Thursday, 29 January 2015

Lunch at the Crispin in Sandwich books and Petrushka

We finally got around to taking the Christmas tree to Sandwich tip for recycling today, along with the enviable small electrical devices which one no longer repairs. The days of putting a new element in the kettle or iron are long gone.

We had a light lunch at The Crispin, this a consistently good pub with good food and a pleasant atmosphere that I have used since the 1960s, a pot of tea each, bacon and cheeseburger with chips for me and a mozzarella and tomato ciabatta for she who must be obeyed, the tab was £17 something or other.

Alas no bookshops in Sandwich and nothing like Mrs Gunion ran there certainly since I have been visiting Sandwich in the 60s up to around 1990, oh to timewarp back there with a few hundred pounds to spend on books.

The inevitable charity shops in Sandwich yielded up only this small pile of books for my bookshop, nothing of great merit although I was very pleased to get a book on puppetry. Petrushka: The Russian Carnival Puppet Theatre by Catriona Kelly, an interesting book and helpful for me as we seldom get books on puppetry.

The paperback reprint is in print and for sale on Amazon, Ebay and the rest for around £23 including postage the cheapest copy of this the hardback first edition on Amazon is listed at £460 see

This takes us into the misleading chaos of modern internet bookselling as I guess it will go on the shelf in my bookshop for around £15 and if there are no takers for it in the shop then I will put it on Amazon where I would expect it to sell for about £18 with the costs incurred of selling it online being about £6, if you are following me into this maze you are doing better than most.

So say you have a copy on your bookshelves at home and you find that the cheapest copy listed on the internet is £460, what do you do? First let me be quite clear here when some books are listed on the internet for £460 it is a good indicator that if you have a copy you would get this sort of amount for it if you put it on ebay, however in a lot of cases there really is very little chance of them selling for more than you would expect them to sell for.

This isn’t the sort of book where it being a first edition or a hardback enhances the price much and the paperback is in print new for £23.23 including postage, see
Now if you brought it to my bookshop I would offer you £5 in cash or £7.50 in exchange vouchers and as I said if my guess was right I would sell it for £15 and this would averagely take around a year. If it didn’t sell in my bookshop I would probably realise about £12 for it by selling it on the internet. Bumbling along like this for most of my working life I usually generate a gross rate of profit in the 40% ball park. 
My guess is that if you were to put it on Ebay after a few months of relisting it you would probably sell it for around the £20 mark including postage and having spent around £6 on P&P how you came out would depend on the listing fees you had accumulated.

My guess also is that if you actually wanted to buy the book online you would probably go for the new paperback that Amazon have in stock in their warehouse.

I did a very quick sketch of The Bell Inn from The Crispin as you can see the vanishing points are all over the place.

Oh and a few photos.

I think the ladybird had been living in the Christmas tree, pictures should expand if clicked on.

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