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The first thing you want to look at on the history page is for copyright date. This date should pretty much coincide with the year that the book was published. In some cases the dates may be slightly off because there is no guarantee that the book was published on the same date as the year it was copyrighted. Next, look for the words, “first edition” or “first printing.” Books that say first printing however may not necessarily be first edition books; it may be the first printing with a second publisher.
Some publishers identify first edition books with a number line, usually 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 or 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10. The number 1 in a number line indicates that it is the first printing of the book. When it is in its second printing, the number line will no longer contain the number 1. If it is the third printing of the book, the number 2 will be missing and so on. Some European publishers also use letters instead of numbers. Keep in mind that not all books have this number line and some publishers, particularly European publishers may use letters instead of numbers.
Other things that you should look for when collecting first edition books are the actual cover or dust jacket and whether the book was at one time a library copy or from a book club. The dust jacket should be the originally dust jacket, with the original artwork that came with the first edition book. The dust jacket normally has the price and in subsequent editions of a book, the dust jacket may have changed. If the book was an ex-library book, there may be a cardholder on the back flap and in the case of book club edition, there might be stickers indicating this, including on the dust jacket. Not having the correct dust jacket or being an ex-library book or book club book will diminish the value of the book.
Thrift stores, sometimes known as second hand stores and thrift shops, are normally shops that are run by charitable organizations. Their inventory usually comes by way of donation and a lot of times, depending on the organization, their employees are actually volunteers, which helps keep costs down. It used to be that only people looking for a bargain shopped at these second hand stores, but with the economy taking a roller coaster ride, more and more people are turning to these stores to help make ends meet.
Mikey and his colleague at work were talking about how the boss left early everyday and left them there to do his dirty work. As they are talking, Mikey comes up with one of his bright ideas and tells his friend, “hey look, the boss leaves early everyday and he never comes back or calls to check on us. I think today we should just leave right after he does.” His colleague agrees and about thirty minutes after boss leaves Mikey and his partner slip out and go home.
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Besides saving money, some of the other advantages to shopping at thrift stores are that by shopping at a thrift store, we help conserve valuable resources and help to clean up the environment. Buying at a thrift store is also akin to recycling and we use less space for landfills in addition to finding designer and brand name items that we may not otherwise be able to afford. Besides people looking for a bargain, before this recession, the other people who had already turned to thrift stores were antique dealers, designers and people looking to decorate their space.
In the past I have written about both interesting and profitable thrift store finds. In one story, I wrote about a man in Nashville, Tennessee that purchased what he thought was a copy of the Declaration of Independence. It turned out that he purchased not a copy but an old official copy worth more than 100,000 times than what he paid for it. In another story, a woman purchased a valuable painting of a race horse worth quite a bit of money.
Personally, I have purchased quite a few items myself at thrift stores including a Royal Delft platter, a vintage toy kaleidoscope, paintings, prints and some furniture. Some of the things I have re-sold for a profit, although nothing as extravagant as a copy of the Declaration of Independence. Some of the other items, like a beautiful vintage framed print that hangs in our dining room, decorate our home. Not everyone is going to find a deal in a thrift store that will make them rich every time they shop there. However, one thing is certain; you will always find a good deal and with these economic times, who can’t use a good deal?
This weekend Bob Hope brought in more than $600,000 at a charity auction for the Bob & Dolores Hope Charitable Foundation which helps U.S. veterans. Some of you are probably saying to yourself, “I thought Bob Hope had passed away?” Unfortunately, that is true, but his spirit of giving to the soldiers and sailors live on through his foundation and the auction sale of his memorabilia.
Hundreds of items were up for bid with the most sought after item being a black and white snapshot of the of the great man himself with the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, which brought in more than $27,500. Other items included some of his golf memorabilia, signed photos, jewelry and other items that the he had received from friends and luminaries alike. Sold in Beverly Hills, thememorabilia had first been exhibited in Ireland.
A traveling exhibit of memorabilia of our 16th President, Abraham Lincoln, will be on display at the Boonsboro Library in Boonsboro, Maryland. Made by his Presidential Library to honor his 200th Birthday, this collection of memorabilia includes one of his famous stovepipe hats, a teacup and the bloody gloves that he wore that night he was assassinated. The exhibit will be at the library until Friday, November 7, 2008.
News from Germany is that Goebel will stop producing the once popular M.I. Hummel figurines as
of October 31, 2008. Goebel, who brought the figurines to life starting in 1935, is looking for other alternatives to keep the production
of the figurine alive. The figurines, which are based on the drawings of Sister Maria Innocentia (1909-1946), have lost their appeal
with the public in the recent past and prices have been slumping. Sister Innocentia, born Berta Hummel in Bavaria, was a brilliantartist whose depictions of children first brought her to the attention of Goebel.
His partner makes it home and is elated to be able to get a quick workout before going to meet his girlfriend for dinner. Mikey goes home and after walking through the front door, he hears muffled sounds coming from the bedroom. Slowly and quietly, Mikey cracks open the door and sees his boss in the room with his girlfriend. So he quietly closes the door and leaves. The next day, his colleague asks Mikey if he wanted to leave early again and Mikey says, “Are you crazy, we can’t leave early again, I almost got caught.”
In addition to stopping production of Hummels, Goebel has also announced that the Goebel Information Center and the M.I. Hummel Club Center, both in Rodental, Germany will close within the next couple of months. The International Club Convention in Germany which supposed to have been held on October 17-18, 2008 has also been cancelled. However, as of this writing, the 2009 International Club Convention that is scheduled to take place in September 2009 in Western New York (Buffalo and Niagrara Falls, New York) area is still a go.
It seems that in these economic conditions people are trying to find other ways to invest their money. We are no different from anyone else and although we are not wealthy and don’t have a big portfolio, we have started looking for other ways invest. In our quest, we have discovered that one thing that people still have an interest in and can relate to is books and in particular old and vintage first edition books. So when we were offered some books for sale recently we started doing a little research because we didn’t know the first thing about how to collect books and how to tell edition book from another. One thing we found out for certain, is that we are not alone.
Our research indicates that collecting first edition books can be a bit frustrating because it is not easy to identify them. Although the Library of Congress and the copyright laws require that publishers list certain information on the books copyright page, different publishers have different ways of including that information. What makes this even more difficult is the date in which the book was first published, because depending on the age, it may have been previous to the existing copyright laws. In these cases, you must consult the author’s bibliography, some of which you may find on the Internet. The first place to look however is on the copyright page of the book.