• <b>Bonhams: History of Science and Technology. Wednesday, December 6, 2017. New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Dec. 6:</b> Lot 95. Turing. <i>Systems of Logic Based on Ordinals</i>. Offprint. London, 1939. Robin Gandy's Copy. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec. 6:</b> Lot 98. Zernike, Fritz. The 1953 Nobel Prize for Physics: The Invention of the Phase-Contrast Microscope. $100,000 to $150,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec. 6:</b> Lot 111. Apple 1 Computer, operational, with exceptional provenance. $400,000 to $600,000
    <b>Bonhams: Voices of the 20th Century. Wednesday, December 6, 2017. New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Dec. 6:</b> Lot 1074. Bruce, Lenny. An unreleased 16 mm film by "Count" Lewis DePasquale featuring Lenny Bruce. $7,000 to $10,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec. 6:</b> Lot 1254. Hirohito. Manuscript in Japanese, "The Emperor's Monologue," transcribed by Terasaki Hidenari. $100,000 to $150,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec. 6:</b> Lot 1095. Goldman. Emma. Large archive of correspondence, much of it to Warren Starr Van Valkenburgh. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams: History of Science and Technology. Wednesday, December 6, 2017. New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Dec. 6:</b> Lot 109. Wozniak and Jobs. The First Digital "Blue Box", Berkeley, 1972. $30,000 to $50,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec. 6:</b> Lot 46. Newton, Isaac. <i>Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica</i>. 1st issue. London, 1687. $300,000 to $500,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec. 6:</b> Lot 49. Newton. Autograph Manuscript in English, a portion of a draft of Newton's study on revelation. $15,000 to $20,000
    <b>Bonhams: Voices of the 20th Century. Wednesday, December 6, 2017. New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Dec. 6:</b> Lot 1027. Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. 1st edition, 1st issue. Scribners, 1925. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec. 6:</b> Lot 1042. Hemingway., Ernest. For Whom the Bell Tolls. Presentation copy, one of 15 copies. Scribners, 1940. $25,000 to $35,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec. 6:</b> Lot 1215. A 48-star American Flag, flown from LCT-703, sunk on Omaha Beach, December 1944. $15,000 to $20,000
  • <b>Announcing a new Books for Sale platform hosted by Biblio!</b>
    <b>List your books simultaneously on Rare Book Hub and Biblio!</b>
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 14: Illustration Art</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 14:</b> James Montgomery Flagg, <i>Friend, Wife</i>, graphite & watercolor cover for Judge magazine, May 1920. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 14:</b> Georges Lepape, <i>Après la Tempête</i>, watercolor, ink & graphite cover for <i>Vogue</i>, April 1919, inscribed to Madame Condé Nast. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 14:</b> Maurice Sendak, <i>Little Bear & His Parents </i>, pencil study & finished watercolor for <i>Bears of the World</i>, 1981. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 14: Illustration Art</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 14:</b><br>Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel), <i>A Great Gallumphing Galoot!</i>, original drawing & inscription, signed twice, in <i>Dr. Seuss's ABC</i>. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 14:</b> Scrapbook relating to the production of <i>Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs</i>, with 20 original drawings, circa 1937. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 14:</b> Charles M. Schulz, <i>Gentleman Biographer</i>, pen & ink, <i>Peanuts</i> comic strip, 1972. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 14: Illustration Art</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 14:</b> Jerry Pinkney, <i>[Brer Rabbit & Brer Bear]</i>, watercolor, pen & ink on paper, 1990. $20,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 14:</b> <i>Daffydils</i>, festschrift for Harry Hershfield, signed with cartoons & caricatures by George Herriman, Winsor McCay & others, 1911. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 14:</b> W.W. Denslow, <i>Higglepy, Piggleby, My Black Hen</i>, ink & gouache, for <i>Denslow's Mother Goose </i>, 1901. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 14: Illustration Art</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 14:</b> Pavel Tchelitchew, <i>Savonarola</i>, graphite & gouache, sketch for the production at Theater in der Königgrätzer Straße, 1923. $5,000 to $7,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 14:</b> John Philip Falter, <i>Strictly Off the Record</i>, oil on canvas, for Four Roses Whiskey, 1942. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 14:</b> Charles Addams, <i>Movie Scream</i>, pen, ink & watercolor cartoon for <i>The New Yorker</i>, January 1947. $12,000 to $18,000.

Rare Book Monthly

New Letter

Letters to the Editor

. September 02, 2008

A Note Concerning "History on the Cheap"

Dear Editor:



Mr. McKinney says he recently searched Google for information about a book he
purchased this past month - "A History of the Minisink Region" by Charles E.
Stickney. He further remarks that the publishers' names "are not linked to other
known printings [of anything]" and that in "OCLC only eight are recorded". This led
me to some literary poking about into some dusty, virtual corners of a few
databases, and if what was brought to light doesn't spark someone's thesis, it is
nonetheless an interesting collection of bibliographic minutiae, which we all know
is the publishing plankton upon which we all love to feed:



By OCLC's count, there at least 60 copies of the early edition (OCLC: 3780077) held
in various libraries, rather than only 8, and even a few reprints are also
available, published in 1970, 1989 and 1995.



The publishers might not have issued any further monographs, but both "Finch Coe"
and I.F. Guiwits were in the business of issuing serial publications, some of which
are mentioned in The American Newspaper Directory of 1872 by George Presbury Rowell
(OCLC: 9693297)--which is also a rather rare item, with only 2 copies listed in
OCLC--(and let's hope the one at New Orleans Public survived Katrina!)



Guiwits published "The Middletown Daily Mail" (OCLC: 23960147), later a weekly
called The Middletown Mail" (OCLC: 9977927), a Democrat Party newspaper, from
1868-1873 in Orange County, NY, and was itself succeeded by "The Middletown Mercury"
(OCLC: 10002454), which J.H. Norton and I.F. Guiwits both published for a time. The
paper finally ceased around 1918, by this time long without the editorship of
Guiwits.



He may have also had something to do with an even earlier poetry periodical that
began its life in 1849 in Starkville, NY, called "The Poet", whose publisher was an
"A. Guiwits" (OCLC:191123373). The publishing gene might have passed to the next
generation as well, since there are two music scores of songs with piano
accompaniment published by Presser and Company in 1926 and 1929 with music by
Thurlow Lieurance (1878-1963) and words by an Emily Guiwits.



"Finch Coe" was associated with "The Pequannock Valley Argus" (OCLC: 12777613) and
its successor, "The Butler Argus" (OCLC: 12777628), published in Bloomingdale and
Butler, New Jersey, in the late 1880's.



It has crossed my mind that there might be a possibility that "Finch Coe" was in
reality Coe Finch Austin (1831-1880), a Princeton botanist with a specialty in
bryophytes and other mosses, particularly of the class Hepatiae, on which he wrote a
number of papers. Several of his publications date from the same period as "Finch Coe", and some are published in Closter, NY.



Given the very real possibility of a newspaper publisher being tarred and feathered
if the political weather shifted the wrong direction, it would make sense that Coe
Finch Austin would have preferred to remain hidden in amongst his flora, rather than
risk being skewered with the journalistic fauna.



Joseph Valles



Joseph Valles - Books

Stockbridge, Georgia


The writer's response


I'm a bit more sanguine about which "versions" are on hand in the libraries listed in the OCLC. I did some research last year on the number of original copies of the Northwest Ordinance held by OCLC members and learned that the emphasis for many libraries is simply text. Therefore they didn't necessarily differentiate between original copies and reprints. They aren't book dealers.



I do think you are right that there are more original copies in libraries than I stated but I'll guess the number is still under or around 30. I'll also state that OCLC members probably have some copies that have not been entered into their catalogues and in other cases the copies will not be located. The OCLC is a monumental undertaking but it is also a bit dated.



The information you add about these men's publishing history perhaps pulls them a step or two back from the abyss of of history. I was happy for them to come up in conjunction with the Minisink history. Your research suggests in time, as more older material is posted, more of their histories will be unearthed. We are all going to die. It's encouraging to think we may not be so easily forgotten.

Bruce McKinney


. September 01, 2008

re: Abe - Amazon

The ho-hum reaction to the acquisition of abe by Amazon was not universal. From where I sit this is as tragic as learning that your beloved independent local bookstore has just been bought by Barnes and Noble. I loved abe. I hate Amazon. This is a sad day. abe was simple, accessible, unpretentious, helpful, and had excellent customer service in the rare event that something went wrong in a sale. Amazon is like a sleazy guy in a trenchcoat who'll sell you anything on a dark street corner: "Watches, you want? Guns? Fountain pen? My little sister...is virgin?!" You Google on "brain tumor" and ads from Amazon pop up offering you discounts on "brain tumor cream", "designer brain tumors", free credit cards from the "brain tumor bank of Philadelphia", and "special offers from brain tumor manufacturers, this week only!" Ugh. Sigh....

John deC.

Bainbridge Island WA


. September 01, 2008

re: Abe - Amazon

ABE, a great resource that became an expensive arrogant disappointment, is no great
loss.
Amazon has always been timely and straightforward in my dealings with them. ABE no
longer so.
I think we all figure ABE is so screwed up for first edition sellers that only good
can come.


Joe Linzalone,
Wolfshead Gallery


. August 01, 2008

Just a word to let you know how much I appreciate receiving the newsletter.



Thanks very much.



Regards,



Bob Benham


for Book World

www.go-bookworld.com

2353 S. Havana St. D-18

Aurora, CO 80014, USA


. July 31, 2008

Bruce E. McKinney and Michael Stillman,

There were some important differences between the Microsoft and Google Book
projects as seen by the end user.

Search

The Google search is lightweight and does not burden the browser on the client
machine or Internet connection. An advanced search is available and
functional.

In Microsoft the search required processing and network resources. A search
pulled up a list with a preview window on the right. If the mouse hovered over
an entry in the result list on the left, the data for the book was loaded via
AJAX and displayed in the preview window. This occurred even when you didn't
want it unless you were careful to place the pointer on the right edge of the
list, outside of the hot spot for each entry. No advanced search was offered.

Tab browsing

In a Google search results page, browsers with tabs (Firefox, Safari, IE7) can
open the book pages in these tabs (CTRL-click on Win, Cmd-click on Mac, or
right click on either) while maintaining the search result list.

Attempts on Microsoft to CTRL-click or Cmd-click the links would open a new tab
with the book browser but would also replace the search result page with the
full-screen book browser. Only a right-click (Open Link in New Tab) would work
to get the expected behavior of opening just the desired results in tabs.

Book Browser

The Google book browser could be improved by including the bibliographic and
PDF file size information in the right-side data pane. The default file names
for the PDFs were reasonable but I often chose to include a year and author as
well as the title provided.

The Microsoft book browser allowed PDF downloads as well but the names were not
as useful and always had to be renamed for my purposes.

PDF searching

The Microsoft PDFs included a text layer which allowed keyword searching
offline in Adobe Acrobat. The Google PDFs do not allow this. Both book
browsers allowed online keyword searching.

Scope of Material

The Microsoft and Google projects generally had different books scanned. It is
possible that each group tried to prioritize volumes not scanned by the other.
Hence, it was usually worthwhile to check both systems. There was not a single
search system to pull up results from both projects. Perhaps a mashup would
have appeared eventually if the Microsoft project had continued. A Google web
search could bring up Google books.

Where are the Microsoft books now?

Many of the Microsoft PDFs came from other book scanning projects such as those
which are stored on www.archive.org. While the Microsoft system had only
the PDFs, the Archive.org editions are often available in multiple formats such
as plain text in addition to the PDFs (sometimes in color and grayscale).

Because of this origin, the Microsoft PDFs did not have usage restrictions as
Google has tried to add. For public domain works, this extra licensing is hard
to justify and might not be permitted under the US copyright laws.

The downside to unrestricted PDFs from Microsoft/Archive.org is that some
enterprising individuals have sent these files (warts and all) to print on
demand systems to "publish" these books. These have been listed in quantity in
the used book databases and eBay, making it harder for buyers to locate vintage
copies as they wade through the sometimes overpriced POD reprints.

This is part of the nature of public domain material. A person can try to sell
an abridged Horatio Alger, Jr., print on demand volume for more than $100 when
the PDF which was used to create the reprint is available free of charge. What
I don't like is when an old copy, scanned in a library, has its access blocked
or restricted because one of these POD reprints exists.

Google has also blocked or restricted access to pre-1923 items which should be
positively public domain. A bound volume of 1910s Publishers' Weekly magazine
cannot be construed to be protected. However, it is likely that Google is
granting additional protection to avoid creating another litigant against them.
The problem with this is that it effectively grants more rights, in terms of
copyright duration, to these publishers than that to which they are entitled.

Summary

I liked the PDF search capability of the Microsoft/Archive.org files. I
suggested to Google that they add this. Perhaps it would be time consuming to
add the text layer to the existing PDFs. However, I found the Google search
interface to be much more powerful in capability and less tedious to use on my
older laptop system.

I hope Google continues to refine and improve their book offering. For
example, the recent announcement of a 300M XML document with US book copyright
renewal records from 1923 to 1963 provides a single place to check for
renewals. A listing basically says the book is still protected. However, a
lack of a listing makes a case for public domain status. Anyone who has taken
a logic class knows about the difficulty of proving something with a lack of
evidence.

My own research projects have benefited from both book projects. I have
discovered texts which would be impossible to locate without them. No library
or bookstore provides level of content access these projects have made
available. I have purchased a number of books as a result of discoveries on
these systems. I have also downloaded dozens of PDFs for later reference.

While the Microsoft one had some useful material, I hope most of it is still
available on Archive.org.

James D. Keeline

San Diego, CA

Full-time antiquarian bookseller, 1988-2000

Full-time web developer, 2000-2008

www.Keeline.com


. July 28, 2008

Dear Bruce & all at AE,


I sell books on the internet from Gloucester, England. I used to run a bricks and
mortar store with my partner, but since we split I rarely meet other booksellers. I
really love your monthly newsletter and feel like it is putting me in touch with
what is going on in the world of books, quite different from the on-message messages
I get from ABE!


Keep up the good work,


Sam Knowles

Ampersand Books

Gloucester

England


. July 28, 2008

Hello,

Catching up with back issues after being gone for a month and have just read
Karen Wright's delightful book buying trip article and I have a tip to pass
on to her.

We also use Motel 6 on buying trips and this last trip I discovered a great
help for the "Motel 6 Smell". I took along a big can of Lysol Disinfectant
Spray in "Crisp Linen Scent". The first thing I did when entering a smelly
room was to spray the drapes, the top layer of the bedspreads and some into
the ceiling air return vents if there was one.

By the time we unloaded the luggage, the smell was always gone. Only in one
motel did I need to spray the carpet and rarely did I need to re-spray if we
stayed over.

I will never travel without it again!

Barbara Young

The Old Book Shop

http://www.oldbookshop.com


. May 09, 2008

re: Abebooks Price Increase

Dear Bruce & AEMonthly:

I think you're missing some of the ABE increases (1) and the bigger point (2).

1) ABE is now collecting a commission on books over $400. Before this, the commission was capped at a $400 maximum. They also announced plans to take over Discover and American Express card processing as well.

2) I need to raise shipping & sales tax 15.61% to recover the actual original cost/charge of ABE credit card processing and commissions. They were already making about 2.5% on shipping by virtue of their 5.5% credit card processing fee, which is about double what the credit card companies charge them, thus making their actual cut on shipping about 10%.



Sincerely,


Peter Gambitsky

Fireside Angler


. May 06, 2008

Re: Abebooks' Price Increase

Dear AE:


Where did this "Michael Stillman" come from? The one that wrote the article on the ABE commission on shipping? It appears he was giving us good reason as to why ABE should take this commission and telling us to live with it! Well here is what I run into a lot with shipping.



I'm a Canadian small bookstore located in Langley, British Columbia, I charge a $9.00 shipping fee (which is cheap for Canada, our postage is enormous); average size book from BC to Ontario costs me $12.60 shipping. I shipped a $10.00 book to customer in Ontario:



$10.00 book charge + 9.00 shipping = 19.00 total

minus shipping to ON = 12.60

minus book cost = 2.00
(sometimes more/less)


minus credit card = .85
(average ????)


minus 8% = 1.52


minus packaging = 1.20 (envelope/labels/printing paper/cartridges) invoices

TOTAL = 18.17 costs - 19.00 = .83 _ OH YES I FORGOT MY MONTHLY FEE! Wow so now I'm paying to sell! So with Abe taking their 8% of my shipping .72 cents yes that will leave me with a profit of .11 cents (maybe).



ABE is in it for the $ not the customer, small book stores are going broke with ABE, many of us want to leave and are looking for alternatives. ABE recognizes that we do not have many choices and plays on that for their profit. They are unethical. Abe should go after the dealers they say are messing with the shipping. Abe needs some heavy-duty competition, they are worse than our Canada Postal Service when it comes to squeezing money out us.



Please don't say to increase your shipping fees, that will only give me fewer customers and ABE more money. ABE has not done one thing since I have been with them, about 6 years, to increase the seller's profit, only to increase theirs!

Any help with this would be sincerely appreciated.



Sincerely,



Rita of

Mole's Collectibles (Books)

Langley, BC V3A 1M2


Canada


Editorial Response:

It was not my intention to take sides in this issue but simply to report on what happened. As a result, I published both AbeBooks' explanation and the objections we heard from booksellers.

In terms of advising sellers to "live with it" or move on, my observation over the years is that while Abe does have forums to hear their sellers concerns, ultimately they call the shots and rarely roll them back in any substantial way. That being the case, I don't see much else a bookseller can do besides either cutting the cord or living with the rates, though that may require increasing your prices, since you cannot make up for unprofitable sales with volume. If there is a third way, I and many others undoubtedly would be interested in knowing, but such things as boycotts rarely seem to have an impact.

Regards,

Mike Stillman


. May 02, 2008

re: Abe Fee Increases

While you write about the new ABE fees on shipping, you FAIL to note that this also applies to those of us who collect sales taxes which under ABE are billed as extra shipping charges. Currently with a credit card transaction, we lose money on each instate transaction since we pay a credit card fee on the sales taxes. With the new fees, we now also pay ABE a NEW fee on sales taxes since they are billed as extra shipping. Thus with a 8.25% sales tax that we pay the state, we will now only collect $7.14 on every $100 sale while we need to pay the State $8.25. Thus an instant loss of $1.11. ABE refuses to make the collection of sales taxes free of their fees.


. May 01, 2008

re: Abebooks' Price Increase

Thanks for the updates. In respect to ABE price increase they are also charging 8% on top of required State Sales Tax.

John Schram
Samuel Lasenby
Bookseller ABE and Biblio


. April 01, 2008

Dear Bruce,

I realize you've probably heard more than you ever want to about the issues with ABE, but thought you might find this interesting. I've had 8 cancelled orders because of credit card errors with ABE in the last 6 months, and every one I've called, or contacted the customer, and the credit card number was just fine, and I've completed the sale.

I've contacted ABE numerous times about the problem, and they seem to believe there isn't any issue. So, the moral of the story is to continue contacting your customers directly.

Kol


. April 01, 2008

re: PayPal "Funhouse" Article

The seller could have fixed the problem in 2 minutes or less by adding the extra
incorrect email to their emails registered with Paypal. We have a number of common
typo/spelling errors that we leave registered just for this problem.
On Paypal as soon as you add the email you can go in and accept the pending payment
and if you don't wish to keep that email on Paypal you can then delete it.
If the seller has the email wrong in their listing/s they should leave it registered
until they have fixed the error in all the listings.



Thank you for another nice issue.



Cheryl


. March 02, 2008

re: Transy Thieves

I enjoyed the story but a bookseller, preservers of the written language that we
are, should know that the term is hare-brained, not hair-brained.


Regards,


Larry Dean


. February 07, 2008

Just a quick note to say thanks. Your services have certainly increased our bottom line. We make it an effort to tell everyone we meet about your great site and services.

As an aside, wanted to let you know that the tome you mentioned in this month's newsletter "An Unhappy Story: a deal gone bad" was recently re-listed and sold for approx. the same amount. Everyone in the state of ... knows ... [names deleted]. Strange but we knew it was him just from the book description. At any rate thanks again and keep on booking.


timbookski February 06, 2008

Hello Bruce,

I appreciated your article highlighting some of the problems with eBay. Because of the problems you highlight (plus others), I rarely eBay any more. Over the past years I have made many purchases on eBay as well and have come to the conclusion that I am not saving any money. When I subtract the losses because of items that were not described correctly, did not arrive, or I missed something in the description, it turns out that it actually costs me more on eBay. You could argue that I should not count "my mistakes" but other modes allow me to make mistakes and have some option for correcting it. Also, I believe that many sellers purposefully write the descriptions in a way that make it easy for you to miss the important details.

Forgetting the financial losses on eBay, I just find it too aggravating to deal with these people. It always ticks me off when I get burned on eBay but makes it all the worse when they leave me negative feedback for complaining.

In conducting far more transactions on ABE than eBay, I have not been burned once. I do not think anyone can say that about eBay.


. February 05, 2008

Hello Bruce,

Great! I'm going to upgrade to the monthly membership today.

I also wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your website and AE Monthly. I'm a relatively young collector, and websites such as yours have provided me with both entertainment and education as I build my collection.



Keep up the good work!

Regards,

Justin Hanisch


. February 05, 2008

Dear Bruce,

As to your deal going sour on eBay, I'd like to make a few comments:



1) unless one understands that eBay's motto for buyers is "caveat emptor', a certain number of eBay purchases will disappoint. Some are the consequence of deliberate deception by the seller (as the one you mentioned apparently was), but others are the consequence of the seller's complete ignorance of what he's selling. Sometimes it's difficult to tell (as in the case of a seller who recently asserted a 1582 copy of Calvin's Institutes was complete, when the index ended at Galatians 3: 8, with a catchword for the next entry; I'm sure he didn't know how many pages were missing - it was 22, but as a full-time bookseller he certainly should have known some were. I managed to get him to send me privately a picture of the last page present, but the unfortunate winning bidder evidently didn't).



This notwithstanding, by bidding on the mostly antiquarian Bibles and theological books in which I specialize and by being fairly careful most of the time in buying, on balance I do quite well in buying and have gotten some really wonderful bargains. In selling (almost entirely books on subjects in which I don't specialize) I take care to describe the books carefully, especially taking pictures of any faults - something which tends to result in glowing feedback. A number of booksellers buy from me; I both expect and want them to make a profit, as they're doing me a service by paying good money for books I would otherwise be unable to sell.



2) eBay's feedback system is badly broken and I don't think the forthcoming change will improve it at all. Previously unethical buyers and sellers could leave retaliatory feedback without respect to the legitimacy of the complaint. Now only buyers will be able to do this ... and sellers will not be able to warn other sellers about non-paying bidders. EBay's proposals for their new system are woefully inadequate, particularly as its efforts to police the system seem only to be exercised with a view to enhancing its bottom line and without a care for honesty and integrity. PayPal seems to be run with the same end in view.



3) I always leave negative feedback for non-paying bidders AND for sellers who seem to be deliberately deceptive in some way; to date I have 3 negative feedbacks, all retaliatory: two as a buyer and one as a seller (I've received a total of over 3000 feedbacks, I should say). I feel that if one is not willing to risk this, the eBay system has no integrity at all.



4) The only reason the eBay system works at all is that most sellers and most buyers are honest - and I commend them all for it.



EBay is not and I think eventually as currently constituted it will end, as a result of its losing one of the various law suits being brought by 'name' brand high fashion merchants against eBay's polite fiction that it's not running an auction, but merely providing a forum for sellers running auctions for willing buyers (and thus claiming that eBay is not responsible for cheap rip-off imitations). Though I've done quite well in buying and in selling on eBay, simply as a matter of justice I hope that eBay loses these suits and loses it's collective shirt as a consequence.



Meantime I wish you well in your eBay buying.



Best regards,



David


Bookseller February 04, 2008

Regarding the ebay book buying experience.....as an experienced ebayer, you should know that if a deal appears to be too good to be true, it usually is. I'm not defending the seller who did not disclose the flaws in the book (he most certainly should have). But buyers on any site need to assess whether a $200 book would be selling, without reserve, from an experienced and knowledgeable seller, for $70. Red flags should have been raised.


Response from Bruce McKinney -

The book was hardly too good to be true. EBay realizations run from 20% to 40% of typical retails. In my view it was priced to be a reasonably good copy and the experienced seller simply ignored poor condition in the apparent expectation the buyer would accept what they received. The seller's relatively high starting price implied it was a good copy and the description supported this expectation.


. February 03, 2008

Bruce,


I see that ... [the seller in McKinney's eBay article] has relisted the defective copy of History of Orange County without modification for condition defects you describe. Inexcusable in my view. Perhaps eBay's feedback changes starting in March will improve seller service. Sellers will no longer be able to leave negative feedback to buyers, thus eliminating the threat of retaliatory feedback routinely practiced by some sellers. I'm not sure this is entirely fair to sellers but we'll see what happens. Thanks for the AE Monthly. It's great!

Best,


Rob Smith


. February 02, 2008

re: eBay

I have 100% rating on ebay but, it means little...I have a five star rating on abe - that means even less...
I have been burnt more then twice by books that I have purchased. Yet, I have won bargains more then twice....it all equals out in the long run. ebay is not a true auction house, rather a crap shoot.
Books that are described as rare finds seldom are. Books that are under-stated may turn out to be gems.

Joseph Hill


Xanman February 01, 2008

Dear Bruce,

I read with great interest your e-bay experiences. I personally feel that the whole feedback system is without any merit. There have been numerous articles in the past couple years about sellers with perfect feedback, glowing compliments, and they were arrested for selling 10s of thousands of dollars in stolen merchandise, even a San Diego Deputy Sheriff.



I have only recently ventured into the netherworld of e-bay, and I must say, that in many cases it has been a bust. I've received books that were described as beautiful, pictures show them as beautiful, and when removed from shipping box, they're in pieces. I've had material that the seller has assured me is complete, and out of the past 25 auctions, 5 have been missing plates, pages, or illustrations. Some have been good about returns, some not.



I think I just may have to opt out.



Xanman


. February 01, 2008

Hello Bruce,



Just a note to let you know I really enjoy reading your AE Monthly. The article about ebay must have hit a nerve with ebay, they are in the process of restructuring their feedback system. Sellers will no longer be able to leave anything but positive feedback. I have been selling online for four years now, mostly on Abebooks, Alibris, B/N, Biblio, and Amazon, but also a few on ebay (10 -12 a month). In four years I've only received one negative feedback, which was the Postal Service's fault.




Sincerely,

Mike McGill


. February 01, 2008

re: Ebay Article

I read with interest. Like you I have purchased several items and so far knock on wood the only ones that were less than expected were as you said I failed to really read the descriptions.
However, that said, I have had several problems with books from ABE. The latest this past month. This seller had a 5 star rating. The book was listed as "Description: 300 p. Illus. 22 cm. Includes Illustrations. Great Value. Prompt
delivery with tracking. Satisfaction guaranteed. Author's autograph
presentation copy, no.7. Book seller's advertisement laid in. Bibliography:
p.295-296."

What I got was an exlib copy with pocket ripped out, title page stamped all over, not signed, not a presentation copy shipped in a brown paper sack duct taped. It arrived with a broken spine. I have no idea if it was that way prior to shipping or after. I contacted the seller and received no response. This went on for a week when I turned it over to ABE with photos of the book, sales listing, shipping material etc.
They did issue a refund but as in your case the so called 5 star seller never did respond.



I think an interesting article would be on the use of scanners and the phone services. Everyone talks about them ripping off the average seller at FOL sales etc. but no one really says how they use them and if its a worthwhile investment vrs good old fashion knowing your business. Just a thought.


Editor's Note: Abe's ratings pertain only to the sellers' fulfillment rates, not to factors, such as accuracy of listings, quality of customer service, etc., that most people think determines whether a seller is honest and good.


. February 01, 2008

Hi Bruce,


Just received and read the Feb. 1 issue. It's terrific. Especially enjoyed your eBay experience. By the way, we're going to do the Santa Fe Book Fair again this year. Keep up the good fight!


Henry Lewis

Gunstock Hill Books

Santa Fe


Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Charles Darwin on sexuality and the transmission of hereditary characteristics: Autograph Letter Signed to Lawson Tait. Down, 17 January [1877].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> MILTON, JOHN. <i>Paradise Lost. A Poem written in ten books.</i> London: 1667. A very rare example with the contemporary binding untouched and with a 1667 title page.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Hamilton secures the ratification of the Constitution: <i>The Debates and Proceedings of the Convention of the State of New-York, assembled at Poughkeespsie, on the 17th June, 1788.</i>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> The social contract “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains”: ROUSSEAU, JEAN-JACQUES. <i>Principes du Droit Politique [Du Contract Social]</i>. Amsterdam: Michel Rey, 1762
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> “The first English textbook on geometrical land-measurement and surveying”: BENESE, RICHARD. <i>This Boke Sheweth the Maner of Measurynge All Maner of Lande…</i>
  • <b>Sotheby’s New York: Fine Books & Manuscripts. December 11, 2017</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s NY, Dec. 11:</b> Wright, Frank Lloyd. An important collection of early letters from Wright to members of his family. 1909–1926. $60,000 to $80,000
    <b>Sotheby’s NY, Dec. 11:</b> Rand, Ayn. Ayn Rand's important first speech delivered at the Ford Hall Forum. $60,000 to $80,000
    <b>Sotheby’s NY, Dec. 11:</b> Tolkien, J.R.R. <i>The Hobbit or There and Back Again</i>. London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd., 1937. $50,000 to $70,000
    <b>Sotheby’s NY, Dec. 11:</b> [Flemish Flower Manuscript]. Lille, Spanish Netherlands: 1630. $50,000 to $60,000
    <b>Sotheby’s NY, Dec. 11:</b> García Márquez, Gabriel. Two drafts of an early short story, "Rosas Artificiales.” $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Sotheby’s New York: History of Science and Technology. December 12, 2017</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s NY, Dec. 12:</b> Enigma M4. A Fully Operational Four-Rotor ("M4") Kriegsmarine Enigma Cipher Machine, 1944. $350,000 To $500,000
    <b>Sotheby’s NY, Dec. 12:</b> The "Polio" Nobel Prize. The 1954 Nobel Prize Medal for Physiology or Medicine Awarded to Frederick C. Robbins. $200,000 to $300,000
    <b>Sotheby’s NY, Dec. 12:</b> ENIGMA I. A Fully Operational Early Three-Rotor Enigma I Cipher Machine. Berlin, Heimsoeth Und Rinke, Early 1930s. $120,000 to $180,000
    <b>Sotheby’s NY, Dec. 12:</b> Bonestell, Chesley. "Saturn, Viewed From Titan, One of Its Satellites." A Mid 1950's Study for the 360° Titan Panorama. 1 ½ x 20’. $100,000 to $150,000
    <b>Sotheby’s NY, Dec. 12:</b> Descartes, René. <i>Discours de la Méthode pour Bien Conduire Sa Raison, & Chercher la Verité dans les Sciences... 1637. $80,000 to $120,000
  • <b>Les Collections Aristophil:<br>December 20, 2017</b>
    <b>Collections Aristophil, Dec. 20:</b> SAINT-EXUPERY, ANTOINE DE. Kodachrome Film (16mm) showing Antoine de Saint-Exupery and Consuelo on a boat, 1942. JOINED: Guestbook for the Boat, signed, with a drawing of the Little Prince. 15 000 to 20 000 €
    <b>Collections Aristophil, Dec. 20:</b> CANDEE, HELEN CHURCHILL. Autograph manuscript. TITANIC, 40 leaves. Original account of the most famous shipwreck, by a survivor of the ordeal. 300 000 to 400 000 €
    <b>Collections Aristophil, Dec. 20:</b> TITANIC. Collection of 7 documents relating to the shipwreck of the Titanic (14 April 1912). 20 000 to<br>30 000 €
    <b>Les Collections Aristophil:<br>December 20, 2017</b>
    <b>Collections Aristophil, Dec. 20:</b> DUPLEIX DE CADIGNAN, JEANBAPTISTE. Signed autograph manuscript. Thirty years of memoirs related to military services and important information on the American War of Independence.<br>40 000 to 50 000 €
    <b>Collections Aristophil, Dec. 20:</b> CURTIUS. Faiz et Conquestes d'Alexandre [Histoire d'Alexandre le Grand]. In French, illuminated manuscript on paper and parchment, 16 large miniatures. 300 000 to<br>500 000 €
    <b>Collections Aristophil, Dec. 20:</b> NELSON, HORATIO. Signed autograph letter, ‘Nelson & Bronte,” aboard the Amazon, 14 October 1801, addressed to Sir William Hamilton. 4 000 to 5 000 €
    <b>Les Collections Aristophil:<br>December 20, 2017</b>
    <b>Collections Aristophil, Dec. 20:</b> GIROLAMO FRANCESCO MARIA MAZZUOLI DIT LE PARMESAN. Le couple amoureux. Pen and brown ink. 80 000 to 120 000 €
    <b>Collections Aristophil, Dec. 20:</b> SADE, DONATIEN-ALPHONSE-FRANÇOIS, MARQUIS DE. Autograph manuscript. The 120 Days of Sodom, or the School of Libertinage, 1785.<br>4 000 000 to 6 000 000 €
    <b>Collections Aristophil, Dec. 20:</b> MIRÓ, JOAN. Signed autograph correspondence to Thomas and Diane Bouchard (1949-1976). 50 000 to 60 000 €
    <b>Les Collections Aristophil:<br>December 20, 2017</b>
    <b>Collections Aristophil, Dec. 20:</b> BALZAC, HONORÉ DE. Signed autograph manuscript, Ursule Mirouët, [1841]. One of only two manuscripts of novels by Balzac in private hands. 800 000 to<br>1 200 000 €
    <b>Collections Aristophil, Dec. 20:</b> LENOIR, ALEXANDRE. Essai sur l'histoire des arts en Egypte pouvant servir d'appendice au grand ouvrage de la Commission. autograph manuscript with numerous additions and corrections. 40 000 to 50 000 €
    <b>Collections Aristophil, Dec. 20:</b> SCHRÖDINGER, ERWIN. Autograph manuscript [Spring 1946, sent to Albert Einstein]. 1 500 to 2 000 €
  • <b>Bloomsbury Auctions: Books and Works on Paper, including Fine Photographs. December 14, 2017</b>
    <b>Bloomsbury, Dec. 14:</b> Rowling (J.K.). Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, original fine black pen and ink manuscript book by the author J.K.Rowling, with 31pp of text and illustrations. £80,000 to £120,000
    <b>Bloomsbury, Dec. 14:</b> Blaeu (Johannes). <i>Vierde Stuck der Aerdrycks-Beschryving, welck vervat Engelandt</i>, i.e. <i>Theatrum Orbis Terrarum</i>. vol 4, England & Wales. £10,500 to £12,500
    <b>Bloomsbury, Dec. 14:</b> Miró (Joan). L'Homme au Balencier, etching, aquatint and carborundum, printed in colours on Japan paper, signed in pencil lower right. £4,000 to £6,000
    <b>Bloomsbury Auctions: Books and Works on Paper, including Fine Photographs. December 14, 2017</b>
    <b>Bloomsbury, Dec. 14:</b> Steve McCurry (b.1950). Afghan Girl, 1984, pigment inkjet print, signed and numbered 48/250 in pencil on lower margin. £2,500 to £3,500
    <b>Bloomsbury, Dec. 14:</b> Keough (Pat and Rosemarie). <i>Antarctica</i>, no 228 of 950 copies, signed by the authors, many colour illustrations, original dark grey morocco. £2,800 to £3,200
    <b>Bloomsbury, Dec. 14:</b> Rowlandson (Thomas). Darby & Joan, the idyllically contended couple sit either side of a stove in a cosy domestic interior, ink and watercolour on wove paper. £1,000 to £1,500
    <b>Bloomsbury Auctions: Books and Works on Paper, including Fine Photographs. December 14, 2017</b>
    <b>Bloomsbury, Dec. 14:</b> Procktor (Patrick). Tiny blue-eyed goldfish, watercolour, 310 x 460mm., signed in blue crayon, lower right, titled and inscribed Muscat Jan 19. £1,000 to £1,500
    <b>Bloomsbury, Dec. 14:</b> Iouri Abramochkin (b.1936). Horsemen, Dagestan, 1968, Lambda print, printed later, signed, dated, editioned 1/8 and annotated in black ink verso. £800 to £1,200
    <b>Bloomsbury, Dec. 14:</b> Ravilious (Eric).- Shakespeare (William). Twelfth NIght, or, What You Will, number 79 of 275 copies , wood-engraved title. £800 to £1,200
    <b>Bloomsbury Auctions: Books and Works on Paper, including Fine Photographs. December 14, 2017</b>
    <b>Bloomsbury, Dec. 14:</b> Michelangelo.- Chastel (André). <i>The Vatican Frescoes of Michelangelo</i>, Photography by Takashi Okamura, 2 vol., one of 600 sets, colour plates. £500 to £700
    <b>Bloomsbury, Dec. 14:</b> Wyndham (John). <i>The Day of the Triffids; The Kraken Wakes; The Chrysalids;</i> together with 8 other volumes. All first editions. £400 to £600
    <b>Bloomsbury, Dec. 14:</b> Alfred Stieglitz (1864-1946). Goats Along The Seine, 1894. Photogravure, printed 1990s by Dorothy Norman, one from an edition of 40 published by Aperture. £400 to £600
  • <b>Christie’s Online, Dec. 5 – Dec. 12:</b> <i>John the Baptist</i>. initial 'H' cut from a choirbook [Lombardy or Siena, c. 1470s]. US$6,000–9,000
    <b>Christie’s Online, Dec. 5 – Dec. 12:</b> <i>Maharaja Ranjit Singh (1780–1839) seated on a terrace with Sikh noblemen</i>. [Punjab, North India, circa 1830-40]. Estimate: US$10,000–15,000

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