Buying Time

There’s Book Fairs and then there’s Book Fairs

Posted on 14 July 2010. Filed under: Buying Time | Tags: , , |

I have this love/hate relationship with book fairs. On the one hand they’re fantastic places to browse among books, get more stock and maybe meet some fellow book lovers. On the other hand they’re fabulous places to browse among books, pick up kilos of books, stretch my arms and spend too much money. I tend to go to these things with two thoughts in mind: the first is obvious, find more stock; but the second is to add to my already groaning bookshelves. I have far too many books, not all mine, but a fair few are and I don’t need to add to the weight.

I’ll digress for a moment and tell you the story about a library in America which was rebuilt at a massive cost. They put a lot of thought into it, it was a beautiful library and started sinking once they got all the books into it. They forgot to add the weight of the thousands of books in their collection to their calculations when working on their foundations so this fabulous library is sinking into the soil at a small rate each year. I’m not saying this will happen to my house, I’m just digressing and letting you come to your own conclusions.

Coming back to the book fairs, I’ll just get you to imagine a large room such as a church hall and fill it with tables upon tables which are filled to groaning with books, books and more books. Often the prices are very cheap and you can get decent books for a dollar or two, sometimes they’re sold by the inch and sometimes by the weight. At times you can get good bargains near the end and get books by the bag.

Here’s the other kind of book fair. It’s the one the publishing professionals attend and this year it’s in Hong Kong. They have all sorts of events happening there such as story-telling, author led-seminars, book sales and industry exhibits. It’s going to be massive, they’re talking about close to a million people in attendance and this year they’re going to be focussing on the digital market. As you probably know by now ebooks are the in-thing and it looks like they’re here to stay. Isaac Asimov was talking about them in his Foundation series which I read when I was in my teens so the idea has been around for at least 30 years (if you ask I’ll only admit to being 18). There has been a problem getting support for Chinese characters by certain ebook readers but I’m sure that’s just a matter of time before they realise that’s their biggest market and fix this issue.

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Lots of books to process

Posted on 8 September 2009. Filed under: Buying Time | Tags: , , |

I’ve just made the decision to try and blog more often. Sometimes I’ll ramble on about very little and other times I’ll actually have something sensible to say. I’m currently doing some research on Pulp Magazines and that might culminate in a number of blogs about them.

I’m hoping to have an announcement about the website soon. I’ll be excited even if no-one else will be.

Other things move on, though. I’ve just bought a couple of loads of bulk books. I’ve had a brief look and have some fabulous books and some not so fabulous. I’ll just drop in some names of authors and genres because I can. There are five Terry Pratchetts, three Neil Gaimans, a dozen Edgar Rice Burroughs, a handful of Clifford Simak and a similar number of George R. R. Martin, a handful of Ellis Peters and a couple of old Agatha Christies. Not to mention a box full of cookbooks and a large number of chick lit and this only covers a fraction of the books I’ve got here. If anyone’s desperate for a rather large Websters New Twentieth Century Dictionary, 2nd Edition published in 1962 please comment here or email me very quickly as it might be going to the op shop.

While we’re on the subject of comments I just want to remind everyone about the current competition. It closes in a couple of weeks and all you have to do is to make a comment on a blog post.

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Authors from my childhood

Posted on 11 July 2009. Filed under: Buying Time | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I’ve recently picked up a box of books to sell. Some of them have been written by fabuloso authors from my childhood and I’ll be very excited to re-read some of them before I list them, it’s going to make for a very slow listing process.

One of my favourite books of all time is Gobbolino The Witch’s Cat by Ursula Moray Williams. It’s truly a wonderful book, I always loved the idea of a talking cat who was also a witch’s cat. What I didn’t was was that she wrote 60 books. I’ve just done a little research, something which is so much easier now than when I was young, to find this out.

One author who totally fascinated me is Rumer Godden, author of An Episode of Sparrows. I currently have other books by her listed for sale and when I find time I’ll be reading Mouse Time and The Diddakoi and will give a review and a brief run down of Rumer.

There’s some Susan Cooper in the box who is always good value.

Another of my favourite books of all time is Carbonelby Barbara Sleigh. Another book about witch’s and cats. Is anyone detecting a theme here?

Having carefully not mentioned Astrid Lindgren or L.M. Montgomery I’ll finish this blog by guaranteeing they will all be listed on my website for selling and they will NOT find their way onto my shelves.

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Winning Bulk Auctions – Good Idea or Not??

Posted on 25 June 2009. Filed under: Buying Time | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Another in the list of bulk buys. I still have my doubts about this one, but it paid off in the end.

I won an auction on eBay. I was very careful to do my calculations before I put in a bid. The listing was for 2,000+ books. I thought about it and decided to do my calculations based on 2,500 books. I worked out how many per box, how many boxes and roughly how much space they would take up based on how many boxes high I would be able to stack them. I figured I would have enough room with maybe three or four boxes left over. No problems. Really happy. I put in a bid, dithered a bit over it as I really wasn’t convinced I wanted them, so I lowered the amount I was prepared to spend…twice. I won at a really low price.

Talked my nephew into helping me pick them up as I’d done some damage to my neck and didn’t want to have to face the wrath of my physio when I made it worse. The books were in the back of a shop located fairly close by which was good as I estimated we’d have to make two trips. I collected some boxes being fairly confident it would be enough. We drove down there, found the back of the shop as instructed. The seller opened the door and said those fateful words…”You realise you have to take everything”…I looked and laughed as there was nothing else I could do. There were far more than 2,000, my estimate of what the + might be was totally lacking. My final estimate was about 4,500 books. It took us three trips in my wide bodied Camry to get them back to my place and because of that it took much longer than expected so we had to leave them sitting on the floor of the garage until I could find time to put them in a better place. I had already put lots of plastic on the floor to protect them as I expected to just stack them there until they were all transported here.

With the second trip I figured it didn’t matter if I lost a few boxes of books due to being squashed so what with not having enough boxes we just put enough boxes in to give the whole thing formation and began throwing books in. We stuffed them behind the boxes and stacked them around the boxes. We put a couple of boxes on the back seat and then piled books around the boxes and stacked them on the floor of the car. It was chaotic, but it worked. So, here we are driving down Warrigal Road and I had to brake for some red lights. The books cascaded in a stream onto my nephew’s lap. He picked them up and sorted them into books he wanted (onto the floor with his feet) and books he didn’t want (thrown dismissively over the shoulder into the backseat) while drinking water from a clear bottle. The look on the guy’s face in the next car was a picture. It looked as if my nephew was drinking vodka as we were both very cheerful. When we got back home with that load we had another book-a-lanche when we opened the back door. They all just cascaded onto the ground. I wish I’d taken a video of it, it was very funny.

I had to get very creative when packing the books as there were just so many I had not accounted for in my calculations and I hadn’t collected enough empty boxes. I had kept the box from our new washing machine as I was going to cut it up and use it for packing books. I brought that out and put it in a corner of the house, we then carefully packed books in it. It was a big box and it must have taken several hundred books. It never moved again until I sold all the books to someone else and I had to unpack it into other, smaller boxes.

For those who are worried about the treatment we meted out to these poor books please be reminded they were secondhand. I expected some attrition from this treatment, but it was only about half a box full and most of them were in terrible condition before hand, none of them were very collectable as they were cheap books and I had other copies of them. I just want people to be warned to ask questions and to try to look at the auctions of these things beforehand so you have more information about them than I did…actually, I lie I really just want to entertain people with my story.

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The Mousetrap – Agatha Christie

Posted on 25 May 2009. Filed under: Buying Time | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

As you might know from a previous post I have a lot of Agatha Christie books, I’m really only missing three titles of short stories and The Mousetrap. So it’s a very exciting time when I find a book I don’t have.

My other half took me away for a long weekend, we drove down to Lorne on Thursday afternoon and drove back to Melbourne on Sunday. On our way back he stopped at a tiny little town called Dean’s Marsh so I could take some photos of some fabulous sculptures.  The sculptures were ingeniously carved from stumps of very large trees.  While there I couldn’t resist visiting the local shop to see if there was any local produce or handicrafts. I’m a sucker for locally made goods. They had some really good looking produce; some lovely looking jams, chutneys and mustard – although I couldn’t buy any of it as everything had ingredients I couldn’t eat. They happened to have a very small number of pre-loved books and in this little collection was an Agatha Christie. It was The Mousetrap & Other Plays. This is The Mousetrap that has been playing in London for many years and will not be printed in England until the play stops running. I had to buy it, not just for my collection, not just because we saw it when we were in London in 2001, but also as it segues very nicely into an introduction to my first guest blogger.

Val is also an avid Agatha Christie fan.  She is collecting all the Agatha Christie books which have cover art by Tom Adams.  She’s put together a nice article for me to celebrate the 62nd anniversary of the short radio play of The Mousetrap and this will be published here later this week.

I have a number of Agatha Christie short stories and novels on sale.  You can find them here.

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Bulk Books at Wesley

Posted on 8 May 2009. Filed under: Buying Time | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The first story starts at Wesley College – Elsternwick campus. They were having an Open Day a few years ago and to encourage more people to come and see what they do they had a few stalls. I was helping out on the Raffle stall, there were plenty of food stalls, a few rides, the teachers were doing a concert, a cake stall and the most important of all was the book stall. I got to it early and picked up a few bundles of ABC delicious and a number of great titles. Near the end I offered to buy whatever was left when I returned. They were quite quick to accept. I can’t think why!

When I got back we packed them up and I discovered there were 17 boxes. I was very excited, my first bulk book buy!! When I was looking through them I found all sorts of treasures. I had 3 boxes of computer books. I managed to actually sell some of them and the rest were taken by a happy freecycler. I had a box of new books I knew nothing about and lots of miscellaneous other books. Several boxes were Encyclopaedia Brittanica, but I think that should be a post of it’s own.

I had a wonderful time sorting through all the books and listing them on eBay and an even better time storing them. My youngest left that campus three years ago and I still have some of these books. I’m going to be sorting through all my stock and these books will be among those to be sold at a garage sale and if not sold to be sent to an op shop. I think I’ve held onto them long enough.

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Bulk book buys – an addicts journey

Posted on 2 May 2009. Filed under: Buying Time | Tags: , , , , |

One thing I have to be very wary of is my addictions. I know other people have addictions that are of more import, but I don’t have those problems so I can’t share them with you.

I love buying books in bulk. I like to see the first few books and know that some of them are ones I want, but mostly I like to be surprised by what I buy. Sometimes this has gotten me into trouble. This is something I will be discussing here and will detail some of the highs and lows of this problem.

Please, if you have a similar addiction or if you just want to laugh and poke fun at me feel free to join my journey. Comments are welcome, but, as I don’t know the ages of the people reading anything on the Suz’s Space Blog I do request you keep the language to a G rating.

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