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Topic: VIntage books

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Subject: VIntage books
Date Posted: 5/28/2008 3:43 PM ET
Member Since: 6/6/2007
Posts: 53
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I have a question that is off the subject, but I am hoping to pick the brain of people on here who would know more then I do. Yesterday I passed someone throwing out a box of books, because they were old, and that person had no use for them. So I grabbed them. (I think its a crime to trash a book)

These are really old and some are in pretty bad shape others are okay. I have never heard of most of them. I searched ebay for them and some were listed, with a buy now price of anywhere from 10 to 50 dollars. I can post a list of what they are, if someone here can tell me if they are worth anything, and what I should do about it. I dont really want to deal with ebay, and if they arent worth much then I will add them to my collection as it is cool to have books from 1908. However if soemone wanted them, I would sell them. I guess I need to know if any off you deal in old books, and could tell me what to do with them?


Date Posted: 5/28/2008 3:56 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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Tricia, I would suggest posting your query under "Club Members' Thoughts" http://www.paperbackswap.com/forum/forum.php?f=41 . 

Date Posted: 5/28/2008 4:29 PM ET
Member Since: 5/2/2008
Posts: 48
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You could also try going over to Distributed Proofreaders.  They are always looking for old books to scan and upload to Project Gutenberg.


Date Posted: 5/28/2008 5:32 PM ET
Member Since: 9/29/2005
Posts: 131
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Drool...... you've got my attention!!!   I *love* old books.   What kind of books are they?  I'm not saying I can buy any - I can't make that kind of commitment without knowing titles/prices - but ooooh, I AM curious to know what you've got!!!

Condition will make a *enormous* difference in what kind of price you can ask for them, unless they are something so rare or "special" that they are highly sought after regardless of condition    To get a better idea of what prices other sellers might be getting for the same titles, you might want to look around at Alibris,  Antiqbooks or other such sites.   You'll get a better idea of what professional book dealers are pricing similar books at, and possibly see a price range for the same title, based on condition.  It might help you get a clearer picture of what *your* copy of the book is worth, not just what someone is asking for the same title in different condition.

I've never found the book prices at Ebay to be very "accurate" overall.   I've gotten some "steals" over there, that were way WAY  under-priced for their value, and have seen many books listed that were outrageously over-priced as well .   If I do shop for books on Ebay, I'll check out the book dealer sites first to get some idea of what a average "going price" for a book is, so I have *some* idea in mind.

Date Posted: 5/28/2008 5:49 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2007
Posts: 8,139
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Is there an auction house near where you live? In particular, one that specializes in antiques? They might be able to tell you how much interest there might be from someone in your area. Some used book stores specialize in old books, but those stores are harder to come by.

You could also try AbeBooks.com and enter the titles to see if you get any hits.

Last Edited on: 5/28/08 5:50 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/28/2008 9:16 PM ET
Member Since: 9/11/2005
Posts: 905
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I would go to abebooks.com under their "advanced search" function.  Plug in the book, author, publisher and when published, and they will give you a list of asking prices for that particular book with many dealers worldwide.   That is where I looked up many of the paperbacks from the 50's that I had to estimate what they were worth before sellling them on Ebay myself----sold several hundred that way  I had hundreds of SF from the 50's that I collected while in HS (cover prices 25c-35c!)  I got quite a bit for them, though I amit it was a pain in the A** to do it, and I have stopped, but that website is very valuable because they have booksellers all over the world in their database.  I keep that "advanced book search" site on my bookmarks/fvorite places, even today. 

Date Posted: 5/28/2008 10:35 PM ET
Member Since: 1/13/2005
Posts: 2,317
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addall.com/used is also a good way to find out a general price range for the books.  It includes ABE, Alibris, and a bunch of other book sites.

Date Posted: 5/29/2008 2:04 PM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2008
Posts: 9,108
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Good for you saving those books! 

I went to an antique sale this weekend and the vendors had books (several of which would have helped complete my collection) just sitting in the rain.  What are they thinking?!?!?!  And these people make a living at this???


Subject: Books
Date Posted: 5/29/2008 5:46 PM ET
Member Since: 6/6/2007
Posts: 53
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Totally appologize- Was in the middle of working on this when it came up that we have to check my daughter back into the hospital. But while I am waiting on that, here is a list of what I have if I can get it typed quickly. I am trying to check the sites you guys have listed too. That abebooks is a cool one.


1.) Hagar by Ben and Ann Pinchot-copywright 1952-has dust cover, which is a worn, but intact. binding good pages are yelllowed from age.

2.) Things will take a turn by Beatrice Harraden-no copywright that I can find. binding intact but pages are yellowed from age.

3.)International Short Stories Vol I-Copywright 1910- binding intact but outside cover of spine is falling off. all pages appear to be intact.

4)International Short Stories Vol II -Copywright 1910-binding intact, pages yellowed with age, feels a little fragile? but readable to some one is who is gentle.

5)International Short Stories Vol III -copywright 1910-loose binding, all pages seeem there, yellowed with age

6) Simplified Cathechism-Dr Martin Luthers Copywright 1921-actually this book is in GREAT shape for a 90 year old book. Little dusty. Little wear on the edges of spine.

7.)How to Go About laying an egg- Bernard Waber-copywright 1963-nice shape has dust cover

8)Eldridge's Business Speller-Baltimore Business College-1913.little faded and dirty-but in great shape for age

9)Lamplighter by Maria S. Cummins cant find date-but appears old enough to be cloth bound, spine worn. Binding intact pages good.

10) Young Bess- by Margaret Irwin copywright 1945 - little dirty but in good shape.

11)So Wild the Wind-by Maurice Guy-copywright 1960-Dust cover there but torn and brittle and dirty-book otherwise intact.

12)The Barrier -By Rex Beach-Copywright 1908- First few pages are loose and coming out of binding, but all pages appear to be there, yellowing from age but very readable.

13)Old man Rabbits Dinner Party-Carolyn Sherwin Bailey-copywright MCMXLIX-(can someone translate that? I dont remember those from college) spine worn on both ends

14)So Well Remembered -James Hilton-Copywright 1945- dirty and yellowed from age but much still intact and readable

15)Business English-Copywright 1931-J walter Ross-Slightly Faded but overall nice shape-binding very intact.

16)The Proper Bohemians by Edith Templeton-Copywright 1950 or 52, Dustcover there but edges are torn. Book slightly dirty but intact.

17)The Vicar of Wakefeild -Oliver Goldsmith-Copywright 1931-Slightly worn on the edges and inside cover a little loose but all pages there, and binding intact.

18)My Lady of Cleves-Margaret Cambell Barnes-Copywright 1946-Dirty cover pages yellowed from age. But binding intact and over all good shape.

19)The true book of More Science Experiments-childrens press- no copywright- library discard. dirty but good shape.

20)Laddie - A true blue story-Gene Stratton Porter-copywright 1913. Worn on spine, first few pages loose and binding loose but all pages appear to be there.


. Some of these are in good shape for their age, but because its a "for their age" I dont feel comfortable posting them. But I am going to post a list here of what they are and if someone wants some let me know and make me an offer. Would take credits or cash.

Date Posted: 5/29/2008 5:52 PM ET
Member Since: 9/11/2005
Posts: 905
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MCMXLIX is 1949.  Just showing off a little bit!

Subject: re
Date Posted: 5/29/2008 6:05 PM ET
Member Since: 6/6/2007
Posts: 53
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I am glad you knew, I drew a complete blank. I used to know those well and now I looked at it and went blank. I have tried calling book stores around town and they all tell me they cant tell me anything over the phone, and want me to bring them in. Right now thats difficult, but I may have to do that. I just hate to drive across town and drag the kids on a maybe.

niffir - ,
Date Posted: 5/29/2008 6:22 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2008
Posts: 495
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I looked up a few of them on bookfinder.com (another site that searches multiple databases including abebooks, alibris, amazon).  I looked up #s 7-11.  Of them, 2 had few enough listings for me to glance at quickly.  #7 starts at about $9 and #11 at about $6.  Of course, these are the prices of books that have NOT sold, which doesn't always tell you what you will actually be able to sell them for.  And no matter what the set market rate is for a book, you'll never get that price for it if there aren't people out there interested in buying. 


If you don't have the time/desire to do the research on them and sell them yourself online, you might consider either doing them as one bulk lot on ebay.  Otherwise, I would agree with the others who said you should seek out a book store or auction house in your area that might be interested in them.

Date Posted: 5/29/2008 7:41 PM ET
Member Since: 9/11/2005
Posts: 905
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I looked up the "International Short Stories" volumes on abebooks.com, and there are apparently at least 4 volumes in this set from 1910.  Several of them are available for as little as $1, though a lot of that is condition-sensitive.  The highest amount is $80 for a full set of 4 of them in pristine condition, so I would put them on Ebay for not much or even donate them.  Haven't checked on the others in the list, though.