I couldn’t find my copy of this book…that’s not saying I have so many books and they are all in disorder…what i am saying is that i must have given it away to someone that i thought needed it. Even when culling books, I try not to get rid of things that are difficult to replace.
Whereas Laurel’s Kitchen in the mass market edition isn’t super rare, but it’s a pain in the ass to find because the majority of used books online are keyed to an ISBN found in Amazon’s database – which makes it a crap shoot finding an EXACT edition of a book.
Granted you can usually find a NEW edition or a reasonable looking copy online, but if you want a specific tactile edition of a book…that could take you a while. As it was it took me a couple of hours to find the Bantam ISBN online that I KNEW was the one that went with the book i was looking for. (I actually happened to know it was a Bantam Book to begin with) Then I searched for it, and even then i had to ASSUME that the vendor had the book that was described in the description…sometimes folks just cut and paste so a softcover description can be mated with any softcover edition that is handy. In the End there were a handful of THIS particular edition WITH the matching ISBN in the description to choose from. Total cost $4 – total time to find the book 2 hours. yep.
I was looking for a copy of Paula Peck’s art of Good Cooking as a reference, so i basically didn’t care what the physical book looked like, just that it was cheap and quick. What i was quoted was Simon and Schuster, 1966. Trade Paperback.. Very good condition.. Illustrations (B+W). What I got was 1966 Galahad hardcover bookclub where the text block and the cover where two different items – but it did have a dust jacket. Still a worthless book on any count – basically the $3 Price is a fee that you are paying to a bookseller to take the time and enter a book into the computer…at least it SHOULD be considered a fee for that task. If you can afford to spent the time to enter penny books into the computer, you DO and Should take shortcuts of cutting and pasting descriptions.
It’s a book commonly found at a $5 a bag booksale – so i should appreciate that i CAN ealy find a $3 copy online – basically i am FINE with it. (though slightly annoyed at the cover being disbound but that’s a personal matter) but if i WANTED the 1966 S&S softcover i’d have been really pissed off. For myself I would have contacted that seller beforehand as well..but in this case, it wouldn’t have been profitable – this was a high volume seller who would have sworn the book matched the description because for them it’s cheaper to offer a refund than it is to simply refund the book.
THE NYT piped up the other day about the DEATH OF THE MASS MARKET paperback..which is a shame since it is a nice shape that still fits in a bag if not a pocket – where I despise reading crap content in a badly made trade paperback or hardcover..but i reserve the right to find a hardcover copy of a book I want to keep on the shelf. People Forget that reading is also a TACTILE experience, sometimes the physical format of the book MAKES a difference to the experience. I still own hundreds of mass market paperbacks, and some of them I prefer to the hardcover edition, especially if i want to reread.
Here are a few websites/blogs which are fun to see vintage paperbacks that kick ebook ass.
too much horror fiction
• Rainn Wilson’s 10 favorite science fiction and fantasy books