books: Find o' the Day

This gigantic box chock full of (mostly) 60s/70s science fiction pocket books:

This was the most exciting thing I've found in the last few weeks. Not the most valuable, or the most unusual, or the 'best' by any of the myriad hard-edged capitalist ways I judge the books I buy, but definitely the most exciting.

Part of it is context.
When I first arrived pickings were slim- there were two mostly empty bins and I'd resigned myself to a desultory sifting session because I was already there. I can always find something- my toolbox as an old school bookseller is vastly larger and more flexible than the scanner Borg or the other low level scroungers.  As I explained to a gal last week the most valuable books in those bins don't have bar codes or ISBNs, they exist in a parallel dimension invisible to the Borg and the casual browser.  Of the ten most valuable books I've pulled out of the muck over the last month, only one of them looked like it was worth anything- the Helmut Newton book of nudes.

I was just puttering along, my starter box roughly half full of not tremendously inspiring stuff, when a fresh bin rolled out of the back.

It was mostly junk, but I gleaned enough to fill up my box and as I was nosing around the floor for a new one behold, a second fresh bin was borne in glory from the loading dock!  I snatched up a big, ungainly box and scampered back to the lineup.

And there it was, floating atop the roil like pristine white seafoam,  a lovely spread of older SF pocket books.

I'm usually fairly restrained in my digging- I'm a big guy, and when I get into a book trance I can lose awareness of surroundings and inadvertently terrify bystanders.  I've (accidentally) put the fear into more than a few oldsters at library sales. But certain things act like catnip on my book senses and send me into a frenzy.

I started tearing out big handfuls of books and pitching them into my box at high speed- I could tell they were mostly great, so I eschewed close inspection in favor of hoovering them up as fast as possible.  My fellow scroungers were taken aback, having heretofore seen only my laconic side.  When the frenzy subsided I'd filled the box to overflowing, and even after sorting, throwing back the stuff with condition issues & neatly stacking them it was full to the brim.

Parceled out they filled up three banker boxes. Two for the shop, one for personal use (all the Jack Vance & E.E. 'Doc' Smith's) & listing.  Not that any of them were particularly valuable as texts, but quite a few were immaculately clean and there's always a market for genuinely Fine copies of older books.

So, overall an exciting morning in the bins.

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