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Old 20th Aug 2004, 20:37   #1
Jerkass
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Default Charity Shops

Seeing Mike talking about buying books in charity shops, I'm taken back to my carefree younger days (er...5 years ago, at age 27), in the Inter-Wife and Pre-Children Period. I used to spend quite a bit of my seemingly endless (looking back on it now) free time scanning charity shops for everything from books to furniture--one can find some stunningly good antique stuff in these shops from time to time.

In any case, I've just remembered spending maybe $1.50 on three 1950s-1970s books on Cambridgeshire history--all of which appeared to have been stolen from the "Camridgeshire and Isle of Ely Library" at some point. They were marked with the county library's seals, and nowhere did I see a typical "Removed from Collection" or similar stamp. All three also had been last checked out on the same date (1976 or something). Anyway...vaguely interesting story.

I wonder if I should return the books if I succeed in relocating to Cambridgeshire at some point?
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Old 21st Aug 2004, 2:22   #2
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Default Re: Charity Shops

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Originally Posted by Jerkass
In any case, I've just remembered spending maybe $1.50 on three 1950s-1970s books on Cambridgeshire history--all of which appeared to have been stolen from the "Camridgeshire and Isle of Ely Library" at some point. They were marked with the county library's seals, and nowhere did I see a typical "Removed from Collection" or similar stamp. All three also had been last checked out on the same date (1976 or something). Anyway...vaguely interesting story.
I have a staggeringly good Sci-Fi short stories omnibus (this one in fact) which I happened to nick from my school library in 1976. Coincidence?
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Old 21st Aug 2004, 12:36   #3
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Default Re: Charity Shops

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Originally Posted by Jerkass
I wonder if I should return the books if I succeed in relocating to Cambridgeshire at some point?
Risky. Maybe they'd think it was you who'd taken it out, and charge you a couple of grand for bringing back so late! Also it's nice for a book to have history. It's like when you get a book from a charity shop or whatever and it's got a personal message written in the front, e.g. Get well soon, Bob. Sorry about the fish! All the best from Fred. Who is Bob? Who is Fred. What were they like? What was their relationship?

Or bits of paper, people used as bookmarks. For instance, in the copy of Moby Dick I got from Oxfam, there was a sliver of paper with the words

INNER L
fouled past st

What does it mean? The L could be LIFE but what about the fouled past st? What's the connection? Where did it come from? Who wrote it? Why?

I know the question you're asking is who cares? but it keeps me amused anyway.

Oh, while I'm here, Hi Mike. Hi David.
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Old 22nd Aug 2004, 14:24   #4
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I get nearly all my books from charity shops - I have found ticket stubs to shows 20yrs before, notelets from Hotels in Burma , reminders for parcel deliveries from the early 80's. It show how books are scooped from the shelf into a bag and deposited in the Oxfam box.
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Old 23rd Aug 2004, 12:57   #5
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Beryl and I very seldom visit charity shops, except to offload John Travolta white suits, sixties psychedelic kaftans, hopelessly undersized shirts and other bric-a-brac from our wardrobes... and, yet, a few years ago, we were marooned in Woking waiting for our dog to come round from anaesthetic at the vet, and wandered boredly into a charity shop. Within 20 minutes we had emerged with
o a Chinese bowl, the twin of my Mother's which had been broken (by same dog) some months before.
o a lovely picture frame, which contains, now I think of it, a large photograph of the same dog.
o a set of Limoges china nibble dishes - truly spectacular

and then, this year, we had an idle moment in Lyme Regis, and the charity shop there rendered up
o a beautiful hand-made salad plate
o a gilt mirror, ideal for its purpose

No books, though.
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Old 23rd Aug 2004, 17:10   #6
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I picked up my pseudo-first-edition Dickens from a charity shop. $3. It was the first compilation of his...er...five major Christmas stories, published the year after the last of the five was published individually, and by the same publisher. So, it is listed as a first edition, but in a "first in this format" sort of way.

Even still, alibris.com reckoned it was worth approximately $1,500...I almost had a heart attack when I clicked "search," and the first book on the screen (actual first edition of one of the stories, can't remember which, but probably 'A Christmas Carol') listed at $27k.
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Old 23rd Aug 2004, 17:16   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerkass
Even still, alibris.com reckoned it was worth approximately $1,500...
I take it you donated the $1,500 back to the relevant charity. :wink:
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Old 23rd Aug 2004, 17:38   #8
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I immediately took the book--having found it sitting out on the mantel, where my wife had placed it as a decoration (?!!?!?)--and carefully placed it somewhere nice and safe and dark

Actually--this probably could start another debate of the hardback v paperback variety. It would go something like this: is there really any point in taking a book and putting it away somewhere, planning never to read it or even touch it, for fear of damaging it?

What am I trying to say here? I collect old books...the ones that aren't quite so old, or that aren't "worth" much, I tell myself that I'd like to read some day. There are some, though, that are such treasures that I...er...keep them somewhere nice and safe and far from the light of day.

I should add that I don't plan to sell any of these or anything. So what the hell am I doing? Seriously...can anyone tell me? Does this make any sense? Does my wife have the right idea: should I at least keep them out as decorations, in glass-covered and carefully situated bookcases?
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Old 9th Sep 2011, 2:03   #9
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Default Re: Charity Shops

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerkass View Post
I immediately took the book--having found it sitting out on the mantel, where my wife had placed it as a decoration (?!!?!?)--and carefully placed it somewhere nice and safe and dark

Actually--this probably could start another debate of the hardback v paperback variety. It would go something like this: is there really any point in taking a book and putting it away somewhere, planning never to read it or even touch it, for fear of damaging it?

What am I trying to say here? I collect old books...the ones that aren't quite so old, or that aren't "worth" much, I tell myself that I'd like to read some day. There are some, though, that are such treasures that I...er...keep them somewhere nice and safe and far from the light of day.

I should add that I don't plan to sell any of these or anything. So what the hell am I doing? Seriously...can anyone tell me? Does this make any sense? Does my wife have the right idea: should I at least keep them out as decorations, in glass-covered and carefully situated bookcases?
A very good question to which I am not able to supply the answer. I regularly buy books as part of my OCD pre ISBN penguin collecting habit which, after I have gloated over the covers for a short while and carefully entered their presence in my house into the spreadsheet called 'Penguins', I then put in a box in a cupboard. There are hundreds of them in there. All different. All unsorted. One day I'll build a bookcase and have an orgasmic two days putting them in numerical order. The result should look something like this:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/apenguinaweek/5735807007/
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