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Re-evaluate your book collection!

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#1 Rick Woods

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 07:47 PM

Man, there's no telling what your books are worth!

I'm currently rereading C. Wood's "Modern Moon". Just for fun, I searched Bookfinder for it. I only found three copies under $100 (and only about 10 copies total); and one, in France, is going for $1,045!! I mean, it's a great book, but jeez, not that great!

Then I went looking for Harold Hill's "Portfolio of Lunar Drawings", expecting it to be relatively pricey. I found (and ordered) a good-condition hardback copy for $3.36 (plus $3.99 shipping). There was another copy for $3.32, and quite a few under $10. (I picked the one I did because it only has to ship from Tucson - practically down the street!)

How are these things figured? I'm going to go through my library and see what my books are worth, and which ones I might want to lock away somewhere! A couple of them, I have no way to know, as there are none out there for sale to use as comps.

#2 BobinKy

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 08:15 PM

I evaluated many of my books about a year ago and for several months all I heard around the house was "You need to sell your books!" ignorance is bliss.
--Thomas Gray (1716-1771)

#3 Sarkikos

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 08:22 PM

Rick,

Why should Wood's "Modern Moon" be priced so high? Is it out of print already? Is this some stupid automatic "bot" thing that artificially raises prices on books at internet sites?

I've probably given away hundreds of books in the last few years ... very few astronomy books, though. Of course, I hang on to ones that are obviously old and rare. (For instance, I have an 1814 edition of the Greek New Testament printed in Boston - I bought the book for 50 cents!) But I really don't want to take the time to evaluate each book I'm considering giving to charity just because some wacko collector or internet "bot" has overvalued it. :p

Mike

#4 faackanders2

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 10:07 PM

Automatic algorithms have run some prices up to $millions, but not that there will be any buyers at that price.
It is only a realistic price if someone actually buys it at that price.

#5 Rick Woods

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 02:35 AM

Why should Wood's "Modern Moon" be priced so high? Is it out of print already? Is this some stupid automatic "bot" thing that artificially raises prices on books at internet sites?


Mike,
You're probably right about that one. I don't really know much about "bots" other than what I read around here.
But still.

#6 beatlejuice

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 03:05 AM

I just got my "Modern Moon" from Gary Seronik about 2 months ago for $20. It was in excellent condition. Hope he's not having second thoughts about it. And I still don't understand the methods by which the cheapest price on Amazon.ca is over $300

Eric

#7 helpwanted

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 09:09 AM

I paid $38 last month for Visual Astronomy of the Deep Sky, which shows up on websites for hundreds, if not thousands.

#8 LB16europe

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 09:56 AM

The same happens with "Deep-sky Wonders" by Walter Scott Houston. I can't believe its current asking price at Amazon and other sites. If I had known it when I purchased mine for $13 back in '07 I would've ordered two copies and sell one of them for 5 times that price.

#9 Sarkikos

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 10:47 AM

I have "Deep-sky Wonders" on my tablet. I don't think I paid even $13 for it.

Mike

#10 LivingNDixie

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 11:27 AM

A good example of weird book values was The Lunar Sourcebook. Now that it is available on CD the prices for that book went way down.

#11 Rick Woods

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 02:32 AM

I think it's still worthwhile seeing if you have something on your shelf that's worth a bundle. I mean, guests come over, maybe bring their kids; someone peruses your library, maybe paws through a book or two; a book gets dropped, a page gets torn... maybe there are some books that it would be better to put away somewhere, in your private library, and not have them readily accessible.

Just a thought.

#12 Dave Ittner

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 04:16 AM

It's bots. You could offer to sell your book for 1/2 the price and not get any human with a heart beat rushing to click the buy button.

#13 Sarkikos

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 10:30 AM

Most of my non-astronomy books have their provenance at Ollie's Bargain Stores, remainder book sales, BIG books ( a large bag of books for $10) or the Good Will. I doubt if any are worth selling on the internet. Even though media rate shipping is very cheap, it's not so easy finding boxes to fit a book or two. Hardly worth the effort. I'd rather give them away. I send big boxes of children's books to my son in OK.

That 1814 Greek NT I found for 50 cents was a fluke.

Mike

#14 Alvan Clark

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 02:48 PM

A couple of them, I have no way to know, as there are none out there for sale to use as comps.


I'm sure things like modern Moon have sold on Ebay. Probably not for a lot. Most books have been sold on Ebay if you watch over time. Other than a few exceptions like Rukl moon atlas, no modern books really go for a lot. Too many available. The older books are the ones that might be worth something and those will be the classics that you already are familiar with.

Smyth, Webb, Barnard etc.

#15 CounterWeight

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 09:36 PM

I've seen a lot of odd pricing behavior on web based sites, and some trickles down to book sellers. I'm really grateful to live near 4 or 5 brick and mortar stores none a 'chain', and often the pricing is mirrored off the web on the shelvs - there's now several sites they go to for estimating. No surprise that I have seen some books stay on the shelvs for many months, even years waiting for the asking price - I often offer a bit lower and am told "that's as low as we are willing to go".


I wonder if there are 'toggles' that when a book reaches a certain price/demand it might get reprinted? depending on who owns copyright or if it drifted into public domain it just gets digitized and on the goog or wherever.

I've also been very curious about the effect of electronic/digital tablet type appliances and electronic based media and it's impact on 'hardcopy' versions, the whole concept of something being 'collectable'.

I interact with hardcopy in a different way than electronic media - and for the lions share prefer hardcopy for reference and/or pleasure, but then I am someone who grew up with books, magazines, and journals. If I'm searching for something for reference purposes it's a toss up between hardcopy and digital. Often I'll use the digital to find a hardcopy either for sale or at the Library.

#16 Rick Woods

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 01:03 PM

I've also been very curious about the effect of electronic/digital tablet type appliances and electronic based media and it's impact on 'hardcopy' versions, the whole concept of something being 'collectable'.


Not everything is digitized; and not every digitization is good. I finally, finally found a PDF version of Flammarion's "Mars", volume 2. Spent hours downloading it, just to find out it's a terrible copy, and the sketches aren't even legible.

#17 meteorite

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 10:20 PM

I just checked the price of O'Meara's Deep-Sky Companions: The Caldwell Objects on Amazon. I am thinking of selling my copy and wanted to check prices. $195 to $431.00!!!

If anyone wants it, I will let it go for only $194.00 plus free shipping :whee: :whee:

#18 Sarkikos

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 08:18 AM

I don't think any book on the Caldwells would be worth $195, not even if slashed to $194. :vomit:

:grin:
Mike

#19 Dave Ittner

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 11:10 AM

bots. you could offer yours up for 1/2 that price and the bots would adjust lower.






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