Thrift Treasures (The Nora Roberts & Brad Meltzer Score)

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I don’t know what the hell is going on. I’m finding autographs left and right. I have a few theories; most of them having to do with houses getting cleaned out in estate sales and the rest of the stuff getting dumped at Goodwill because it is too much work to search through books. I wasn’t even planning to go, but I’m taking a trip to Las Vegas starting tomorrow, and I needed to run to the ATM (obviously). I stopped by two stores on the way to my bank’s ATM and somehow, someway, I found 3 autographed books. Considering the fact that two of them were 99 cents and one was $1.99, the deal wasn’t that bad. The first book I found was Nora Roberts aka JD Robb, autographed to someone back in 1993. IMG_9620.JPG

She has probably signed a ton of books over the years, considering she has sold 400 million books and probably has a yacht the size of Florida. Pretty cool pickup, and as of now, there are none on ebay.

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I picked this book up, yet, I have no idea who this author is. The sticker on the front made it obvious; he probably signed at a local store or something. I thought it was interesting President Clinton wrote an introduction to the book, which I don’t think he does very often.

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It was highly bizarre that he chose not to sign the usual author title page, but rather the page before. What a weirdo or a pretentious asshole.

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The shocker today, was a third autographed book in a very short time span. Notice the ripoff at Goodwill these days; it was at Big Lots across the street for 3 bucks. Goodwill dropped it by a buck. Even though it was a blue sticker day, it was still more expensive than the independent thrift shops. Yes, I know they say Goodwills are essentially “ebay supply stores” these days, but damn, they are pricing stuff like an antique store for crying out loud. When I started scalping twelve years ago, prices were 50 cents a book. Eventually their raising of prices, along with the postal service raising their rates, along with amazon raising their cut, then competition cutting prices to a penny basically destroyed my little operation and many others back in 2004-05. I’ve noticed this tendency with practically anything that looks of value. Not to let any penny go to a flipper, they do stuff like take a framed picture and price it at $80 bucks, although it won’t ever sell at that price. They will wait until it goes to half price sticker day and hopefully someone pays for the frame. Oil painting? $200 bucks despite knowing nothing about art. The store is pretty backwards these days which is why the flippers and ebay folks still pick the stores clean everyday (some in my town sit all day at each one in teams … yep, I call them the ebay mafia), but the collector types like me hunt in more obscure places they don’t know about. Plus, there are scams going on with the employees themselves. Tonight, as I walked out, I checked the record section, and only saw crap, until I walked on and in another section, buried beneath expired calendars, were two Frank Sinatra vinyls in pretty awesome shape. Stuff like this goes on all the time; I’m not a picker newbie. I know the workers in the back text their contacts when they see something good and coordinate a time to bring it out. IMG_9617.JPG

In any case, there it is, the last autograph by Brad Meltzer, boldy signed. Pretty cool for a buck. So, 3 autograph books, 2 Sinatra Albums, 1 Duck Dynasty sealed Chia Pet, and a first edition of Message in a Bottle … all for 9 bucks. Pretty good stop before hitting the ATM.

 

Thrift Treasures (The Anne McCaffrey Score)

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I’ve been collecting books for a number of years. I’m sort of a book collector, but everything I have ever found worth any “collectors value” built me quite the collection. I collect all sorts of things.

Video Games

Books

DVDs/Movies (Laserdiscs for some of the covers)

Vinyl Records

Posters

Sports collectibles

Basically, anything of pop culture value, I try to get a good deal on it. Most of the time, this has involved rummaging the local Goodwills Stores, Salvation Army Stores, Thrift Shops of various charities, garage sales, ebay, and the occasional craigslist posting. The general rule I have is to pick up a solid hardcover if A)I want to read it B)It is a first edition in good quality C)Is something I know someone else wants. I probably have over 1500 books. Half of which are boxed up (because I have a serious book problem).

Today, I figured I would spend a couple hours before Game of Thrones to see what was out there. I visited 3 Goodwill Stores and came home about $20 lighter in the wallet. Some scores today included a first edition of Lord the Isles (by David Drake) an Pet Peeve (by Piers Anthony). I really like hardcovers to collect, however I do buy paperbacks because they are easier to read on the go. I have not read Jeffrey Eugenides but Middlesex won the Pulitzer Prize, so I figured why not gamble on a couple of his books. I’ll probably try to read Middlesex in May. Next are a couple “now a new motion picture” books: Blow & Paper Towns. I watched Blow with a girl about fifteen years ago, in a screwed up relationship that totally blew. I watched Paper Towns last year, based on John Green’s novel, and figured it couldn’t be much worse than the movie.

I found a pretty cool large education of “The Ultimate History of Ferrari” by Marks & Spencer. It retails for $12 on ebay, so this was a solid $1 find. IMG_9113.JPG

There was also a comic book I found for the low price of a buck, which retails for $12 I guess too.  If any of you are super collectors of Ben Katcher, let me know. I’ll trade.

The highlight of the short shopping excursion was an autographed copy “The Rowan” by Anne McCaffrey. Niiiiiiiice. She is one of the original “Dragon Authors” who wrote about dragons before they were cool (ok, maybe they were always cool). This is the type of score I usually get excited about (Sci-Fi author autographed book). Usually when there is one autographed book, there are a few to follow. Unfortunately, I only had ten minutes to scrounge the store.  I checked maybe twenty more hardcovers of certain authors, but no more autographs were to be found. IMG_6603.jpeg

I’m not sure what it is worth, but I don’t care. I’ll add it to my collection for safekeeping the next 50 years unless someone wants to trade.

READ ABOUT MY NEXT THRIFT TREASURE SCORE