Travel Blog (Las Vegas Adventure Part 4)

For you writers and bibliophiles, one travel tip I do have is if you are ever in Las Vegas, one of the top rare book stores in the country happens to be in the Shops at the Venetian.

Yes. A casino doubles as a home to a rare book store.

I present to you, Bauman’s Rare Books. 

Retail markups are alive and kicking here. You can buy a first edition, second issue of The Sun Also Rises for a cool $13,500. 

Are you a Truman Capote fan? You can buy both of his classics if you don’t mind parting with a some cash.

The store is one of the rare places that you can actually pick up and touch a $30,000 book, under supervision of course. They have a ton of books going back a few hundred years, along with modern classics. The newer the book is, the more likely it needs an autograph or inscription to get a place on their shelf.

Are there any James Bond fans here? Despite being a pretty bombastic movie with a nonsensical plot, the first edition of Moonraker commands $12,000.

The Grapes of Wrath is a novel that is required reading in many high school curriculums. True story, as a final project I turned in a children story of the Grapes of Wrath, complete with the shocking “suckling” ending. Who knew people in the depression could have simply scooped up copies of this book and given their grandkids a nice inheritance. 
And finally, we have The Stand and Dune. The Stand is autographed by  Stephen King back in 1983 I think. Sometimes personal inscriptions are worth more due to the relationship. Dune is my favorite Sci-Fi novel of all time (Read it 3 times). In some fantasy dream land I will find this book for $1 at a Goodwill and do 3 victory laps, but until then I can only look and be envious since I don’t have $9,000 to spend. 

If you are ever in Vegas and like book collecting, Bauman’s Rare Books is a must.

Book Reviews: Dune by Frank Herbert


This is my single favorite novel of all time. It involves sandworms, drug induced psychic pre-mature babies, marrying the wife of those you kill, the hoardingĀ of water, intergalactic rivalry of Great Houses, an ancient genetics project, and spice. Frank Herbert wrote it over a span of six years (based on research of the Oregon Dunes), and even after publishing a short story version of it, couldn’t find a publisher. According to wikipedia, 20 publishers rejected it. Only Chilton Books, an auto repair manual publisher agreed to print it.

Years later, it remains as one of the greatest Sci-Fi story of all time. It is hard to pinpoint why it became so popular. Experts believed it was too long, too confusing, had too much ecology, too much religion, and too much damn head hopping (a no-no in the literary world). I mean, how dare he call his hero some weird name like Muad’Dib.

For me, the journey of Paul Atreides and his fish-out-of-water search for a new beginning isn’t new. It was the rich detail and decisive story arc and deep characters and history that sets it apart.There have been many “chosen ones” in fiction. This story has the world building, politics, religion, ecology, and economics so well thought out, and all for a tight ending that it stands the test of time. I have read Dune five times. I have read Dune Messiah once. There is a reason for this, but I’ll leave it for another blog post to what went wrong with the books that followed (Some of the other books by Kevin J. Anderson and Brian Herbert are better thought out).

My favorite scene in the story is the end, when Paul wins, controlling the spice, winning the hand of the daughter of the Emperor while getting to keep his Fremen wives.

For Dune fans disappointed by the screen adapapations, check out Jodorowsky’s Dune documentary, and imagine what could have been. Although it would have changed my favorite scene in the movie, I think overall it would have been a stronger film than the David Lynch version. Frank Herbert might haveĀ even liked it.

Book Rating: 10/10