November 08, 2013

Lots of Neat Books

by Alan Beatts

I'm afraid that I don't have anything for this month's article because I'm too busy cataloging books.  Which is sort of neat in its own right.  Early in October I bought an entire collection (135 boxes worth of one, to be precise).  Suffice to say that is _a lot_ of books.  Right now the back room consists of stacks of boxes as high as my head with aisles so we can get to the back door.

So, I've been spending every minute that I can spare sorting books, checking prices, and getting them onto the shelves.  It's been fun.  I haven't done something like this in years and it's nice to get into the "bookseller groove".  It's also been fun to see how prices have changed.  It's not a surprise to me that a good copy of The Outsider And Others by Lovecraft is still selling for $2000.  After all, it was the first book that Arkham House ever published as well as being the first hardcover collection of Lovecraft's work.

It was, however, surprising that a first edition hardcover of my friend Richard Morgan's first novel, Altered Carbon, is now worth about $300.  It seems like just yesterday that we were selling those British hardcovers for cover price (plus shipping, but there you go).

I also ran across one of the nicest, brightest copies of The House On The Borderlands by William Hope Hodgson that I've seen in a long time.  It's a lovely early Arkham House title with full color cover art by Hieronymus Bosch Hannes Bok.  Sadly the cover is quite sensitive to fading in bright sunlight so most of the copies out there have very faded spines.  This one, however, does not.

There have been lots of other neat things like --

A first edition of The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie (I was doing security work for Tower Records when people were making bomb threats about that one)
A first of Rosemary's Baby
A complete set of Burton's translation of The Arabian Nights (all 17 volumes)
A hardcover set of Ken MacLeod's Fall Revolution novels (which I took for my own collection)
A nearly complete run of all of Subterranean Press' titles, including the three-volume boxed sets of their first two published novellas
Quite a few nice, signed Fritz Leiber novels, including one of my favorites, Night's Black Agents.
A few signed books by Ray Bradbury
First hardcovers of all four of the Hyperion Cantos by Dan Simmons.

As you may guess, it's a nice collection and I'm quite pleased to have it in the store.  I'll be getting it inventoried and up on the shelves over the next month or so.  If you're looking for some nice books, you might want to stop in once a week or so.  Or, check our inventory online.

Until next month, it's back to the computer.

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