Sunday, December 19, 2010

Old Books

Was thumbing through an old (1996) price guide for books and decided to pick out a few that, if you are in possession of the first editions, they may make you rich or could bring in some ready cash:

First off are the books of Edward Abbey, the environmentalist who passed away in 1989. You wouldn't make a fortune in selling them, but they'd bring in a sizable chunk for his published writings, say around $5,000 for the eighteen listed.

After you sell this next one though, and throw in $20, you can take your wife/girlfriend to dinner at the Red Lobster, Pacific Seaweed Aquaculture by Isabelle A. Abbott. Maybe the price has increased in the last fourteen years and you will only have to throw in $15.

Published in 1864, by the Intelligencer Steam Power Presses, Trials of Soldier's Wife: Tale of 2nd American Revolution, by Alexander St. Clair Abrams, is worth enough to treat the family to dinner at a nice restaurant and have a fancy dessert and a drink, too. While they are eating, I hope they are praying for that poor soldier's wife and the soldier, too. Sounds like an interesting book.

Skipping to the Z's, there are a couple worth a couple thousand plus, each. One is Les Costumes du Peuple Polonais, 1841, by Leon Zinkowicz, and the other, Descriptio Anatomica Oculi Humani, 1755, by Johann Gottried Zinn, a very interesting and enjoyable read about the human eye, I assume, if you can decipher the lingo. Being uneducated and intolerant of those who are, I'll tell you right now, I like that first one best, the book on the clothing the Polish people wore around the time Joseph Smith told Brigham Young to "find a place outside the United States, say the Rocky Mountains, that are amenable to our religious beliefs and practices, and adopt the costumes of the Polish people as is our God-given right." Well, maybe that wasn't his exact words, but he had just finished reading and studying Les Costumes looking for a way out of the mess they were in, since he couldn't understand the Descriptio. Or was it the Scriptures?

Next time I bring this up, if there is one, we shall look at the prices of a few more old books, maybe I can find a western or two in there.


  1. I'm often startled by the price of OOP books available through amazon sellers. And then there are the truckloads of books available for one cent plus postage and handling...

  2. Ron, there are great deals out there, let alone all the free ones on the reading devices and google, but there are some very expensive ones, too, if you go by the pricing pubs.

  3. Just got in the mail a book I payed $15.99 + the usual $3.99 shipping and handling through Amazon. It was a book I once owned (paid around $10.00 for it new twenty-five years ago. It was not much of a book but had one story I wanted to do some research on. The book was self published and sold maybe a couple of hundred books. I have looked for two years for this book. The book is here and looks good the small used book store that had it didn't take the time to remove their inside cover marked price. -50 cents. Oh well at least I have the book again --and by the way the story I wanted is not of any use.

    Still love the old books.

  4. Too bad about the story after all these years. It seems the book went the way of most of them, but at least, it increased in value (maybe). Many of the self-published are fine reading in my opinion, but I may be biased.