Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Worn Collars - Part Nineteen - "Highly Regarded Form"

Worn Collars

Part Nineteen

"Highly Regarded Form"

            Didn’t I tell you how I go to these ‘old rare book rooms’ all the time?  I even expostulated upon a... rare book dealer to rare book dealer... tactical method exchange... about managing fleets of regionally situated ‘old rare book rooms’; their contents and their overseer ‘rare bookman’.  I did.  (Part Fifteen [C]).  But I forgot to mention specifically... an already vaguely alluded to... issue:  The men in their book rooms
            Do not
            Rare Books.

            What does that mean?  Simply set down the current ‘your rare book for sale’ and next to it set the two hundred dollar in cash you ‘want for it’.  Leaving the book where you set it, pick up the cash and... walk away.  That is what one wants to do... when one sells a rare book.  Right.  Well... in the rare book rooms I have visited for over forty years... the “THAT” ‘rarely happens’.  And I mean REALLY rarely happens.

            The expert of rare books is, too, an expert of ‘not buying’.  That becomes a very real glitch if one is “trying to do this for money” (sell rare books to make a living).  Specifically what the reason for the ‘no show’ cash is... that... the resident bibliomane actually does not care about purchasing good... very good... rare books by paying “a lot” “of money”.  No:  the bibliomane is happier creeping around with slight of hand sleuthing out ‘odd’ ‘old books’ that... due to their varying attributes... “COULD BE” a ‘rare book’... “DIRT CHEAP”.  This... pattern... rarely varies.  The bibliomane would rather ‘play pretend’ in his rare book room than “BUY” a “GOOD RARE BOOK”.  Ever.  This is never spoken of.  Ever.  It is... by I... ‘filed away’... as a ‘constant’.  ANY... ‘weak point’ in this bibliomane armor is, too, ‘filed away’.  But that does not change the sheets on the bed.  They are dirty with this ratio:  No true rare book is ever ‘bought’... directly one to one against the actual “LOOK WHAT I GOT (found)!”.  This latter may go ...one to one... with... a really true rare book purchased?  No.  This slight of hand of ‘discovery’ goes “into my” (the finder bibliomane’s) book room’s accumulation.  That is the measured success of an “odd” “cheap” ‘old book’ “possibly quite rare”... as is said.  The ‘possibly quite rare” is the title of the action.  And:  The more of that sort of accumulation, the more “STUFF” in the book room.  But skimpy are the true rare books in ... ‘great condition’.  No... and this explains the reliance of I on the rake of my eye... of “the spine ends on the  shelves”.  If I do not see it... it is not there.

            When I ‘turn up’ a ‘precious as gold’ rare book I... smash straight hard into a solid wall of ‘they don’t buy’ “IT”.  “NICE; nice find... but... ahhhh... not for me” (no Mr. Wallet).  Oh... I can get SOME money ‘for it’ but... no ‘top dollar’ ‘off the rack’.  Top dollar, in addition to being dreadfully ‘relative’, is a ‘true skill’ of ...bibliomania.

            The first ‘to be done’ is to recalibrate the ratio noted above.  One to one must be, in its ugliest fashion, ‘upped’ on the buy side to offset the ‘fixed’ sell ‘one’ (a single rare book) of the that sell side.  How about a TWENTY-THREE to one ratio of ‘true rare book I FIND’ to a rare book... I sell. There’s a challenge for you:  Find twenty-three true rare books; ‘find’ meaning ZERO cost bases to you and THEN try to sell “ONE” “GOOD” old rare book.  “For the money” (top dollar).

            You of the hold an old book up with a declaration of monetary value are before me like ...runoff debris clogging a city street side storm drain... of ‘old’ (“RARE”) books.  I spend my time ‘retiring this’ (saying “no”... “thank you”... and “good luck with that”).  “In my stock” “I have a (several?) copies”... I do not say this.  Maybe a few days later... going by the shelf of ‘those there” I will look over “what I have”... “in stock”.  This includes, please be sure to understand, what I have that is ‘compatible’ and ‘better’.  And lesser.  Too.  I do not tell you... any of this.  Maybe the ratio is not “twenty-three” rare books after all.  Maybe it is actually sixty-seven ‘I found’ rare books to one rare book sale... after all.  Maybe even higher.  For a sale of a true rare book priced “at money” (high market)... “I” “HAVE TO”

            And I can.  Cost bases is zero.  Supplemental similar ‘rare books’ are ‘available’ ‘from stock’ too.  Related books of related editions are “TOO”.  I have ‘certainly enough’ to last my lifetime ‘old books’ “BRING YOUR OWN BOXES” and I can easily
            Fill them
            “Old books”.
            You will be completely satisfied with the abundant purchase and I ...will still be ‘stuck with’ my “expensive” rare book.  You have paid me for a car load of crud and are, too...
            Rare book less.  (Lacking)
            And I wait, with eight cubic feet of opened ‘shelf stock’ space.  Shelf stock space of ‘old books’ is measured in ‘miles’; “I opened a half mile of shelf space down there”.  I hear the biblio word ‘fodder’ to describe ‘shelf stock’.  Too.  I know... you love ‘book browsing’.

            So how am I going to “possibly” sell a ‘rare’ ‘old’  book for the “The Money”.  The simplest way I have already noticed:  “WAIT”.  Determine actual rarity, actual condition, actual content value, actual collector ‘interest’ and ...hopefully have those total up to jump the “MUST HAVE” bar of “a rare book’.  Then hit the price high... higher... or... you rascal you... highest.  That last takes a little “ahhhh....” but

            Most of ‘the time’ your book ‘falls short’ so you won’t have to ‘go there’...anyway.  There are very few old books found that fail to have a ‘cap price’; an always higher cash value that may ‘always go up’?  No.  They do not.  Especially if it (your ‘find’) is an “I FOUND” from a holiday book sale table “at the church”.
            So the next station past ‘wait’ is... ‘fall back’ (“Does it?”).  Ok... so here is the rule... most found books do... fall back...:  Rare... they are just not a “THAT RARE”.  So make it easy on yourself and start cutting your “VALUE” right away.  Otherwise you will be, quickly, carrying around an ‘old book’ AND an empty wallet.

            How do I ‘move’ next?  Well I know that any fall back leads to WALLET fall back so I dexterously maneuver the ...now fully qualified... rare book into the
            Pucker brush of rare book marketing.  Simply saying that “I have” a “he found” and ‘wants’ (a ‘that amount’ of money) may be enveloped in a fog where it is hard to ...see... the difference between the hardball evaluations I demanded above and... the mystical walking on air state of ‘wonder’... ‘romance’... ‘love’... ‘passion’... and any other “I got turned around” in the fog ploy that leads a ... to... BUY IT.  Faux third party owners keep the “It’s not my book OK?” foundation level ...under the fog.  A rare book in the fog often stays there ‘for a while’ until ‘it finally clears’.  But... it does clear (“SELL”).  Try it a few times, it gets easier (more pat) as you do it... over and over.
            Next trick... I trade on... is ‘floating’ a rare book ‘out there’ where the rumor mill ‘hears of it’ but does not ‘verify’ it (the rare book) so... no one knows quite what, where, how... why... “it is”.  “I heard”.  “No; I haven’t seen it”... suddenly compromised with a ‘piss or get of the pot’ sighting most often “OH I’VE HEARD ABOUT THIS HOW MUCH DID YOU SAY IT IS?”
            And it is said... ‘how much’.
            And if they ...do not buy... they never see it again.  Ever.  For the old book seller-the rare book guardian; doing this is ‘good for’ ...about... three ‘tries’.  IF... one ‘has not’ (sold it) after three carefully chosen ‘tries’... it is time to ‘step back’ and, pretty much, ‘plan B’.

            But I am being too tactical?  I really have no choice.  I am trying to “GET” green dollars for ‘old books’.  But tactical... is a broad flat plain and there are many trails across that plain.  For example, I may use (‘take’) several different trails for ...several different rare book sales... in, well, a very short time (a few hours) and... appear to not give much regard to ‘doing this’.  Do not ... think... that the I doing this is not known.  I know... what I am doing.  I have known... what I am doing.  I have to do it.  To...  To get a book I found placed (sold) onto the shelf of ‘keepers’... on the shelves of the old rare bookman seated at his old rare book desk in his old rare book room... is a very... very... highly regarded form... of... collecting... old ‘rare’ books.
            I specialize in collecting “that”.


  1. They say it is worth a lot, maybe even 10X dollars. I bought it for 5X dollars. Now, to whom is it worth 10X dollars? Oops, I may have frigged up on this!

  2. Overheard at Starbucks. The artsy lady, fiftyish, who sculpts objects from scrapped refrigerator parts or whatever, actually said that her artwork sales are slow, therefore she may have to sell some of her "book collection" in order to raise some cash. It must be easy for her? She spoke confidently!