Friday, June 23, 2006

Not George

The book on the left is an absolute must-read: George W. finally coming clean and admitting the massive cock-up he made in invading Iraq.

Naw. It's a tease of course. It's one of four free e-cards of "not-books" on Abebooks website to celebrate ten years of online second-hand bookselling linking 13,500 booksellers across the globe (including, you will be overjoyed to learn, our own Payless books).

Abebooks is a dangerous place for a bookaholic. It's fun to browse and every little itch for a particular title can be satisfied, and relatively cheaply. Every book I've ordered (and that's a distressing number) has turned up quickly and has fitted exactly the description on the website. It's nice too to sometimes find a bookmark inside with a description of the bookshop it came from: I like books with histories.

I'm slowly replacing books I've lost over the years, or which I read but didn't own.

11 comments:

Ron said...

A VERY dangerous place is Abebooks. My wife keeps a running total of my credit charges there and at The Book Depository and then frequently says thinkgs like, "we could have bought a new car", or "there's the deposit on a new house". :-)

I got very frustrated with the books around the house in the early 80s and called in a bookdealer and told him take the lot (yes, I still cry over it). He gave me AUD$400-00. That bookdealer must have rubbed his hands with glee until there was no skin left on them.

And then when I moved to my present address in the early 90s, I gave quite a few of my still-packed boxes of books to the local library. I was very annoyed to come across a few of these donated books in local charity shops (I knew they were mine because I used to put my name inside books once upon a time.)

I weap tears of blood for all my lost books. I hope they went to good homes.

Like you, I'm now replacing quite a few of those books via Abebooks. Unfortunately I won't be able to buy some of the ones I want as they are now priced in the hundreds of dollars.

PS If I still had those books, my collection would be up around the 8 or 9 thousand mark.

Chet said...

Sharon - thanks for the heads-up on this. I've been busy sending the e-cards to book loving friends.

ron - now I'm having second thoughts about giving a box of books to a nearby book cafe.

bibliobibuli said...

my goodness ... i can really sympathise

i weep for the books i've lost along the way

i actually gave some of my books to a second-hand bookseller when i was running out of space, thinking i wouldn't read them a second-time and someone else should have the pleasure of them

but sod's law being what it is, i found i needed some of them again and had to go and beg for them back

"mr. ives' christmas" by oscar hijuelos was one - the book was very good but left me feeling crushed by sadness. i gave it away, hoping it would find someone else to love it. but a month or two later, oscar himself breezed into town and the american embassy organised a tea and book discussion about ... "mr. ives christmas" ...

bibliobibuli said...

chet - bookcrossing is a nice halfway house - in theory you should know where your books end up (tho' malaysians generally seem unclear on the concept)

Greenbottle said...

i think of my books and library as a kind of a harem...books all lined up nicely in their shelves with titles on the spines inviting you to pick whichever one you fancy...i feel like those old ottoman sultans or emperors that can have their pick of the harem whenever they please... so i never allow anybody to borrow any of my books...and even the ones that i've read...even a cheap second hand paperback..i keep them... it has given me pleasure...so i feel bad disposing it elsewhere...and i'm still adding to the growing collection of my harem...and in any new book bought, i always write the date and where i bought it and a small initial...just to show that now you belong to me!... my book buying is getting crazier if anything...

bibliobibuli said...

greenbottle - harem? that did make me smile!

Ron said...

I know how you feel, Greenbottle. Even the nastiest, cheapest, yellowing, spine-cracked paperback still finds a place on my shelves (actually that should be somewhere in the house because I ran out of shelves ages ago). And I no longer lend books to anyone.

My local library sifts out books that haven't been borrowed for more than three years or so (a shortsighted thing to do and goes against my concept of a library). They sell them for 50 cents and I adopt quite a few of them every month (I am somewhat particular with this 'collecting' and don't bring home 'rubbish' but I'm always surprised at the quality pieces of literature that they no longer deem worthy of a space on their shelves). The library actually sold their two copies of Memoirs of a Geisha a few weeks before the film was released in Australia - as I said, very shortsighted.

Sharanya Manivannan said...

Sharon, Oscar Hijuelos was in town??

bibliobibuli said...

sharanya - yes dear

Namra said...

woooh! that's such a good link! I just love it when you're in the sharing-sharon mode, lol.

now, if I only I can get around to have a credit card....

bibliobibuli said...

i don't know if i've done you a favour or not namra ... it is a black-hole into which you and your income will be sucked ...