Thursday, 12 April 2012

It is a beautiful autumn day in Tasmania today and predictions are that we will have quite a few more days like this.  So what does one do on a day like today? One goes Penguin Hunting.  As I had quite a few errands to run today I headed into town.  Finished my real jobs (posting a letter, having coffee with a friend) and then headed to three of my favourite haunts.

First stop was the Red Cross bookshop.  I read on a travel blog that a particular traveller thought this shop is the best book store in the southern hemisphere.  I don't know if I would agree with that but it is very nice and turn over is quick. Also the elderly women volunteers are great fun to listen to. They really do have the problems of the world solved and their laughter is quite infectious at times, that is when they aren't gossiping about the volunteer that didn't show up today.

Three lovely first published Penguin classics in excellent condition.
I am always able to find Penguins and they are seldom over $2.00 each, generally only $1.00.  Next on my journey was the Vinnie's shop.  I had some things to drop off as I am trying to do a big clean of my library/Penguin room before my sister arrives Monday from California and we need to turn it into a temporary bedroom.   There were slim pickings today there but the book I did find was only 20 cents so can't complain about that. Also had a chat to a good friend who works there.

Three more titles I didn't have in first published. 

Then off to the Collectables shop. I always get twitchy in this place because the inventory is stuff rescued from landfill and the tip shop that is on site at the landfill in South Hobart.  Supposedly anything of value (no idea of their criteria used) is too good for the Tip Shop. Instead some 'expert' bags it up and hauls it into the city centre to the "Collectables" shop. At least they have not progressed to calling it "Antique" shop.  Everything is overpriced but if you are not afraid to speak up deals can be done.  I love to place a stack of books on the counter, tell them what I will pay and casually mention that I'm happy to take it for that price or otherwise they can take them all back upstairs and reshelve them.  It always works and many of the workers there think it is all just a bunch of junk anyway and are happy to see the back of it.

I have even been known to take a pencil eraser with me, rub out the ridiculous price and tell them, "Sorry I don't see a price in this, could you please tell me how much it is?" Now mind you I've only done that twice but the markdown is quite significant.

I had to laugh as previously they had the book Marching on Tanga (Penguin) marked up to $20.00 because they told me how rare it was. "Why is it rare? " I asked.  "Because it is printed in an orange cover and Penguin should have printed it in a blue cover."  I looked at this absolutely filthy, smelly book, all pages very browned, tears and writing all over it and said "I think it should be a cerise one as it is a travel and adventure book. Blue is biography"  

My copy of  Marching on Tanga
 in My Library Thing
"Whatever" the man replied, "It is still rare".  Upon checking with my VIP penguin source in the Penguin Collector's Society he told me it is not rare as just as many were published as the others at the time. Yes there is a mistaken cover colour but the book itself is not rare.

"Back I went to explain this to them, just to be ornery I think as I already had a good copy of it"  Once again, "Whatever. "  A very common reply.  I then forgot about it.  Penguin collectors can be so pedantic!

Visiting today I came across several Penguins, fortunately I already had all of them and there in the midst of them all, out of the glass case they had kept it in, was Tanga on the shelf.

Marked down from $20.00 to only 50 cents.  I laughed out loud and left it there.  The copy is in such a very poor condition any collector would have to be absolutely desperate to even pay 50 cents for it. So it remains there for anyone who may like a copy of it.

My find of the day was at the Red Cross shop. Not only a lovely old King Penguin entitled Ackerman's Cambridge, No 59 published in 1951 with a dust jacket but a copy of Kangaroo Tales: Australian Stories for Children.

It is a first published Australian Puffin, No. AU2 and published in 1963. There is a short inscription to Rupert from "Grandfra" Fay dated 7-6-63. I don't think Rupert ever looked at it because it is as new as it once was. Only $1.00. I had not realised there were Australian Puffin books as I have never come across one so I was most excited to find one in such a great condition. I wonder where Rupert is now.

Finally I was home bound again to put the beautiful copies of books that I did find up for display and hopefully the rest of the afternoon can be spent reading.  Books are so much fun.

p.s. to   apenguinaweek -  one of the books I bought is replacing a reprint I had so will see if you need it and send it on if you do...

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Pam, though I recognise those three (orange) Penguin titles so I'm sure I have them already. Francis Brett Young also wrote fiction, so I guess the cover error is understandable, and I see that they corrected it to a cerise cover for the reissue - does that mean you will try to collect both?. (And still no packages from the UK!)


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