Monday, September 28, 2015

5 Things Essential for Book Hunting

     Like Dean Corso from The Club Dumas, you must be prepared when out book hunting. Should anything happen to you, or something unexpected come up while your out at the flea market, swap meet, or garage sale, having the right tools with you can really help.

1) Smart Phone - This is an easy one. You can price check books or see if you are missing one on the fly. Need to call someone? Having google ready to go at a moments notice is amazing, and few people really do it when collecting books. Good for notes, time, internet, camera, etc. Take pictures of book shelves everywhere you go. Technology is so good right now, you can zoom in and see individual books, and if you need them or not.

2) Money - You should always have cash on you! If you have a budget for that day, double that just to be safe. Typically I carry around $30 with me at any given time, maybe a small amount more. I only want to spend around $10-15.. but if you have read any of my below posts, you know how that goes.

3) Messenger Bag - Dean Corso carries one, you should too. I'm bad at this, and my bag strap broke so I'm in the market for a new one, and may get one tomorrow. Get something leather, durable, and waterproof. Leather lasts forever and will protect your precious cargo. You can put additional money, a magnifying glass, and your hand written lists/notes in there, and now you have a bag to put all your scores in.

4) A pen and note pad, and a hand written list of exactly what you want. - Be it a general list, or specific for completion of a series. Your phone could die, or get wet, or you may forget to use it. If you write it down, its faster to just reach in to your bag and get a quick peek at the list. More times than not, if you write something down, you have a much easier time recalling that particular memory.

5) Another set of eyes - I'm pretty much always alone, but when I have someone with me, I literally always find something I'm looking for. You can let each other know what you need, and when scanning books, he may pick up on something you missed, and visa-versa. Having a like minded friend who collects some of the same stuff is invaluable, never be afraid to get someone to go with you.

Vintage Science Fiction Book Covers: Part 3

     Welcome to part three of Science Fiction Book Covers. In the last two installments, I used books from the book cases in the living room, now i'm in the office, and it's much easier to reach over to the left and grab some stuff. I took the pictures over an old issue of Epic I was reading. Hope you enjoy.

Thanks for reading. Until next time.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Facebook, Website, Changes.. Oh my.

     Three changes in all, not huge things, but big things for the blog in the way of progression. The short version is: We are getting some updates around here that I have been meaning to do for a long time. I'll explain. I went to a social marketing convention last week, SocialFresh. It's three days of how to just be better bloggers, how to get your website and blog noticed, etc. My employer sent me to learn all about everything marketing on the Internet. I'm no slouch, but I did pick up a lot, and applied some of that to this blog. I also made a few goals to shoot for, in 2016.

     What are the changes?

Change #1) It's no longer a ".blogspot" website, but has a domain of it's own. I docked the page name some time ago, finally just moved it over. Old links and everything still work at the blogspot address. Welcome to whether you like it or not.

Change #2) Social Media integration. I made it's own facebook page, designed the logo for it (above, the title to this post!), and made some adjustments to my hash tag list and so on. I'll also be expanding the number of labels, and mentioning them in the bottom of the posts.

Change #3) Changed the design slightly to give it a more personal feel. I'll also be opening up more about myself, pictures of me interacting with the books, and so on. I know what you may be thinking, and no I'm not horribly disfigured.

     What's the end goal for the blog? 

Goal #1) The blog no longer needs fine tuning in either design or direction.

Goal #2) The blog stay essentially free of advertisements. At some point I will do Amazon targeting ads between posts, based on what books I'm writing about. Example: I found a cool book! (Buy it here, wink, wink) It will not be in the middle of the post, or at the top, just between so you can scroll through them. This will be later on this year, or early next.

Goal #3) The blog become self sustaining. I pay X for hosting, and my time is worth Y. Z is the amount of money the small ads will generate for me. X + Y = Z. If I make more, and Z is larger than the sum of both X and Y, I consider it a win, and more beer/book money for me. At any point if I make more than $100 per month, I'll consider that a huge win just at life in general, being that is one month of mortgage for me.

     More to come. Please comment or email me below if you have anything you want to share in the way of changes, or my goals for 2016.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Rainy Day Book Haul - Daw Dray Prescot Score

    Had beer to drop off at several locations, and bring home dinner for the wife, and wouldn't you know, I drove right by The Book Rack, a store I have posted about several times before. I've been working on the woman who works there for a while on some books in a box (also posted that before!) and I think I'm going to give it another shot and see if she will come off the price.

Click to enlarge panoramic picture

     I looked for the box of Daw originals at the front desk and did not see them this time, and my heart sank. Did someone buy them? I breathed a sigh of relief when I turned the corner and they they all were on the shelf for .75 cents a piece. For those who are paying attention, I'm trying to collect all the yellow spine Daw originals between the late seventies and early 80's. This book store I picked through long ago, but they had the first 38 Dray Prescot novels in a box with a hefty price tag. I lucked out today! Typically they go for $7-$8 each on feebay, more as a collection. All that aside, it's long series, 52 total as of 2014, and a good read. I've read the first eight.

     Look at the covers, condition is really good. Spines are perfect. Some are missing, but I have the ones missing in the book case in the living room somewhere. The last bottom right hand picture is the other books I picked up for about .50 cents each, some pretty good old ones in there. The Forgotten Realms book, Viper Hand, has eluded me for a long while, and even considered getting it off Amazon to finish off the Maztica trilogy. The lady working the counter told me they no longer take credit cards, so had to haul my ass back out in the rain with a car full of kegs to get to an ATM. Totally worth it. Spent around $25 total, and I'm very pleased with the outcome!

    Thanks for reading, until next time.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Random Ramblings - Updates

    Just thought I would give everyone a newsletter style update. Reading back over old blog posts, I would give a life update once in a while, and people seemed interested in that. Never thought anyone would care what I'm doing, or where I'm going! Pictured above is the pinball machines from Nice Guys Pizza in Cape Coral FL, where I currently live. They have awesome crazy pizza and killer craft beer lineup. Nice little paperback book and board game section if you get bored with all the 80's nostalgia and awesomeness.. This place is a thing of my dreams. He has a working, new-in-the-box Betamax recorder on top of his beer cooler.

     So about a year or two ago I tried to buy The Book Rack, a local independently owned book store in Fort Myers. Part of a chain of book stores that use to be pretty popular, The Book Rack at one time had over 80 locations. This particular owner had two, one near my house, and one across town. She wanted almost nothing for the store, just take over the lease give her a few thousand dollars and she will walk away. I figured it would be a great way for my wife to have an income while she watches our infant son.. Well, it did not work out. Her family decided to step in and take ownership, make a facebook for it and son on. I still go there, but can't help feeling that my meager dreams of having a hole in the wall book place will never be realized.

     My wife went out and bought a dog for our son. His name is Ollie, which is short for Oliver Queen, my wife's man crush, and current TV obsession. My son absolutely loves him, and you can tell they will have amazing adventures growing up together. I know what you are thinking; No, I will always be a cat person, and cat people like books blah blah and books like me so there. I'll admit, the dog is not that bad. No weird dog smell, no barking or eating things. Not only is this is a good dog experience for my son, it's good for me, and so it goes.

     Baseball season is over, and for me, that means much more free time until February. I'll break it down as such- The basic meat and potatoes of of my job are: Marketing, Billing, and Point of Sale. Aside from the obvious things that fall under marketing, I sell three accounts for lower Florida, and all three are spring training stadiums. For one month out of the year I don't do anything but walk around stadiums and get sun burned, making sure anything beer related goes as planned. The picture above is the end of the season party with Jake Leinenkugel, a friend of mine and owner of the Leinenkugel Brewery at the Twins spring training stadium at Hammond. Sooo being that the stadiums are closed, I have more time to write things and find books, as it were. 

     Seeing that this post is boring me writing it, I'll end it here. More to come, Maybe try to write a quick update once a month or so. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Science Fiction Magazine Advertisements - Part 1

     I was looking over at the book case in my office, and picked off a few old sci-fi magazines I've bought recently, some not so recently. The advertisements are things of legend. Some of the things that were being sold.. just wow. Scroll down and see for yourself. (Click to enlarge)

     I plan on doing many more of these as I organize my collection of old Science Fiction rags. Check back soon.