Things from Thing Stores

Eclectic accumulation via thrift store shopping

Archive for the tag “book collecting”

Holographic “Laboratory Atlas of the Pig Embryo”

My absolute favorite area of collecting is holographic books. “Holographic” indicates that the book was handwritten by the author, so the category includes diaries, journals, autograph books, and letters.

These are one-of-a-kind items that thrift stores often just throw away, so ask for the person who sorts book donations and tell them you’re interested. Several local thrift stores save out vintage scrapbooks, diaries, and ephemera for me. If an item is priced under $5, I always buy whatever they’ve saved for me, because I don’t want the staff to have to try to guess what I might want. I have some WWII-era scrapbooks, a handwritten hardbound journal book of recipes from the 1930s, and several filled diaries that I’ve saved from the landfills this way. Most were priced at $2.99 for me. Why so low? Because the thrift store staff also appreciated the item and wanted it to go to someone who would preserve it.

When I first saw A Laboratory Atlas of the Pig Embryo at the flea market several weeks ago, I passed on it. (Champagne tastes, beer budget.) Today the price had come down enough for me to acquire it.

This is a bound lab notebook, printed in 1936 by The Wistar Institute Press. A mimeographed syllabus for a 1942 course is tacked to the title page with circular gummed reinforcements. This was a working course notebook with many preprinted pages, but most of the pages are blank so the student could make drawings.

Like journals and diaries, this is a unique volume, coursework completed by Joseph Schaefer of Minneapolis. This area of collecting not only preserves history, but it also connects us deeply with specific individuals from the past — just as we hope someone may connect with us long after we are gone.

 

Laboratory Atlas of the Pig Embryo 02 drawingLaboratory Atlas of the Pig Embryo 03 illustrationLaboratory Atlas of the Pig Embryo 01 cover

 

 

Purchased at Mojo Flea Market, held at Santa Rosa Vet’s Building, Sunday, Feb. 14, 2016

Paid: $15 

Thomas Bros. map books now out-of-print

Thomas Guide 1992

Before GPS technology came into widespread use, real estate agents and delivery truck drivers relied on Thomas Guide map books for detailed street maps. The spiral-bound books were comprehensive and expensive, ranging from $15-$30 and up, depending on the region. But now, due to competition from GPS, Thomas Brothers has stopped printing most of these detailed city/county guides, making “the secondary market” (used bookstores and websites) the only place to get many of them.  And GPS doesn’t work everywhere, you know.
I originally bought this Sonoma County map book for 25¢ at the Santa Rosa Sunday flea market to use in making collages –  but I’ve learned to check values of books before merrily cutting them up, thankfully.
Late last fall I listed this 1992 “Sonoma County” map book for sale online at a competitive $9.99. Just six months later, it sold as the lowest-priced of the used Sonoma County Thomas Guides on Amazon.com, even though it’s more than 20 years old and only in “fair” condition. (Later editions combined Sonoma and Napa counties, or Sonoma and Marin counties.)
So keep an eye out for inexpensive Thomas Guides, even ancient ones in marginal condition, which can have good resale value on Half.com (e-Bay’s used book site), www.half.com, or on www.Amazon.com .

The Lorax by Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss’s famous environmental story for children was published in two simultaneous first editions. A bookstore “trade edition” had a quote on the back by Rudolf Flesch in a blue box. The more scarce “library edition” had the same quote in a pink box. One of the points for identifying the true first edition(s) of this title are the number of other Seuss titles listed on the back cover, which, for the first edition, was 32 books. There’s also an unflattering reference to polluted Lake Erie that was removed in most of the later editions, after a Lake Erie clean-up organization petitioned Dr. Seuss’s publisher to recognize their efforts by removing the reference.
I purchased this book, in “Good” condition, at the Goodwill Superstore on Stony Point Road for $3.99 and subsequently listed it for sale on Amazon.com for $175.
http://www.amazon.com/shops/garretbooks )

Lorax front szLorax back sz

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