read before they leave the earth. In a fictional study that I just made up, 25% of white males aged 10 to 25 should fucking read this book.

     I'll be honest, it's been raining a bit lately, especially when you want to get out and do something. Garage sales were plentiful last weekend, but books were in short supply. I live in a wealthy area, but unfortunately, rich people don't seem to like to read, or get rid of their good books. I found my wife several things, and some movies for my son but that's about it. I'll give it another try this weekend and see what I come up with, and if I don't find anything, I'll just sit in my car and shit my pants or something and write about that.

*I did enjoy the eighth book in the series, but as an adult I felt it juvenile and poorly written.