A Good Day at the Ed McKay (Used Bookstore)

You know that little inner voice? The one that keeps telling you that "you need to read the books you already have before you buy new ones" -or- "If you want to buy more books, you need to get rid of some of the ones you already own in order to make space!" Yeah, mine's been screaming at me as of late.

I've been culling my collection, letting go of titles whose dust jackets are water damaged or whose spine is leaning a slant bit to the left.... Still, I have books stacked on the floor, on the waiting list for the next available shelf space.

I didn't help matters much today, when I decided to kill a little time at the Ed McKay (used bookstore). I had no real expectations of finding anything of significance because the last few times I've gone, there's not been all that much to get excited about. This time around, though...

The first couple of books I found are ones that I'd resigned myself to picking up at Barnes & Noble, because I want to read them and who knows when I'd ever find them at the used bookstore. Well, says the Universe. Today. Today is when I'd find them at the used bookstore:

The Fifth Gospel by Ian Caldwell
(Simon & Schuster, 2015)
Orig. price: $25.99
First print run: unknown
First edition / first printing

Signed: $65
Unsigned: $26

You can still get signed first editions for less than $65. I was just thrilled to pay $11 for a copy in Very Good condition.

A nice little Vatican whodunit that I've been meaning to read since early Summer.

Time Salvager by Wesley Chu
(Tor, July 2015)
Orig. price: $25.99
First print run: unknown, but I'm guessing less than 30,000
First edition / first printing

Signed: $60
Unsigned: $26

I literally just looked at this book yesterday at Barnes & Noble. I was half-way to the register before I changed my mind (as one does) and put it back. Today, I found it in Very Good condition for $10. Not bad.

Again, you can find signed copies for less than $60

Wesley Chu posted on his Website that two weeks after the book had been published it was going into the second printing. Since he doesn't have the following of Neil Gaiman, I'm assuming the first print run was on the low side (I didn't find any print run numbers however).

Starred review from Publishers Weekly.
& Michael Bay has already optioned it for a movie.

And then there are the books that you're just always on the lookout for, but never expect to find:

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
(Scholastic, October 2008)
Orig. price: $17.99
First print run: 200,000 [ala.org]
First edition / first printing

Signed: $3,000+
Unsigned: $125 - $800 (depending on condition)

This is one of those titles that, when I see it in a used bookstore, I always pick it up to check the edition / printing. Usually it's a 21st or higher printing. Today it wasn't.

First printings in Good condition start at $125+ (Note: many of the descriptions over at Abebooks.com state the copies are in "Very Good" or "Near Fine" condition, then go on to describe books that would fall into the "Good" category - so I'm just calling it "Good" here). Books that are in Fine condition are listing for up to $795 (although that might be a bit of an elevated price) -- Average prices are in the $300 to $400 range for Fine / Near Fine copies.

Some descriptions also might falsely give the impression that there was a smaller first print run by stating things like "this is a fine copy of the elusive first printing" or "the rather hard to find first printing" or calling it the "correct first printing." Don't be fooled, it was a large first printing. The only reason it might be "elusive" or "hard to find" is that there are SO MANY printings out there in the world that you have to wade through in order to find one of the 200,000 *first* printings.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
(Scholastic, 2007)
Orig. Price: $22.95
First print run: unknown
First edition / first printing

Signed: $75 - $100 (tipped-in signature page); $200 - $300
Unsigned: up to $100

Winner of the 2008 Caldecott Medal (usually reserved for picture books & this novel is somewhere between picture book, graphic novel, and novel).

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