Would this book be considered rare?

Would this book be considered rare?

Post by Bibliowork » Tue, 16 Jun 1998 04:00:00



Quote:


> >I was researching a book I have called "With Beatty off Jutland" by Percy F.
> >Westerman on the net and found others by this author but not this particular
> >title. Can I consider this title to be rare?

>   I think "scarce" is better; a little less definitive.  Even better,
> if you are putting it in a catalog for sale, is to say "not found on
> the internet."

>   In pre-internet days it used to be "not found in NUC", which may
> perhaps be less definitive than the internet these days.  I smell a
> discussion approaching.

>   ---Mike
>       "rec.collecting.books" FAQ at
>       http://www.massmedia.com/~mikeb/rcb/
>       (No FS or WTB messages on RCB!)

Even scarce is a subjective term, though much better than the over-used
and usually mis-applied term "rare." (Witness Grosset & Dunlap reprints

postings I receive on bibliofinds "Rare" newslist.

I've listed books which were the only ones on the two major book search
sites we subscribe to, only later to see copies sitting on shelves in
local bookshops. This makes me tend to avoid describing them in terms of
rare, scarce, or even hard-to-find. If someone has been looking for your
particular title and finds it at long last in your catalog or on your
website, he or she will know it's rare, scarce, or hard to find. In the
long run, it is the book and the desire for it that should sell the book,
not the word "rare" in the description. Mis-use of the word has killed
it's meaning. (In my humble opinion.)

The only term I will confidently apply to many of my books is
"Hard-To-Sell."

Regards,

Wayne Morris

 
 
 

Would this book be considered rare?

Post by Cliff Spice » Sat, 20 Jun 1998 04:00:00


I was researching a book I have called "With Beatty off Jutland" by Percy F.
Westerman on the net and found others by this author but not this particular
title. Can I consider this title to be rare?

Thanks,

Cliff Spicer

 
 
 

Would this book be considered rare?

Post by Mike Ber » Sat, 20 Jun 1998 04:00:00


Quote:

>I was researching a book I have called "With Beatty off Jutland" by Percy F.
>Westerman on the net and found others by this author but not this particular
>title. Can I consider this title to be rare?

  I think "scarce" is better; a little less definitive.  Even better,
if you are putting it in a catalog for sale, is to say "not found on
the internet."

  In pre-internet days it used to be "not found in NUC", which may
perhaps be less definitive than the internet these days.  I smell a
discussion approaching.

  ---Mike
      "rec.collecting.books" FAQ at
      http://www.massmedia.com/~mikeb/rcb/
      (No FS or WTB messages on RCB!)

 
 
 

Would this book be considered rare?

Post by Lawrence Pers » Sun, 21 Jun 1998 04:00:00



Quote:

>   In pre-internet days it used to be "not found in NUC", which may
> perhaps be less definitive than the internet these days.  I smell a
> discussion approaching.

In SF, it is not uncommon to mention that the book is not in some of the
standard checklists for that era; "not found in Bleiler" for example.

--
- Lawrence Person

Visit the Nova Express Web Site at:
http://www.delphi.com/sflit/novaexpress/
"Crucifixion Variations" in the May 1998 Asimov's
Lame Excuse Books Catalog #3 Now Available!

 
 
 

Would this book be considered rare?

Post by Steve Cieluc » Tue, 23 Jun 1998 04:00:00


The NUC is a large, well organized and significant database. Stating,
"not in NUC" has some meaning regarding scarcity.  At "netsearch" on the
other hand can be a joke. I would not attribute any significance to
sucha statement without further details. Such as, not on Interloc, ABE,
Bibliofind, Bibliocity. Even then it doesn't say much about scarcity. It
only tells you the book is not easily found on-line. Many, many dealers
are not with the on-line databases or do not have all their material
on-line. Estimates I have seen indicate that only 20% of the available
Out-of-Print books are on-line.

Steve

Quote:


> >I was researching a book....on the net and found others... but not this particular title. Can I consider this title to be rare?

>   I think "scarce" is better; a little less definitive.  Even better,
> if you are putting it in a catalog for sale, is to say "not found on
> the internet."

>   In pre-internet days it used to be "not found in NUC", which may
> perhaps be less definitive than the internet these days.  I smell a
> discussion approaching.

>   ---Mike

 
 
 

Would this book be considered rare?

Post by Mike Ber » Tue, 23 Jun 1998 04:00:00


Quote:

>The NUC is a large, well organized and significant database. Stating,
>"not in NUC" has some meaning regarding scarcity.  At "netsearch" on the
>other hand can be a joke. I would not attribute any significance to
>sucha statement without further details. Such as, not on Interloc, ABE,
>Bibliofind, Bibliocity. Even then it doesn't say much about scarcity. It
>only tells you the book is not easily found on-line. Many, many dealers
>are not with the on-line databases or do not have all their material
>on-line. Estimates I have seen indicate that only 20% of the available
>Out-of-Print books are on-line.

  That's a good point, but consider this: almost every book that is
online is for sale, whereas books in the NUC (or Bleiler) are not.
The most important point for the collector is how easy (or cheaply)
can *I* obtain a copy, not how many there are in the world (although
of course there is some correlation.)

  ---Mike
      "rec.collecting.books" FAQ at
      http://www.massmedia.com/~mikeb/rcb/
      (No FS or WTB messages on RCB!)

 
 
 

Would this book be considered rare?

Post by Mike Ber » Tue, 23 Jun 1998 04:00:00


Quote:

>Even scarce is a subjective term, though much better than the over-used
>and usually mis-applied term "rare." (Witness Grosset & Dunlap reprints

>postings I receive on bibliofinds "Rare" newslist.

  I still get a kick out of the time I found a book described as
"rare" in a catalogue (with some justification I thought), and when I
called about it, was told the dealer had two other copies as well.

Quote:
>The only term I will confidently apply to many of my books is
>"Hard-To-Sell."

  The only term that means anything to me is "hard-to-afford".  <grin>

  ---Mike
      "rec.collecting.books" FAQ at
      http://www.massmedia.com/~mikeb/rcb/
      (No FS or WTB messages on RCB!)

 
 
 

Would this book be considered rare?

Post by Mjc » Wed, 24 Jun 1998 04:00:00


Quote:
>Some very fine booksellers are on line,
>but they're a minority. On-line
>bookservices have thus far attracted
>pretenders, amateurs & crooks in the
>greater numbers.

Call me naive, but most people are honest and trustworthy. I don't worry about
getting ripped off online. You can tell a lot by how a book is described, what
the seller's shipping, payment and return policies are, etc., etc. If something
isn't clear, or sounds not quite right, I ask questions before buying. The same
as I would in person, or over a telephone line. I don't think adding a computer
and modem to the equation enhances my chances of being taken. On the contrary.
I've found books online that I had about given up on ever seeing in the
pre-Internet days.

-- Mario

 
 
 

Would this book be considered rare?

Post by TAMLIN » Wed, 24 Jun 1998 04:00:00


still and all, despite all one can find on the Internet, nothing beats walking
into that junky bookstore and finding the one title you wanted above all else,
to hold it in your hands, blow the dust off, open the cover, and see "First
Edition", then close it and see a $1 price tag!!!

not the same experience online!!!

"I feel most creative early in the morning, but I'm never awake then" - E.G.

 
 
 

Would this book be considered rare?

Post by Terry Kenned » Wed, 24 Jun 1998 04:00:00


Quote:

> Dear naive: What the modum adds is the
> capacity for certain individuals such as
> used to cart around old station wagons
> full of soiled, damaged books trying to
> hawk them to booksellers to list this
> rubbish on-line for $25 each, incorrectly
> described so that it may actually sell, &
> claim thereby to be booksellers with no
> overhead, no investment, no knowledge,
> & no worthwhile stock. It's a buyer
> beware enviornment.

  OTOH, I've bought maybe 50 books over the Internet from a wide variety of
dealers (> 30, at least) and they've all been courteous and professional*.
If there was a single point that I would complain about, it is that a good
number of them have outdated listings on the online databases, but to be
fair, many have told me that they've sent repeated delete requests which
didn't "take" for some reason, and i have no reason to doubt them.

  * One seller mis-listed a book for $1.00 when they intended $100. When I
called this to their attention, they said "we listed it that way, so we will
sell it for $1". Despite my protests, they only wanted the dollar for it.

  I don't do modern firsts, though (I have an ample and growing collection
built by purchasing them when they're new). My used purchases are mostly
history of technology and exploration titles, and perhaps this attracts a
different caliber of seller. Certainly it encourages a more long-term view
of one's inventory 8-)

Quote:
> There are other sad "losses" that are
> occurring to bookselling as an eccentric
> yet mutually respectful subculture, as the
> overwhelming number of novices have no
> sense of the history of the book OR of
> the bookseller.

  As I mentioned to a friend of mine, "you think us computer people are weird-
you should see some of the folks in the book trade!". That was prompted by my
attendance at a book fair where a seller was using an illuminated Bible bound
in wood as a makeshift tray for his Blimpie dinner...

        Terry Kennedy             Operations Manager, Academic Computing

        +1 201 915 9381 (voice)   +1 201 435-3662 (FAX)

 
 
 

Would this book be considered rare?

Post by brian r. mcdona » Wed, 24 Jun 1998 04:00:00



: >The NUC is a large, well organized and significant database. Stating,
: >"not in NUC" has some meaning regarding scarcity.  At "netsearch" on the
: >other hand can be a joke. I would not attribute any significance to
: >sucha statement without further details. Such as, not on Interloc, ABE,
: >Bibliofind, Bibliocity. Even then it doesn't say much about scarcity. It
: >only tells you the book is not easily found on-line. Many, many dealers
: >are not with the on-line databases or do not have all their material
: >on-line. Estimates I have seen indicate that only 20% of the available
: >Out-of-Print books are on-line.

:   That's a good point, but consider this: almost every book that is
: online is for sale, whereas books in the NUC (or Bleiler) are not.
: The most important point for the collector is how easy (or cheaply)
: can *I* obtain a copy, not how many there are in the world (although
: of course there is some correlation.)

        mr. berro's point is true but i'm not sure it's germane. "not
found in any major library collection" [which is a fairly close
approximation of "not in NUC"] says quite a bit about an item's scarcity.
even if Every bookseller were online and had Every item of inventory
listed, i think that "not currently being offered for sale" would say
rather less about the book's actual rarity, though perhaps more about
mr. berro's or my chance of obtaining a copy today.

                                        chiwito

p.s. my chances of obtaining any given book are marginally increased
by the fact that jack vance has never [as far as i know] written anything
which mentions the game of go, nor has he collaborated with any member
of the OuLiPo. therefore, my chance of obtaining any of the truly
must-haves for my collection are improved by the fact that mr. berro
won't have snapped them up first.

--
part-time longshoreman and full-time dilettente at the game of go
bibliophile, skeptic, oulipian, liberal, romantic
"if you've got 'em by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow"

 
 
 

Would this book be considered rare?

Post by Mike Ber » Wed, 24 Jun 1998 04:00:00



Quote:
>    mr. berro's point is true but i'm not sure it's germane. "not
>found in any major library collection" [which is a fairly close
>approximation of "not in NUC"] says quite a bit about an item's scarcity.
>even if Every bookseller were online and had Every item of inventory
>listed, i think that "not currently being offered for sale" would say
>rather less about the book's actual rarity, though perhaps more about
>mr. berro's or my chance of obtaining a copy today.

  If you call me "mr. berro" again I'll be *forced* into calling you
Mr. McDonald.
  And I don't disagree: Any information is a Good Thing.  Note that
many (most?) "major library collections" are on-line; this is one way
I've determined my Bramah collection is second to none (as far as I
know.)

Quote:
>p.s. my chances of obtaining any given book are marginally increased
>by the fact that jack vance has never [as far as i know] written anything
>which mentions the game of go, nor has he collaborated with any member
>of the OuLiPo. therefore, my chance of obtaining any of the truly
>must-haves for my collection are improved by the fact that mr. berro
>won't have snapped them up first.

  Well, he *uses* the word "go" in most of his books; is that not
sufficient?

  ---Mike

 
 
 

Would this book be considered rare?

Post by Mike Ber » Wed, 24 Jun 1998 04:00:00


  What's true now is that it no longer is an expensive proposition to
print and mail out a catalog; it's virtually free.  I always assumed
anyone with a printed catalog was reputable, and it was (and still is)
probably true.  Now that I can browse a zillion catalogs from anyone
who has a book, I do indeed have to be much more careful.

  However, I think the internet has been the best thing for my
collection since I started getting an allowance from my dad.  I don't
travel much anymore, but that's no longer a disadvantage for me.  I've
been able to find books that I never could have just a few years ago;
in fact, books that no collector or museum could have obtained,
because the "ordinary person" would not have thought to offer it, or
had the means.  They probably would have thrown it out.  It's just
wonderful, and it's a great time to be a collector.  It may, however,
be a lousy time to be a dealer; that's not for me to judge.

  About 15% of the books I buy from eBay turn out to be trash.  Since
I'm saving well over 50% on the rest, I simply live with it.

  ---Mike