I pit my own shortsightedness... (Book geekery)

As you may gather from my posts on Cafe Society, I am a fan of locked room mysteries. As a puzzle maven, it’s one of the most perfectly suited subgenres of books that exists for my tastes.

I recently decided to collect locked room books/mysteries after years of reselling the ones I already read (because now that I knew the answers, what more did I need from them, right?). So that means doing a lot of rebuying stuff I’d already gotten rid of. But usually, the problem is finding them again - price-wise, it’s generally not that bad.

Now I find out that one of the anthologies I USED to have (Mike Ashley’s Mammoth Book of Locked Room Mysteries and Impossible Crimes) now sells on Amazon by booksellers for over FIFTY dollars!

massive forehead whap Not only did I have what’s apparently a fairly rare book on my hands that I just let go of (and let go of at least twice seeing copies in used bookstores), but now I have to go through even MORE hoops to replace it at anything near a reasonable price!

Why why why? :frowning: sobs

Incredibly frustrating, no doubt. But come on, give yourself a break. If we held onto every single thing we’ve ever owned just in case it might become a valuable collectors item one day, we’d bust our necks tripping over mountains of worthless crap.

But I still understand your frustration.

I’m trying to cull my collection, and one thing I’m being careful about is checking Amazon and a few other used-book sites to make sure I’m not doing something similar. And I’m glad I did, because last year I sold a book on Amazon for $60. :slight_smile:

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that copies of the 1983 Abbeville Press edition of the Codex Seraphinianus*, which I bought for $70 as a frivolous purchase with part of the riches from my first real job, were fetching hundreds of dollars on eBay!

[sub]*A volume of peculiar artwork written in an unknown language, which would make a splendid coffee-table book for the non-Euclidean servants of Cthulhu. It’s the second-weirdest book I’ve ever owned.[/sub]

Check abebooks.com. I found 8 copies. Strangely, four of them are in United Kingdom and range from $4 to $5, while the 3 are in the USA range from $45 to $55 Shipping, the UK versions to the USA looks to be only $10 - $12.

deleted post Never mind - found the answer to what I asked.

After some research, I think I’ve figured out why: the UK edition is the one being sold for much cheaper. The US edition is what’s selling for $45+.

Now I have to figure out whether it’s worth it to hold out for the U.S. edition, or if the UK edition is exactly the same.

But still… Damn, I’m depressed!

If you like haunting 2nd hand bookstores (which you probably do), then this can be your holy grail. Just think of how excited you’ll be when you find a copy in some grotty, out of the way store for $4.50! Or a yard sale! Or you buy a fish at a market, and a copy pops out of it’s gullet!

Zoinks! I have that book. I never dreamed it was so valuable. I got it not too long ago (couple years maybe?) from Edward R. Hamilton for about 5 bucks.

Now is the time when Thudlow Boink offers to give the book to Leaper, and we have a happy ending!

Or, since this is the Pit, Thudlow says "I have the book and you don’t ha ha, loser!

This one could go either way, folks!

I had a similar experience. Back years ago when I was a poor graduate student, a book was published that I really, really wanted. The only problem was that it cost $50, and that was a lot of money for me then. Ten years later I had a good job and could easily afford it, so I looked for the same book on the used book market. They were asking at least $200 for it, and the price hasn’t come down since! (It’s now been 20 years since the book came out.) Eventually I gave in and paid that price.


Well, maybe after I’ve finished reading it…

You know what would really help? If you note the solutions in the margin for **Leaper ** before sending it along!

I actually know a guy like that, or at least I used to. We came of age in the mid 1980’s when the obcene collectors market was really firing up and he started saving…everything. Limited edition Pepsi cans (like the ones that spelled out S-E-X if you stacked them right), baseball cards, toys, anything he got he kept. I’ll bet more than a few of those things he held on to are worth a few bucks these days.

Have you considered bookswap sites? I use them for re-finding old books that I don’t want to pay full price for.

I just checked www.paperbackswap.com (which is where I swap), and there are a whole bunch of locked room mysteries available. The Mammoth Book is not currently available, but there’s no one on the waitlist, so if you sign up you’ll be at the top of the list.

Don’t say it unless you really mean it! My heart couldn’t take the dashed hope!

Good idea, and yes I do haunt 'em. Although my BIG holy grail is Robert Adey’s reference book Locked Room Mysteries and Other Impossible Crimes, which is very rare, sells for $150, and is something I’ve never foolishly sold (I only ever had it in my hands as a library book).

Oh, and Thudlow Boink, I’d be happy to pay for shipping, not to mention a reasonable price if you were actually serious. :slight_smile: Do you have the UK edition (which has a sort of light blue cover) or the US edition (which has a typewriter on the cover)?

What I have is the U. S. (typewriter) paperback with a red (remainder) marker line across the bottom pages. It may take me a while before I’m finished with it, because it’s the kind of book you dip into now and then rather than reading straight through, and it is, after all, Mammoth. :slight_smile: But I’ll try not to dawdle too long over it, and I’ll check with you when I’ve finished reading it, and if you still want it (i.e. you haven’t run across another copy in the meantime), I’ll send it along.


The only thing I ask is that you PLEASE don’t forget!

You mean this: :smack: