I should state, right off the bat, that it was no one's fault. No one set out to dupe me. If anything, it was me. I was both duper and dupee. I should've known better. First edition James A. Michener's are just not sold for $2 each.
Okay, so I'm at the thrift store (should've known clue #1), and there is a set (should've known clue #2) of James A. Michener's Texas. It's in fairly good condition, although the slip case is missing (should've known clue #3). The dust jackets are worn, and price clipped... on both top and bottom corners (should've known clues #4 & 5). I opened up the books and inspected them, no yellowing, no marks, no tears (except in the dust jacket). The copyright page shows a 1985 copyright, which is mimicked on the inside cover of the rear dust jacket. Nowhere, and I mean NOWHERE, did it state BCE or Book of the Month Club.
Here's what I knew going in:
What I didn't know going in:
- James Michener was known to publish lengthy novels. (big no-brainer there)
- Sometimes those novels would be split into two and published as a set, usually with a slip case.
- Sometimes those sets were published by smaller presses (like Univ. of Texas) - in which case the books would be more valuable (although I knew this one was published by Random House).
- If it was a Book of the Month Club or a Book Club edition, it would either state it on the dust jacket (usually on the back inside cover) &/or have no price listed.
So, what I have is the 1985 BCE set of Michener's Texas, bought for $4, worth (maybe) $10.
- The slipcased editions weren't issued with dust jackets,
- the BCE tag for this edition should have been found in the lower right corner of the inner dust jacket (the part that was clipped).
- Some people, in order to hide that it is a BCE, clip both the upper and lower corners of the dust jacket.
On the plus side, I also found a first U.S. edition/first print of The Secret of Lost Things by Sheridan Hay (Double Day, 2006). One corner is slightly dented, but otherwise I don't think it's ever been opened. This is Hay's debut novel, and unsigned, is worth about $35 (not bad for a $2 investment). And I bought it just because it looked like a good read - no expectation of a collectible. So you never know.
Labels: BCE, BoMC, Book Club Edition, collectibles, first edition, Michener, Modern, Texas, Thrift store