I was totally duped, or How to spot a Book Club Edition when there are no signs that it's a Book Club Edition

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: 
  1. James Michener was known to publish lengthy novels. (big no-brainer there)
  2. Sometimes those novels would be split into two and published as a set, usually with a slip case. 
  3. 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). 
  4. 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.
What I didn't know going in: 
  1. The slipcased editions weren't issued with dust jackets,  
  2. 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). 
  3. Some people, in order to hide that it is a BCE, clip both the upper and lower corners of the dust jacket.
So, what I have is the 1985 BCE set of Michener's Texas, bought for $4, worth (maybe) $10.

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.

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