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Okay, I'm cheap because I have to be. I have loved Nero Wolfe (and have been IN love with Archie) since I was in elementary school. I've been trying to acquire as many of the books as possible. I started out on eBay, buying lots of old copies of the books. That's hit and miss, condition-wise. Some years back (I think I was in college at the time and therefore could not afford anything), at least some of the books were republished, but I was not able to buy many of them. Do you have suggestions as to how to go about acquiring the books, cheaply? I work at a library as it is, so I know that we're not getting rid of any old copies (that would be over my dead body), so that route is out. I do not live in an area with used bookstores.
Any suggestions are appreciated.
Have you tried any of the book swapping sites around? LT will let you know in the "buy/borrow/swap" area whether copies are requested or available. I've gotten a few through BookMooch and the condition varies but you can be choosy if you want to. There are also online used booksellers and Amazon marketplace though the shipping might be more than the book. The republished mass market paperbacks are pretty reasonable too, I think 6.95 or so. I go to lots of library book sales and I never, ever see any Wolfe at them.
I bought most of mine through the Amazon used sellers nperrin recommends, and used bookstores in my area. A few came as new reprints, a few other ways. But if you're willing to be choosy, wait, check multiple sites, etc., you can get the books more cheaply than other ways, especially given the scarcity of some of the volumes.
Don't overlook the older HB omnibus editions, if you lack enough of each one's content.
Our library has weeded out many of the Stout books. :( However, I was there to buy them at the FOTL sales. Our used paperback store sometimes has them, but not often. The above suggestions are good ones though, what I would've recommended. Enjoy the hunt!
I got several of my 'Wolfes' through Abebooks, which is basically a network of Internet book sellers. Most that I purchased this way were used, but always in readable condition. The prices were good. I suggest you try it.
Edited to say that I went to the works page for several Wolfe novels, clicked on the Abebooks link on the right and found used copies for $1.00 - $3.00. Of course shipping is more than the book, but if you can combine several from one source, you get the books for a pretty good price.
Disregard my blathering if you already know about this.
I also used Abebooks (and Alibris) to pick up the dozen or so volumes I was unable to purchase new; but you are right, the quality can be hit or miss. Personally, I was desperate, and would have paid irrespective of quality.
A more reliable source seems to be the Seattle Mystery Bookshop (seattlemystery.com), with over 400 Stout items, including biographies and ephemera for the really desperate fan. The book quality descriptions appear to be meticulous. And they have an on-line menu item tiled “The Rex Stout Collection”, which is quite ....... well, satisfactory.
Edited: becawse I carn't spel.
Personally, I was desperate, and would have paid irrespective of quality.
I understand all too well. A couple of books we paid far more than we need have; though most we got cheaply enough.
I look forward to browsing Seattle Mystery Bookshop in a few minutes. Thanks, cogitno! :)
As it reminds me, Houston's Murder by the Book was a good source for a few volumes (and I found a few great old paperbacks at Myopic Books, and others, in Chicago) , but I get to them rarely. Certainly, though, scour local mystery bookshops as well as online treasure-troves, if you can....
Yellow pages and torn covers don't bother me; it's just that I've gotten some that were outright missing pages or had to be held together with a rubber band. Since I actually want to (rererere)read them, that complicates matters. I also worry about poorly-stored items bringing in silverfish, that kind of thing.
I'll be checking out that Seattle site, though. And thanks for explaining BookMooch to me; I've never quite gotten around to figuring that one out. I haven't spent as much time with Alibris and Abebooks because I usually use half; do you think the quality tends to be better on those two sites?
Unfortunatly, I live in a very, very small town with no nearby used bookshops, which hampers my activities in a big way: I'm pretty much completely dependent on online resources (and therefore completely dependent on buying before I see, which accounts for the falling-apart books I have).
And, as I said, I work at the local library; I'm in charge of weeding, among other things, and the Stout books WILL NOT leave our collection as long as it's up to me. That's where I got my introduction, and I'll leave them be for others to get acquainted, too. We do have some great omnibuses (omnibui?) here, too, which I'd love to find used. (you know how it is-- the books are THERE, but it's not the same as owning them)
Thanks for all the advice!
Elvisetty, it sounds like you've run into condition far worse than most of what I've seen for sale. (Including the many items ordered sight-unseen.) Those, obviously, are real hindrances, quite aside from any preference whatever.
My sympathy on the bookstore difficulties. Best wishes on your hunt.
I've put together my Wolfe collection mostly from Ebay. I have a few more to get to complete it. But here's what has worked for me...
Find the one's you want/need in auctions with at least 6 Wolfe books offered together (I buy many that even have 12-30 in one lot). I then cherry pick the best copies and re-sell them back on Ebay, minus the one or two I kept. I generally win most of the auctions I bid on. I have a set price of about $2-3 each (including shipping) that I am happy to pay. I have no problem re-selling, sometimes for more than I paid. My entire collection of over 40 Wolfe paperbacks have cost me less than $100.
My next goal is to put together a Hardcover set. This is going to be quite a bit harder and a bit more expensive. I'd love to own a First Edition set but there you're looking at $500 to $1,000 each.
Moovyz - I admire your persistence. I think that's a great way to go, I'm just a huge procrastinator about Ebay and selling books there. The learning curve makes me want to turn around and go the other way. Someday I'll jump it though. I'm trying to collect the hardcovers, but I can't quite make myself get rid of my paperbacks!
I just bought today a 1958 paperback Fer de Lance becaue it was in such excellent condition. A Dell Great Mystery Library edition. Original price was $0.35!
I could offer an 100% profit. That would make today one of your luckiest days!
Well, maybe. I paid $8.00 for it. I didn't find the correct cover on Amazon or here. I'll scan it in the next few days.
I have other paperbacks with original price of $0.25 and $0.35 that I bought when I was in the 6th or 7th grade. And that was a LONG time ago!
I started reading Nero Wolfe when I was 11 or 12, something like 35 years or more ago. I read and reread all the books many times as a teen, but then put them away and haven't reread more than one or two in the last 30 or so years. Watching the A&E series on DVD recently has rekindled my memories of just how wonderful they were (with the exception of the last couple books, which were not up to par -- Stout was sick).
Wish there were more writers of literate mysteries out there.
We have a number of items avalible in store, it is better to call then to rely on our website for them since many volumes are specialty items now. Plus we have a want list; if you are missing certain books, we will keep a list and as soon as we get a collection in you get first dibbs on the books. Let us know if you have any questions!
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