Ray offers a peek into the mysterious world of book-buying at Curious.
This chronicles the evening of Monday, November 26th 2012.
I never know from one day to the next what we'll have access to. Today was no exception!
I try to encourage people to set up appointments; I'm generally available to buy items in the shop from 3 until 7:30 PM, Monday Friday and Saturday - but it's always best to call first.
First in to sell items was a man who'd called and set up an appointment. He brought in a big Walt Disney Mickey Mouse book and some items he inherited from his father.
Unfortunately, the Disney book's cover was soiled - I passed on it; while the contents were in nice shape, the exterior discoloration would turn a lot of people off. It just wasn't "gift" condition, and we see this book frequently.
He also had some items from the Korean War, a book from the U.S.S. Pittsburgh and a military scrapbook from the war with many black and white photos. There were also a few large photographs of the crew, but these were damaged, almost torn in two.
While I do have customers for these types of items, we didn't agree on a price; I suggested that he might want to donate them to the Michigan Historical Museum - and honor his father permanently. It would be ideal for researchers and historians.
We talked about the decreasing number of collectors of this type of material - and the fact that more items like these were surfacing as World War II and Korean War veterans are passing away with increasing regularity.
He decided to take them home and think about what he was going to do. I gave him a card and would be interested in buying them, but I have to make a profit. These items are not fast sellers, but they are still pretty interesting.
Next in was a man with a big bag of old "girlie" magazines - but most were in poor shape, with covers coming off. I don't have much demand for men's magazines but I can use those types of magazines in nice condition, from the 1950s and 1960s.
We also had the usual people trying to sell old textbooks - and advised them to go nearby textbook shops.
A man came in with an item, carefully packed in plastic, that he wanted to sell. It was a Flash Gordon Big Little Book from the late 1930s - but it was only in good condition. There was lots of cover wear to the exterior and penciling inside. He had great expectations - he said that one company said it could be worth up to $307 - but he'd have to send it to them, first.
He decided to bring it to us - but his copy was not in desirable condition; we currently have over 60 Big Little Books in stock in nice shape! On items of this type, condition is exceptionally important - and copies that are only in Fair or Good condition are notoriously slow sellers.
Earlier in the day I brought in some boxes of hardbacks and paperbacks that I'd acquired from the estates of two professors - art books and useful volumes of lecture and poetry.
We also acquired an interesting wooden bookcase from a local estate sale; it is only a foot wide, but six feet tall, with adjustable shelves!
Audrey had the bright idea of putting it next to our stairway leading to the basement. It fits perfectly. Now, we just have to figure out what we'll going to put on display!
Other items that we put out today included a nice selection of Tolkien-related books. In a few weeks, we'll send to auction a FIRST AMERICAN EDITION of Tolkien's The Hobbit, in Good condition.
We currently are offering an original gouache painting by Rowena Morrill on Ebay. It was used as the cover art for The Dracula Book of Great Vampire Stories!
Other items we made available today were a large number of 1950s Dell TARZAN comics, including a few scarce Four-Color issues. We added a number of SIGNED FIRST EDITIONS of science fiction novels and anthologies signed or inscribed by Hugo-Award winning author Clifford D. Simak.
I also dug out a box of books that had been somewhat buried. I priced and shelved a few more Cherry Ames books in dust jackets, and Nancy Drew, too. There are many interesting books awaiting plastic wraps. They'll appear on our shelves soon.
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Ray offers a peek into the mysterious world of book-buying at Curious.
Sunday, November 18, 2012
Thursday, November 15, 2012
Find the PERFECT Gift at Curious - Gift Certificates on Sale! - Comics, Pulps and more at CLASSICON 42 this SATURDAY - November 2012 Curious Book Shop Curiosities Newsletter
Greetings, Friends of Curious!
It's been a busy month at the book shop.
Thank you, all who came down to help celebrate our 43rd anniversary!
We hope you found fabulous deals and reveled in our nostalgia-steeped shop.
The holidays are nearly upon us.
Curious is your one-stop shop for affordable, unique, unexpected gifts sure to delight
your favorite book lover, historian, movie buff, hunter, explorer, sports fan or young reader.
Need help finding the right thing for that someone special?
Ask us! We'll point you in the right direction, and help you find unique items sure to please.
30% OFF Travel, Cooking and Oversized Sports & Entertainment Books
20% OFF Gift Certificates (for a limited time)
Russian history, vintage comics, beautifully illustrated children's classics,
a selection of early issues of High Times and Harvard Lampoon,
Charlie Brown cartoon books, chess books, magic books, science and biology,Gourmet and Saveur magazines, 20+ years of National Geographic,
recent mystery and general fiction bestsellers, science fiction and fantasy paperbacks,
books in German, French, Latin and Russian, and art and architecture hardcovers.
Numerous paperback mysteries by Ellis Peters and William Kent Gardner,
Also, we've recently acquired beautiful editions of Tolkien's novels published by the Folio Society.
They're fabulously illustrated and in slipcase. Quite a find for the discerning collector!
CLASSICON IS COMING!
Join us THIS SATURDAY, November 17, for Classicon 42.
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. at the University Quality Inn, near Frandor (in Lansing).
Classicon is one of the first pulp/paperback shows ever established.
There are thousands of collectable vintage comics, Pulp magazines,
digests, and paperbacks available for sale or trade.
Find out more on our website or Craigslist.
Want to exhibit? There's still time!
Call the shop (517.332.0112) and talk to Ray.
MSU's latest museum, The Broad, opened this week!
The grand opening was cause for celebration at Curious.
We've reorganized and expanded our Art History,
Art Theory, Architecture, Photography, European Art,
American Art, Asian Art, Religious Art, Museum Guides
and Arts & Crafts sections.
Ray recently reviewed the latest science fiction and fantasy novel by Jim C. Hines
Hines is a local, award-winning writer -- and a favorite at Curious!
Libriomancer, the first in a promising new series, takes place in East Lansing.
This novel features a suspiciously familiar character... an eccentric bookseller named Ray.
Is this just a coincidence?
Pick up a copy of Libriomancer and tell us what you think.
Read Ray's reveiw of Libriomancer, and the latest from Jonathan Stars, on our blog: Curiosities.
We have an especially wonderful collectors piece up for auction, this week.
Released from Ray's private collection is an original painting by Rowena Morrill.
Morrill was the 2012 World Science Fiction Convention Artist Guest of Honor.
Take a peek at the online auction.
Special Holiday Hours:
Curious will be CLOSED on Thanksgiving. Turkey! Yum!
Literary Happenings for November:
Ivan Turgenev, born Nov. 9 1818. Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. born Nov. 11, 1922.
Herman Melville's Moby Dick first published by Harper and Brothers in
New York on Nov. 14, 1981. Sylvia Beach opened her Parisian book shop,
Shakespeare & Co., on Nov. 17, 1919. George Eliot born Nov. 22, 1811.
Ray Walsh, owner and founder of Curious Book Shop, celebrates his
birthday Nov. 25th! Lewis Carroll gave his handwritten manuscript,
Alice's Adventures Underground, to Alice Liddell as an early
Christmas gift on Nov. 26, 1864. John Donne, born Nov. 27 1573.
C.S. Lewis born Nov. 29, 1898. Oscar Wilde died in Paris, Nov. 30, 1900.
Many thanks, and we hope to see you in the shop sometime soon.
Ray, Audrey and the Curious Gang
If you'd like to receive our newsletter in your email inbox, please contact us at email@example.com
Curious Book Shop
307 East Grand River
East Lansing, MI 48823
If you're trying to escape reality, here's a quick look at two intriguing new releases by local authors. Both are set in East Lansing and other Michigan locations, but are worlds apart in reality.
This review was originally published by the Lansing State Journal on Sunday, November 11, 2012.