Here's a little online bookselling gem for those of you who don't already know. I've come across Jonathan Kwitny's The Mullendore Murder Case at least a dozen (and probably more like two dozen) times since I started in the business around 2000. To the best of my memory, this was just one I stumbled upon by dumb luck. I rarely frequent the Mystery section at a booksale (where this title is mistakenly dumped quite often), but have since learned of a few other True Crime titles to keep an eye out for. Here's one more I look for in collectible condition, and is probably the most common Modern First Edition I have enountered over my time in the great state of Kansas, where this classic takes place. I highly recommend Capote's In Cold Blood as a weekend read as well. I have not yet read Kwitny's account of unsolved mystery set within the oil industry and ranches of Bartlesville, OK, but those who have are quick to extoll its' merit.
Expect mass market reading copies to bring no less than $25 but usually not much more than $50.
1st Printing Hardcovers have sold anywhere from $75 to $250 (for a NF/NF 1st Printing discovered on a shelf in a back room of a bookstore- which I scouted with permission of course!), but I now seldom start them out at less than $100, and they always sell, and usually fast.
I think that I may have better luck finding this one than most of you out there, considering this True Crime thriller is set only a few hours down the road. I have seen it pop up all over the country on the various venues, so I suspect it was published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in relatively large numbers. Apparently, there has been a reprint available for around $35 on Amazon since 2000, but I have not found this to affect the price all that much over time. I suspect that most collectors crave the distinctive jacket, which the reprint appears to lack. Happy Hunting.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Monday, April 25, 2011
April 24-30 is Preservation Week, a time where the American Library Association "encourages libraries and other institutions to connect our communities through events, activities, and resources that highlight what we can do, individually and together, to preserve our personal and shared collections."
Here is a list of 10 tips to help preserve your book collection (or inventory). Thanks to the Redwood Library & Athenaeum of Rhode Island and the AIC (American Institute for Conservation), from whom these tips were borrowed.
10 Tips to Help Prolong the Life of your Books
Books should not be exposed to excessive amounts of light. Daylight and fluorescent light, which have high levels of ultraviolet radiation, cause the most rapid deterioration and fading. Keep lights turned off in rooms that are not in use. Block daylight by using curtains, shades, or plastic filtering films.
Books should not be kept near sources of heat, such as radiators or fireplaces. Bookshelves should not be placed against outside walls, where pockets of cool damp air can develop. Air conditioners, dehumidifiers, and humidifiers can be used to remove or add moisture or heat. A cool, dry, and stable environment is ideal; around 70 degrees Fahrenheit and 50 percent relative humidity is recommended.
Books on shelves should be squarely upright and firmly supported by neighboring books or by bookends. Books should not be packed together so tightly that they are difficult to remove without causing damage. Large, oversized books are best laid horizontally in stacks of no more than two or three high.
#4 Air and Space
Shelve your books an inch or so back from the edge. The bare ledge of shelf will reveal dust and traces of insect activity. However books should not be pushed to the back of the shelf. Good air circulation is imperative to prevent stagnant air pockets where condensation will collect and mold will grow.
#5 Added Protection
Important or fragile books may require additional protection. Check with a conservator about the variety of available solutions: polyester book jackets and wrappers, wrappers made of lightweight alkaline paperboard, double-tray boxes, and book shoes.
#6 Storage- (As a bookseller, I can certainly attest to the importance and validity of this one!)
When books must be packed away for storage, do not wrap them in common household plastics (plastic kitchen wrap, garbage or cleaner bags) because these emit harmful gases as they degrade. Avoid storing boxes of books in attics, garag...es, or basements, where temperature and humidity fluctuations are great, where pests may be a problem, and where leaks or floods are common. Always allow at least four inches of space between the boxes and the walls, ceilings, and floors.
The handling of books provides many opportunities for accidental damage. Handle books only with freshly washed hands. Most of the dirt on book covers and pages is accumulated grime from oily fingerprints.
When removing a book from the shelf, do not pull it out by its headcap, which is apt to break. Either push the two neighboring books back in order to grab the spine in the middle, or stretch a finger along the top edge of the book a...nd rock it back in order to grab the spine. Never pack or shelve books fore-edge down; this loosens the binding. Never place an open book face down onto a flat surface, which forces the book open to a 180-degree angle; this also loosens the binding.
When dusting the edge of a book, be sure to wipe away from the headcap toward the fore edge, with a clean cloth or soft brush. Dirt brushed down the spine of the book is trapped there forever. A vacuum cleaner can also be used with the suction reduced. Cheese cloth or soft screening can be tied over the nozzle as an extra precautionary measure to catch any loose bits that might accidentally break off.
#10 Other Important Tips
Avoid paper clips and other mechanical fasteners. Do not use the popular self-sticking memo slips as these leave an invisible residue of adhesive on the page to attract dirt. Avoid storing newspaper clippings, flowers, l...etters, or other miscellaneous material in books as they leave stains and stress the binding. And of course avoid eating, drinking, and smoking around books as the spills and stains are generally permanent.
#11 Consult a Conservator
Problems that are beyond an owner’s capabilities should be referred to a conservator.
Use the AIC's Find a Conservator tool to search for a book and paper conservator near you.
Posted by Kristian Strom at 10:03 AM