Saturday, 8 February 2014

A bookseller’s story about the very modern first editions

When it comes to fiction and hardback books changes in retailing have produced a glut of unwanted titles.

Strangely these are mostly the best of modern popular fiction even stranger is that the majority of these books are first editions, books which in another age would have passed the original retail price as desirable collectables after a few years.

One of most prominent of the popular fiction writers from the mid 50s to the mid 80s was Alistair MacLean here are what the values of first editions of his books were in 1985. 
The cover prices on hardback fiction books increased over the years, roughly as below.
2010 around £15
2000 around £12
1990 around £10
1980 around £8
1970 around £2
1960 around £1
1950 around 50p
1940 around 25p

This meant that the value of a nice condition first edition passed what you had paid for it new after about ten years, due to a mixture of the rise in the value of the first editions and inflation.

Frankly now this does not not happen with most fiction books, most of the fiction first edition books by prominent authors published around ten years ago are available on the internet including P&P for less than they would cost to post.

Most of my customers prefer the to buy the these books in paperback, having tried various price reduction strategies in my bookshop, I have now put them all in one place in my bookshop and priced them all at 50p you can see some of them in the photos. Not really sure if this will work either on the supply or demand front. 


  1. Is the War Museum on track for completion for the anniversary of WW1 ?

    The Ramsgate Royal British Legion spokesperson in that 2012 newspaper report was a Mr Clive Richards. Chairman of the Ramsgate RBL Branch.

    Would you know if the Branch has changed its spokesperson ?

  2. As the heavens seem to have been open for at least forty days and nights and the outside is too miserable to venture from home, has this seen a surge in book sales? The blogging world is dead, apart from the odd site still allowing provocative anonymous comment, so have folk returned to reading on these bleak winter days? Then again, perhaps there will be a population explosion towards the end of the year with folk unable to afford to put the heating on.

    Furthermore what has happened to all those cliff hanger stories without end? What revelation is to come from Thanet Life and where is the DI from Canterbury who phoned a man in Arizona, like detectives do, to tell him not to be nasty on blog sites. Like Kent Police have a lot of jurisdiction in Arizona and, if the anonymous Hamilton is to be collared what about the anonymous Garbutt who peddles even more insults, often bordering on libel?

    And, while we are at it, where have all the flowers gone (only cricket fans need answer)? Interesting concept though that there are no bad officers, only bad troops. Parallels with the Gooch and Gower saga of a few years back.

    1. Seems like Thanet Life's "revelation" has come! This at least confirms what I said about about senior police inspectors investigating... do you believe me now William?

    2. Peter, I never disbelieved you. I objected to you suggesting that I was one of the interviewed councillors so do you believe me now. Guess we are even.

  3. Maybe (or maybe not) Michael w ould like to write a blog post on all this? Better than us all going off-topic.

  4. Simon will not let this go and neither must he.

    "Furthermore, the judgement of the Police Commissioner is once again under scrutiny. If the police rejected this vexatious complaint once, why did Ann Barnes, as I was told by the police, intervene to resurrect it? I don’t know but I’m sure that many people, local politicians of all parties included, would dearly like to know the answer."

    1. The word vexatious is an just an opinion in this case, there are many reasons why the police do not proceed in a complaint, however the police didn't say why they originally did not proceed that is just hyperbole.
      Ann Barnes had the facts as told to her and decided to intervene, she could of course have dismissed it as well as could the police the second time, however they decided to investigate which rather assumes they came to a different conclusion than 1st time round.
      It isn't any bloggers position to second guess the police's decision and I rather think, when in command, of all the facts the police exercised judgement on both occasions and came to 2 different conclusions.
      Finally being interviewed under caution or not is a decision the police officer made not the complainant and that decision is for the police to answer as to why. I believe Peter stated he wasn't so does that make him less of a suspect?

    2. I definitely wasn't under caution, and it was very much just a relaxed & friendly chat... unlike Simon's interview.

  5. Many local commentators - including councillors - made unnecessary personal attacks to various people they disagreed with. To claim that someone who is using their perfectly legal right of access to the court on an issue to which they feel is important just shows the level of the debate.

    It is not my place to say who should or should not complain to the authorities, but let it be said that there was certainly cause to complain. Whether Simon was involved, I have no idea, but as far as I understand comments left on blogs are the responsibility of the person holding the keys to that blog. So I'm not sure that defence holds water.

    The simple solution, of course, is to play the ball rather than the man. Nobody is obliged to agree with anyone else, but there is no need to make the extreme comments about other people we see too frequently in Thanet.

    1. Sorry, I mangled what I was trying to say. Taking a legal right to appeal to a court is not 'wasting everyone's time'. If it is a proper proceedure, then anyone who has concerns about it are entitled to do so.

  6. It is odd that RBL Ramsgate found money for this project when they just been baled out of financial difficulties. Unless of course RTC considered this to be one of those sacred cow projects that no-one would question and have put up all the cash in their name?

    I wonder how much has been spent on this and where has the money gone?

    1. What project are you referring to? The RBL Club Ramsgate has not just been 'bailed out' as you put it recently. Please explain as I am the Treasurer of the Club! You are making very serious accusations regarding the Ramsgate Royal British Legion Club and I would be happy to discuss whatever you are talking about as you have clearly been misinformed!

  7. For those following Pleasurama Cardy are on site creating an access road from the tunnels entrance round to the Pavilion entrance I presume to start work.


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