Saturday, February 19, 2022

Hold On To Your Darlings

DEBORAH CROMBIE: A few weeks ago I ran across a new book about Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows that sounded interesting, and feeling nostalgic for Mole and Toad and the rest of the crew, I thought I'd skim through my copy of Willows

I couldn't find it. I knew exactly what it looked like, with its Ernest Shepard illustrations, and I thought I knew exactly where it was. (I have a shelving system that makes sense to me, if to no one else!) I'm usually pretty good at putting my hands on a book, but not this time. After more frustrated searching, I thought I'd order a copy, but I wanted a hardcover with the Shepard illustrations.

Mine looked like this.


It turns out that you can't buy a new hardcover of The Wind in the Willows with the Shepard illustrations. I did, however, find a used copy online. There was only one little problem. 

It was $11,000!

Eeek. Now I can't guarantee that mine was the 1931 1st edition, although it certainly looked like it. It had been around as long as I can remember, so I surmise it was probably bought for my brother, who was ten years older than me, in the 1940s.

This sent me into a panic about some of my other treasured books, so I had to check that my set of Shepard-illustrated A.A. Milnes were still exactly where I thought they should be.


These are 1950 editions, so I'm sure they were bought for me. I thought maybe I should look them up!

This set I found online is a mere $275!


Maybe I should lock mine up!

But wait, the drama continues. Having enjoyed Kim Fay's novel LOVE AND SAFFRON so much, I had a hankering to read Helen Hanff's #84 Charing Cross Road again, so I went looking for my copy. Alas, no luck there, either. Mine looked like this. First edition, natch.


So I looked online for a used copy, and I found one.

It was only $525!

There is a wee bit of comfort to this tale. I ordered myself a (only slightly abridged) copy of The Wind in the Willows illustrated by Inga Moore, and it is a treasure. The illustrations are really breathtaking, if missing some of the charm of the original Shepards.



And I bought a very dull paperback copy of #84 Charing Cross Road.


But fortunately I loved the book just as much as I remembered.

So, dear readers, if you have books you think might be valuable, don't let them walk off with the book gremlins!

Has anyone else suffered a similar calamity?


97 comments:

  1. Oh, Debs, I’m sure your missing books will turn up and you’ll say, “Now why in the world did I put that book there?”

    I don’t know that any of my books are worth a great deal of money [maybe I should check], but they’re mine and they’re special to me, so I’ll try to keep track of them . . . .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope they do, Joan. Not that I would sell them.

      Delete
  2. I have had some books I couldn't find for the longest time, but eventually, I ran across them. I usually have a pretty good idea where things are on my condo, but every so often, things walk away from me and it takes a while to find them again.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Debs, I'm rooting for you to find those books. I doubt that you would want to sell them, but it would be nice to have them close. When Harry Potter first came to the U.S., I was there. My son's elementary school had a Scholastic book fair, and I was looking for something to keep him interested in reading. I was in charge of the book fair, so I was there quite a bit. There were two copies of the first Harry Potter book,Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Nobody was looking at the book or talking about it, not even teachers. It was the calm before the storm. I can honestly answer "yes" to the question, "Do you even remember a time when Harry Potter books weren't popular?" Well, I bought one of the copies (now I wish I'd bought them both) and the other copy got sent back at the end of the book fair. I've read some places that the first edition U.S. copy is worth around $6,500, but I need to check once more that mine has the proper numbers in it. Of course, I have first U.S. editions of all the Harry Potter books, actually two of every one after the first. My son would read one copy and I would read the other. Neither of us wanted to wait for the other one to finish to read it. I have some actual "old books," but I don't think they are monetarily worth a lot. Of course, that's not why we keep them and love them, is it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kathy, our sons must be the same age! I hope he has hung onto his set of Harry Potter books, but if he did, they're in storage at his father's place. Maybe I'll ask to take custody of them next time he's home from Puerto Rico. I wouldn't mind a binge re-read.

      Delete
    2. Eeek, Kathy, hang on to that one!!

      Delete
    3. My children have the distinction of having met JK Rowling at Books of Wonder in NYC at a book signing. She and Lynne Reid Banks (Indian in the Cupboard) were there for a reading and signing. We are friends with the book store owner (the BEST store anywhere!) and he asked the kids to help Ms. Rowling with her signing. They met her and her daughter and had a great time. We have a signed book and poster that they periodically photograph to prove to friends that they really were there. Oddly, the book was a second edition, not a first, but it's signed to them.

      Delete
    4. Edith, Kevin is 34, will be 35 this year. I'm so glad to say that he kept reading beyond the Harry Potter books. My daughter is a read, too. She's 38, but, unfortunately, I didn't have that magical reading experience with a series with her. Oh, and I have custody of the Harry Potter books for sure. Debs, I'm hanging on to it and won't let go. Libby, what an amazing experience for your children! You have friends in the right places.

      Delete
  4. My childhood Winnie-the-Pooh set of stories and poems looks exactly like your, Debs. I confess I'm not sure where they are now, but probably in my sister's house. I'll cling to that thought and hope it's true. What I have that gives me great joy is a row of elderly Dr. Seuss books that belonged to my mother and her younger brothers. They are so yellowed, beat up, mended, and re-mended that no one would pay a penny for them, but they have obviously been read and loved for many years. Horton Hatches the Egg: a great book about kindness, courage, integrity, and justice--not to mention full of terrific rhymes! If you haven't read it recently, have a look at it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those are treasures, Kim! And I haven't read them in a long time, although I think I do have a couple that were my daughter's. So much reading with my granddaughter I've missed out on the last two years.

      Delete
    2. Yes, hmm. I have those, too...from when I was a kid.

      Delete
  5. Wow, Debs! $11,000 Uh, no.

    I think I have an old collection of Milne poems.
    From "Disobedience" -
    James James
    Morrison Morrison
    Weatherby George Dupree
    Took great
    Care of his Mother,
    Though he was only three.
    James James Said to his Mother,
    "Mother," he said, said he;
    "You must never go down
    to the end of the town,
    if you don't go down with me."
    My sisters and I used to recite that all the time.

    I also have four or five very old Oz books. If they aren't first editions, they're close. And a much read and worn Mother Goose that was my mother's, making it nearly 100 years old by now.

    Does it count that I have a first edition of Hallie's Come and Find Me? I just checked and - it's not signed! Hallie, I might have to take a drive south and have you sign it when the weather warms up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Disobedience is in When We Were Very Young. So many wonderful poems in that book. I remember reading them over and over! "They're changing guard at Buckingham Palace--Christopher Robin went down with Alice."

      Delete
    2. That's one of the poems I know by heart! SO hilarious. "If people go down to the end of the town, what can anyone do?"

      Delete
  6. I have lots of modern First Editions, but nothing of such value!

    Fortunately, I can easily keep track of where my thousands of books are shelved. All the books are organized in alphabetical order by author/title and are located in one of 3 places at home: the dedicated library, my TBR mountain in the bedroom, and my cookbooks/work-related/immediate TBR stack in the living room. And all the books are catalogued using Collectorz book software. There is a also feature in the database where I can keep track of books I loan out (to friends).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm impressed. I don't even have the books on my Kindle organized. And we purged so much a few years ago -- for that you can read "my books" as Julie kept most of hers!

      I now keep only first editions that are signed. Nothing is valuable yet, but some day ...

      Delete
    2. ANN: My anal personality makes it a necessity to keep books in order.
      It also allows me to find a book shelved (on one of my 22 bookcases) within a few seconds.

      P.S. You can imagine how stressed out I was when the movers packed and then unpacked my books out of order when I moved from Toronto to Ottawa 8 years ago! It took several days to put them all in correct order.

      Delete
    3. Grace, it must be hard adding new books to such an organized collection. Do you have to keep moving things around? And what do you do when you run out of shelf space?

      Delete
    4. DEBS: I have learned from experience. I now leave some free space on each shelf row of most of my 22 bookcases so that I do not have to shift a lot of books when I add a new one!

      And I do have plans (and available wall space) to buy more bookcases when I need to.

      Delete
    5. Good for you, Grace! Leaving a little space at shelf end is essential.

      Delete
  7. I have most of the children's books assembled in one place, including Arthur books Marc Brown autographed for my kids, the original Magic School bus books, and the Harry Potter series. I do have Wind in the Willows from my childhood.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those autographed Marc Browns are a treasure, Margaret! And you might want to have a look at your Wind in the Willows!

      Delete
    2. Found! copyright 1908,1933,1953 Scribner's
      Color pictures copyright 1959 Ernest Shepard
      inscribed to me from my aunt.

      Delete
  8. Debs! who is stealing your books?? I ADORE The Wind in the Willows--one of my all-time favorites. Others are EB White--we used to listen to The Trumpet of the Swan when we were on long car trips with the kids. John and I recited lines from that for years.

    All my old books are in CT. I'll have to look when we're back.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We had cassette tapes of EB White reading Charlotte's Web, Roberta! Many a car trip to my sister's in Quebec and back were spent listening to him read his own book. Priceless.

      Delete
    2. I have a copy of Charlotte's Web. Somewhere. I think. I really am going to have to go through all the books.

      Delete
    3. Roberta, you should take a look at the The Wind in the Willows with the Inga Moore illustrations. It really is lovely.

      Delete
  9. Irwin is adamantly that we get rid of our books. He is furious that the little bookcase in the office is filling up again. (Thanks JRW. Thanks FCF.) When I think of the fabulous library at my parents' home with hundreds of books that I could not give away, especially the huge "coffee table art" books, I still feel ill. If anything of mine is missing, there's a good chance that it is really, truly gone. I am aware that many books are collectable, but probably none of mine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JUDY: Stand firm about your books! Tell Irwin there are many worse addiction than a book addiction!!

      Delete
    2. Rick gripes at me about the books all the time, too, Judy, and I have to admit they do come into the house at an alarming rate... The other day he came into the kitchen and said, "Do you realize there are piles of books in every room in this house?"
      "And what of it?" says I!

      And I always repeat what Grace said. There are much worse things than an addiction to books.

      Delete
    3. I just laughed so loud!! OMG, Debs. "says I!"
      What did Rick say to that?

      You are both right, there are worse addictions. But I come from a family of hoarders (on both sides) and he comes from the "throw it away" crowd. Hey, at least we're both fans of the same baseball team. In Connecticut there are lots of mixed marriages (Yankees/Sox).

      Delete
    4. Tell Irwin “no books, no (whatever his equivalent is, tools, perhaps?)”. Why get rid of books? What harm did they ever do?

      Delete
    5. Deborah, in reply to the books in every room remark, just answer “it’s called organization!”

      Delete
    6. My husband will occasionally gripe about all my books, mostly all the overflow that aren't on the many shelves I have. I do have some of them in baskets and a couple of copper tubs, and there's my book round table in my bedroom, but there are the stacks, too. I have recently done some weeding, but my husband knows by now who he's married to and can expect a flippant reply if he addresses my number of books.

      Delete
  10. I've probably let go of lots of valuable books unknowingly over the years. We have a copy of The Omnibus of Crime, edited by Dorothy Sayers, second printing, 1929. Pretty sure it has virtually no value, except to an avid crime reader. It's missing both covers, and silverfish have riddled the front pages, but it's a three-inch thick weighty tome. My copy of Anatomy of a Murder is probably only in a slightly less disreputable state.

    A friend gave me a completely charming little book, with hand-colored illustrations, printed in 1915, The Brownies and the Goblins by N Moore Banta and Alpha Banta Benson. But most of our really old books were either donated or sold several years ago.

    Kathy, I'll have to ask my daughter about the status of her Harry Potter books. We certainly stood in line at midnight a couple times for them, and she also has copies she bought in England and in Italy when she was in those countries as a teenager.

    We do have book illustrations, though, that have been framed. Two lovely, hand-colored pages from Gould's book on hummingbirds of the world, wedding gifts from a family friend, and one huge and extremely hideous John J Audubon of a wolf. The Audubon was not kept well, and had mold inside the glass, so the framer wouldn't touch it. She took it outside the shop, blew off the visible mildew as well as she could with a hand puffer, wrapped it in paper, and handed it back to me. It would cost an arm and a leg to frame, too.

    You tell me if you'd want this thing on your wall: https://ebth-com-production.imgix.net/2014/05/22/15/28/27/221/542.JPG?ixlib=rb-3.1.0&w=880&h=880&fit=crop&crop=&auto=format

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had to look it up, Karen! And, no, not something I'd really want hanging in my living room!

      Your comment got me looking through my Harry Potter books. I'm missing the first two, and they were the British Bloomsbury editions. Fingers crossed that Kayti has them. I would never have given them away.

      Delete
    2. Hmmm...I'm looking through the Harry Potters, too.

      Delete
    3. Karen, my son and I went to the midnight events for the Harry Potter books, too, and one time we made the local paper being interviewed at one. Such a thrill then. And, a hard no to the wolf pic.

      Delete
  11. How interesting that this topic came up today. As I was tidying up for the cleaner a couple of days ago, I picked up my copy of Little Women, twenty bucks on ebay. But what was wonderful was the inscription.

    Dec 3 1950
    Happy Birthday Ann
    Love, Helen and Mary Ann

    I thought and thought who those people might be, and then I remembered.
    Helen was my third grade teacher, and Mary Ann was her sister.

    They invited me to their apartment for dinner, and I got all dressed up in a green taffeta number with a gold belt. I can't remember what was served, but I was over the moon at being asked to come. It probably wasn't my birthday but it was close to it. And they gave me a copy of what would be perhaps my favorite book of all time.

    I then wrote an explanation below their inscription, so that I could give this to my only granddaughter when she visits me in a couple of months, to keep for her daughter when she has one.

    Or sell on ebay for twenty bucks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a wonderful memory, Ann! I love that you were already a reader--although I'll bet that most of us here were avid readers by third grade.

      Delete
    2. I can’t remember not reading. Certainly by second grade I was done with picture books and had moved on to chapter books. And it was a foregone conclusion that books were read over and over.

      Delete
    3. Oh Ann, the best books come with such stories. Those ladies gave you an experience, and book, to cherish always.

      Delete
  12. DEBS,

    How timely because I have too many books! I have an old Winnie Pooh book from my childhood. POOH AT THE CORNER is the title. I will need to take a gander at the inside cover to see when it was published.

    Usually I keep books, especially books that are now out of print like the Alex Plumtree series by Julie Kaewert or the Dutchman in NYC series by Maan Meyers.

    How do we decide which books to keep or donate?

    Diana

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. DIANA: Wow, Julie Kaewert's name is a blast from the past (1990s). I enjoyed reading and own her Alex Plumtree books.

      Delete
    2. I loved those Julie Kaewert books, Diana! In fact, I might still have them! Does anyone know what happened to her?

      Delete
    3. Julie Kaewert still has a website, and one web page states the Alex Plumtree books will continue with a new series. "The completed but as yet unpublished historical Plumtree prequel, Unlocked, contains the Easter egg that sets the stage for this new series."

      https://juliewkaewert.com/novels/biblioadventures/

      Delete
    4. By luck, I discovered her Alex Plumtree mysteries around 1996 at a local indie bookshop in Berkeley, CA. I loved the book so much that I bought all of the books on the backlist.

      Looks like she grew up in Nebraska. Although she worked in Bedford Square, London and lived in England for a while, it looks like she is back living in Nebraska now?

      Here is a link to a website about Julie Kaewert:

      https://lincolnlibraries.org/bookguide/booklists/julie-kaewert/

      Delete
  13. I have all the AA Milnes Bought in the 1940s. Also The Water Babies, Black Beauty and several others. I gave daughter Jane the complete set of Beatrix Potter which may have been John’s mother’s but we do have the original Little Black Sambo from the late 1800s. Perhaps I’m sitting on a goldmine!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My illustrated copy of Black Beauty says 1927, Rhys. And Treasure Island is 1925. I should probably look those up! I don't know what happened to my original Beatrix Potters, unfortunately.

      Delete
  14. I had never paid any attention to the collectible value of books, and it was my own darn first book that brought it to my attention! There were only 4, 000 first printings of IN THE BLEAK MIDWINTER, and a few years after it came out, a bookseller at one of the conventions pointed out a good quality signed "true first" addition was going for about $400. $400! Why hadn't I saved all of my 10 author copies instead of signing a fusive dedication to my mom, and my father-in-law, etc. I could have had some real money in the bank.

    Anyway, that made me aware that some of the books I have may now are in the future prove to be quite valuable, so I have told my kids when I go toes up, make sure you check each and every book before selling or giving it away. Fortunately, the Maine Millennial is trained as a librarian and archivist, so I know I'm leaving my collection in good hands.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the first editions of A SHARE IN DEATH run about the same, Julia. It was a small printing. But now I have to go look for my copy of IN THE BLEAK MIDWINTER! (Promise I won't sell it:-))

      Delete
    2. Oh, I'm pretty sure I have that, too....looking now....

      Delete
    3. When I began to read the Gemma/Duncan series, there was one that I couldn't get through the library, so I started to buy them. Now I understand a bit more about "out of print" than I used to.

      Delete
    4. Julia, you are responsible for me having a $400 copy of In the Bleak Midwinter. At the St. Pete Bouchercon, I had just purchased a first edition of your book (I think from Mystery Mike's). You were sitting right outside the book room door signing books. I brought it to you to sign and told you to just put To Kathy with your signature. You looked at me and told me I might want to just get your signature in it for collector's value. I followed your advice, and it is one of my most prized books. Of course, I won't ever sell it, but it was nice of you to make it so collectible.

      Delete
  15. My aunt gave me a very old and falling apart thick book that seems to be about veterinary medicine. No, I am wrong. It's a reference book on domestic family health. Must be the only time I looked through it there was a page on cow or sheep health. It was published in 1864. There is a name inside that I recognize as a family name so it must have belonged to a great uncle or great great uncle, or older.

    My aunt gave it to me because I was always asking what happened to the baby care book my grandmother used to have. It was in a glass fronted cabinet with other books and I used to love to pull it out and read it from time to time. It was published in the very early part of the 20th century. All I really remember about it was that it was important that baby get fresh air every day, so put him out in his carriage on the porch, summer and winter!

    Another book I associate with my grandmother was Wind in the Willows. I'm not sure if she owned the book or kept borrowing it from the library. It was well used, I remember that. This was in the early Fifties.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Getting the baby fresh air every day sounds very British, Judi!

      Delete
    2. I don't know who wrote the book or where it was published, but I do think that was the advice given even here in this country. I remember Anne Lindbergh had written something similar in one of her early books. But perhaps their nannies were British-trained.

      Delete
  16. Oh gosh my house is SO awash in books. Jerry was a book collector and I'm wading hip deep in books. Can I just say actually SELLING a book for $100 is a big leap from finding out it's "worth" $100.

    The books is KNOW my kids want me to keep are the Stupids books (written by Harry Allard; illustrated by James Marshall. The family favorite: THE STUPIDS DIE (turns out they're not dead; they're in Philadelphia). They also will want me to keep the Little Bear books. And the Frances the Badger books. And ALL the bird books (a roomful).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, we found that out, too, Hallie. Just because it's "worth" something doesn't necessarily mean anyone will pay that much for it.

      Delete
    2. Yes, actually selling it for that is a different deal...

      Delete
    3. Hallie, those The Stupids books were so funny. I surely must have some of them somewhere. And, the Little Bear books and Frances the Badger were great, too.

      Your mention of bear books reminds me of the very old book I have entitled "Randolph, the Bear Who Said No" by Faith Nelson published in the mid 1940s. It is one of my little treasures, even though it must have originally belonged to one of my older sisters. It's not monetarily worth a lot, from $20 to $40 resale, but it means the world to me.

      Delete
  17. Okay, I went to my shelf where the Children's Books live and found my copy of Wind in the Willows.
    Methuen & Co. Check. On the copyright page, it says
    "This book was first issued on October 8th 1908, since when it has been reprinted in a variety of editions, illustrated and unillustrated, ninety-one times.
    Ninety-second edition, 1949"

    It's one of the unillustrated editions. :^( But there are uncredited character drawings on the flyleaves. Probably Shepard. It would have come from some sale at some time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the Shepard illustrations were first printed in the 1931 edition, if I remember what I was reading last night.

      Delete
  18. Oh, Deb, I feel your pain! I hope your copies turn up.

    My high school was located on the grounds of an estate that had been donated to the Srs. of St. Dominick. The original house was built by a well-known area physician and his library became the seed of the high school library. Fifty years later, I was a high school junior serving as president of the library council. The school had decided to "upgrade" the library and was eliminating some of the old, original, books from the doctor's collection. Most were being donated throughout the diocese schools. Some were deemed too old. I asked if I could have them. Among the discards were a 1st edition of Robert Burns poetry, and a first edition of Rudyard Kipling's Kim. Kim is my real name, Kait's a pen name. I don't know why these books weren't valued and sold, but it was well before ebay. I proudly took those, and a number of other "old" books home. While I was in college, my mother gave the books to my brother to start his library as he had bought his first home. I thought it would be churlish to ask for them back, so I never did.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, Kait. You should at least let him know that they are valuable. Assuming he still has them!

      Delete
    2. He sadly passed away last February. I never questioned him about it because he and his first wife had a huge fight one night and for some reason books ended up going into the fireplace. I never wanted to know if my books were among them.

      Delete
  19. My signed copy of the hardcover of Hank’s The Other Woman disappeared two years ago. I have taken every book off every bookshelf, and it’s nowhere to be found. I strongly suspect that one of my sisters borrowed it when I was in the hospital a couple of years ago. She sometimes borrows one of my books when she’s here. She stayed at my condo for the first couple of days I was in the hospital, I’ve even asked her about it, but she doesn’t remember seeing it. I have a paperback copy that I bought to lend to people, and that’s still there. But I really want to find the signed hardcover!

    DebRo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, you are too fabulous! I have a few hardcover first editions, and I will happily send you a signed one! Signed to you, or just signed? Just email me your address! xxxx

      Delete
    2. Hank,
      What a sweet thing to offer! I just sent you my mailing address. Let me know if you did not receive it. I would love one signed to me personally, like the one that went missing.
      Many thanks and hugs!
      DebRo

      Delete
  20. To the best of my knowledge, I've never had any books that would be considered valuable...monetarily speaking. Of course my signed books are priceless to me but that's a different kind of value.

    The only "old" book that I have (that isn't one of my mother's massive collection of Kennedy family books) is a collection of the Sherlock Holmes stories that belonged to my Dad. If I remember correctly, this edition was published in the 50's. It's a little beat up but fully intact. However, I doubt it is a high value book. But once again, it is priceless to me because it was my dad and he gave it to me because of my love of both Holmes and mysteries in general. And I know right where it is (slightly hidden from prying eyes).

    ReplyDelete
  21. I remember as a little girl going with my mom to a toy store that also sold books; I had The Story of the Buttercup Fairy, and Barbara Lamb, by Cam. As the oldest cousin, those must have been passed down. Years later I looked them up online - what was more shocking to me than the current prices was that the illustrations were completely different from what I remembered!

    ReplyDelete
  22. I know, I just KNOW, that somewhere in this house is a first edition of The Thurber Carnival. Before my mom died, she asked me if there was anything of hers that I wanted, and that was one of the very few things. Did it ever actually get to me? I can't remember..but it was supposed to. Hmmm. I am calling my sister. I also have a copy of Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail, signed to me by Hunter S. Thompson--and what makes it cool is that it's an edition that next went on sale--Hunter said it was so badly printed that he demanded to whole print run be destroyed. But he kept a few of them, and I have one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love James Thurber- his humor and his drawings! My The Thurber Carnival is not a first edition but has printed on the copyright page: This book is complete and unabridged in contents, and is manufactured in strict conformity with Government regulations for saving paper. Ah, wartime regulations.

      Delete
    2. Hank, the Thompson might be valuable, dollar-wise, but probably immensely more valuable to you!

      Delete
  23. And Debs, they are SOMEWHERE! And will turn up. Especially with all the energy from this blog!

    ReplyDelete
  24. I'm wondering if your daughter borrowed your missing books to read to your granddaughter and they were packed up when they moved? I doubt I have first generation printing of anything. But those books from grandma's and mom's bookshelves are priceless to me.

    ReplyDelete
  25. If you read Helene Hanff's other books you'd know how much she'd appreciate (and needed during her life) that $525 edition. :-) A few days ago I listened to her Desert Island Disc recording via the BBC. (https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p009mtfv) I don't think any of my paperback copies of her books are worth anything more than the enjoyment they bring me. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did read The Duchess of Bloomsbury--no luck finding my copy of that, either, but I would love to read her other books. She was an autodidact, and so interesting.

      Delete
    2. My sister-in-law, bless her!, found me a mix of new and used copies of several of Hanff's books about 10 years ago. I wonder how hard they'd be to find now? "Q's Legacy" explains why she wants the specific books she's ordering in "84, Charing Cross Road." One of her earliest books, "Underfoot in Show Business" is available as an ebook.

      Delete
  26. ALL my books excepting a couple dozen on the TBR shelf are organized by genre, then by author with series in order. If I know the title and author I can find the book in the time it takes to go to the proper room and scan the shelf.

    In the mid 1960s I replaced my spent, worn out, ragged copies of Wind In The Willows, and of the four Milne books of Pooh and poems, with new copies, which, though carefully reread many times are still pristine. Yes, they have the Shepard illustrations.

    Want a hard find? Try getting something by Holling Clancy Holling, particularly Seabird, or Minn of the Mississippi, or Paddle to the Sea. Such wonderful books!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rick, I do remember them. Still around in my early children's librarian days and considered "classics" then

      Delete
  27. By which I meant a first edition…

    ReplyDelete
  28. And now I'm in a panic checking my shelves!!!! LOL. Thanks for sharing, Debs. Between us, Hub and I have some very very old books from out grandparents - Shakespeare, Dickens, Bronte, etc. This reminds me to treat them with better care.

    ReplyDelete
  29. My mother's copy of Gone With the Wind. It's a 1938 edition of the book that was originally published in 1936. Given the number of reprints listed in the front matter, I'm guessing it's a 44th printing. At one point the book was held together with duct tape but several years ago I had it rebound.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I inherited a early 20th Century vintage recipe book, I believe from Delmonicos, from my grandfather. The book measured 12h X 8w x 5d, bound in deep blue leather with art deco decoration and type. It had some great illustrations, recipes for many fancy things as well as menus from royal visits. Useful, if you need to make timbales for 100 and had a large staff of sous chefs. It was the most valuable thing I owned at a time when I needed money to pay rent, so it went to the bookseller. While I had it, it gave me joy and then it served me in other ways. I hope someone else has enjoyed it since.

    ReplyDelete
  31. "Similar calamity?" Oh, yes! I blame it all on my mother, who had bad habit of giving my old books to my much younger cousins. (She knew not to give away my large Alcott collection though) I've had fun, and written blogs, about tracking down some of them on the used books sites like ABE. Sometimes they are now used book prices (cheap) but yes, sometimes, they are rare and way out of reach.The first book I ever read by myself, ( Mouse Manor by Edward Eager) is almost impossible to find now.It had gorgeous cover and illustrations too. And I splurged on (anyone remember this?) The 13th is Magic. About a magic 13th floor in an apartment building? Sigh. But I am pretty sure I have also "lost" books in our own bookcases over the years. I am counting on finding them when we move someday. Especially on the alert for The Hobbit with Tolkien's own illustrated cover. I KNOW I have it somewhere. Original, but not a first edition of course. Not valuable, except to me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I love Edward Eager! My very fave. Looking for both now! xxxx

      Delete
    2. I splurged on the illustrated anniversary edition of The Hobbit, because I could only find my old ratty paperback.

      Somehow I never read Edward Elgar!

      Delete
    3. Mouse Manor was Eager's first book, I think,a picture story reminiscent of Beatrix Potter. He went on to write the beloved fantasies for older kids that began with Half Magic. Not hard to find - they are in paperback- but not Mouse Manor.

      Delete
  32. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  33. No no no no no... When we moved 4 years ago I made an inventory of all my belongings and moved the boxes of books and collectibles by hand from one house to the other. I have special shelves in the hallway up high away from small hands for my rare books and reference collection. I have my grandmother's copies of A.A. Milne's "When We Were Very Young" and "Now We Are Six". Not first printings but very early copies. Downstairs on the please nieces and nephews read a real book without pictures is my early paperback of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. No luck intersting the kids so I suppose when I'm no longer able to recall my college semester abroad working at Bloomsbury, the nieces and nephews can sell it and split the money.

    ReplyDelete