Of course, being something of a horned beast in a china shop, I’d booked a few tickets before finding this out.
I have a faint glimmer of hope that I’ll be able to come up with a plan, but taking my two younger children to Dick MacBride and Arne Dahl isn’t among the options (mainly because I’d likely be lynched by the audience.
It may mean I’ll be doing some kind of giveaway or competition in the near future. It’ll be here if it happens.
Another giveaway I considered recently was of the books I’ve recently sorted into piles to find new homes.
Last week, we began the fairly painful process of moving my children’s bedroom gear so that each of them had their own (we’ll no longer have a spare room, but we rarely have guests so that’s OK – more than OK in fact, we’re very lucky).
It meant that another 15 feet or so of book shelf space was gone from the adults.
The cull began in earnest. The first few times it was hugely upsetting, but now I’m getting used to it.
My usual options are to give the books to a charity shop or the next school fair.
This time, I had the idea that I could post a list on the blog for collection to find out what happens. That still might happen.
While looking, I found a nice signed, first edition of Brazzaville Beach. It’s not mine, so I can’t get rid and I’m reading it just now and really enjoying it. It did make me wonder about selling books instead of giving them away.
First off I went to check out the possibilities at Abe Books. They have a good page on how to spot a first edition and there’s even a short video to go with it.
I found it interesting and put up some books to see what would happen. So far, I’m not sure, but it might be worth my while in the long run and if I’m
It’s not just the first editions that are interesting, though.
If you’re around my age, you may remember browsing in second hand
bookshops when there were whole bookshelves of Penguin spines. Because of that, I’ve got a large handful or two of the green Penguin crime books that are now pretty old. Maybe they’ll turn up trumps – I was going to get rid of my Nicholas Freeling Van Der Valks for example.
What I’m wondering is whether any of you out there have more experience of what to look for when pricing a book. How do you spot a gem (not including the content, I mean). Any tips would be most appreciated.
The thing is about all this - I’ve already been to a jumble sale and bought another small pile. I did look at the publishing information this time just in case.
One book I couldn’t resist was Red Dog by Louis de Bernieres, principally because it has little red dog illustrations in the top, right hand corner that turn into flick book animation if you’re so inclined (and I am).
It’s funny that I now love old books. I blame my closest friend for this.
When I was in my late teens, I had some great friends (and they’re still on the radar and are still great friends) who insisted in going into second hand bookshops whenever we came across one.
I ended up tagging along and watching them go about their browsing. Every time they pick something from the shelf and read a page or 2, it was as if they became moulded to the thing, like the mind of the author and my friends had
My time was spent trying to do what they did. Trying to get the idea of browsing and seeing if I could find what they obviously did.
What it usually meant for me was looking at the Penguin Crime section looking for a new Maigret, or the Penguin Classic section to anything I thought might enlighten me in some way. I also had a lot of fun looking through photography books, especially when they were about old movies.
At some point I crossed a line and now I go into bookshops without anyone just to hang about.
From time-to-time I fantasise about being at Hay-On-Wye and checking out their £1 a book shop that’s full of great stuff. Which closes one circle - I saw Mr de Bernieres there not too far short of 20 years ago reading a tremendous short story that was close to perfect.
Anyway, I guess I’ll always have groaning bookshelves in spite of the joy I get from my Kindle.
So, ramble over, don’t forget to leave some tips for me on what is good and what is not so good about a book if you’re trying to work out what has value and what doesn’t.