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Topic: any Nancy Drew experts? - need advice

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Subject: any Nancy Drew experts? - need advice
Date Posted: 10/25/2014 11:32 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2007
Posts: 31
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Hi all;


I have a complete collection of the first series of Nancy Drew books, I think 56 or so titles.  But they're made up of two different styles of covers, and I'd like to get them all in one style.  (For reference, see a comparison at:  http://nancydrewcovers.weebly.com/)

Most of the books are in the style on the left; the copyright is 1959, and there is no ISBN number.  The type on the right has a copyright of "1987, 1959, 1930", and there is an ISBN number.

My question is: other than using an RC, how could I request the earlier style?  (If there was an ISBN, I could just request by that.)  Any suggestions would be appreciated.




Date Posted: 10/26/2014 1:06 AM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2007
Posts: 1,020
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I don't know of any way to request specific editions other than using an RC.

However, RC's can be tailored to apply to specific requests, and conditions specific to particular books can then be removed or altered after the requests have been made. This allows some flexibility to request specific editions.

It's a bit complicated in this case, however, because PBS does not require that cover images show a specific edition of a book as long as the title, author, ISBN and binding of the posted book match the listing.

In your case, if the cover in the listing matches the one you want, then your RC could state that the cover/edition must match the one shown in the listing and that you are looking for that specific edition only. If the title in the listing is the one you want but the cover shown does not match, then you could include a URL in the RC that shows the edition you want, and state that you want only that edition.

Since the editions you want are pre-ISBN, it is probably best to request and inquire about only those books that have been posted with the short 6-digit PBS-assigned number rather than books posted with the 10- and 13-digit ISBNs since the latter would not be of interest if the member posted the book(s) correctly.

Best of luck!

Last Edited on: 10/26/14 1:08 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/26/2014 1:23 AM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2007
Posts: 1,020
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I remember growing up with Nancy Drew books in the style shown on the left in the link given in the original post, http://nancydrewcovers.weebly.com/.

We probably had about 15 to 20 of these in our house, and I fondly remember my mother reading them aloud to my sisters and me.

Subject: Not an expert...
Date Posted: 10/26/2014 1:03 PM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2009
Posts: 332
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I seem to remember reading that the text of some of the very early Nancy Drew books was changed sometime in the 1950s, to make them seem less dated to teenagers. I know the illustrations were changed at least once, so Nancy wouldn't look so old-fashioned. I can't remember whether all the changes took place in an edition of the books published in a particular year, or if it was more piecemeal. Your library might have one or more of the books about the series, and you could probably find out about the dates of the changes there... Oh wait!.... this is the computer age - there are probably several Nancy Drew websites that'd give you the info.

Happy hunting.

Date Posted: 10/26/2014 2:20 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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I semi-seriously collected Nancy Drew books at one point and if you are serious about acquiring older editions, the end papers (rather than the covers) give the clearest indication of when they were printed.  You can find some info here.

But, honestly. as someone who continuously keeps an eye out, PBS isn't really the best place to find these books as the system isn't set up the narrow down specific editions of books pre-ISBN usage. I've found most of mine (and none recently) at garage sales, etc. Some on ebay. Your best bet here would be to order non-isbn versions of the books you want, but you are still most likely to receive the (dreadfully, IMO) abridged versions from the 60s that have the covers you don't want.

Another option would be to keep an eye out for the beautiful facsimile editions that were published a while ago. But, those are also OOP and both expensive and difficult to find. Nancy Drew books are one of the most collected series, which is a double edged sword: there are both a lot of books on the market (good!), but LOTS of people want them (bad!).