Used Book Stores

I love going to used book stores and just browsing around. And, like the folks at Pod-dy Mouth, I also look for my own books.

I always make sure I check out the section where my book would be, sometimes finding a copy. I am the first to admit it is sad to see it there, buried, ignored, gathering
dust. Sadder still was the copy I found in Arlington, Virginia, where I looked at the binding and it clearly had not been read past page 75. I lost that reader, and with it a sense of accomplishment.

I don’t feel bad when I see my books in a used bookstore. In fact, I like it. What does piss me off is when I find a signed-and-inscribed copy… particularly if the person I signed-and-inscribed it to is also one of the people who blurbed the damn book! Okay, this has only happened to me once, and it was years ago when I was browsing at Mystery Pier in West Hollywood, but I’ve never forgotten it.

The guy liked the book enough to blurb it, but he gave away the signed copy I sent him when the book came out? What gives?

7 thoughts on “Used Book Stores”

  1. When you see “A must-read for any horror fan!”-Big Name Author on the cover, that is a blurb.
    What happened to Lee would be comparable to having Agatha Christie blurb your book, so you sign a special copy “Agatha, thanks for the love. Best, Author Me” and send it to her only to find it for sale at a Goodwill later.

  2. Whenever I see any family members book at Powells or any of the other book stores I frequent, I always check to make sure that it isnt’ a persoanlly inscribed copy and if so I pick it up – has happened a few times (with how many authors are in our family you gotta figure on it). I never have seen a signed copy of your books, Lee, outside of family bookshelves, but I did buy a Vigilante book at the Safeway (Von’s) for 95c about 2 years ago. None of the personally inscribed books that I have found have been ones of any consequence at least, just general book signing inscriptions.

  3. Back in my advertising days when I had to survive by kissing a lot of ass (a much more important aspect of survival than creative ideas) the agency forced me to have dinner with this client neither Carol or I liked much. He was both hoity and toity. His wife was hoity toity to the highest power. We took them out for dinner and then back to our house for drinks. At the end of the evening, I signed a pair of my hardbacks to them. The wife took them saying, “I really don’t have time for things like this. Our book club reads only the classics.” The husband, embarrassed, took them and said thank you. Two days later I’m in a large used bookstore and I see the two hardbacks on the owner’s desk. He said that “some lady” brought these in for credit so she could buy some “literary novels.” Since I can aways use extras, I bought them back. (Say, Lee, would you send me instructions again for your novelization blog–I can’t seem to get on it. Thanks)

  4. I bought a hardcover at a Half Price Bookstore.
    I didn’t notice this when I bought it, but when I started reading it at home.
    It was inscribed something like:
    “To Dad, We know how much this book means to you, (and there were about 4 names signed, most likely the kids)’.
    I thought, wow, did Dad die?
    And then they sold the book to Half Price?
    Or did the book really not mean that much to Dad, and he sold it for something else?


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