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rare Heinlein books and global prices 
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Joined: Fri Jun 05, 2009 9:00 am
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Post rare Heinlein books and global prices
I was walking down santa monica blvd here in l.a. today and I stumbled into a quaint little shop with the words "Rare Science Fiction" -- I went in and a nice old man named Barry showed me bunches of heinleins, all first ed. and many signed.

here's what I don't get: he's selling some of them for $4,500 etc. Is this for real? Do small bookshops still set the global price in the age of eBay?

a few listed on his website. he has lots more.
http://www.raresf.com/bcat3.html

For reasons that elude me (signed books don't contain the soul of the man!), I would LOVE to have signed first editions, and I'm sort of glad that RAH didn't go in for the "meat-market" mass signings authors do today. I have 8 or 9 first editions myself, and a cute little signed softcover of Menace. None of them cost me much at all.

(by the way, the shop owner said he just started reading your book, Bill.)


Sun Oct 10, 2010 9:43 pm
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Post Re: rare Heinlein books and global prices
Barry Levin is a well-known name in rare books. Most of those prices are in line with my experience, although I have only passing interest in firsts. (I long ago discovered that a ratty $1 paperback has all the same words, in the same order.) :)

Firsts of the big three can easily hit $4,000.

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Sun Oct 10, 2010 10:07 pm
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Post Re: rare Heinlein books and global prices
AlexHergensheimer wrote:
I was walking down santa monica blvd here in l.a. today and I stumbled into a quaint little shop with the words "Rare Science Fiction" -- I went in and a nice old man named Barry showed me bunches of heinleins, all first ed. and many signed.

here's what I don't get: he's selling some of them for $4,500 etc. Is this for real? Do small bookshops still set the global price in the age of eBay?

a few listed on his website. he has lots more.
http://www.raresf.com/bcat3.html

For reasons that elude me (signed books don't contain the soul of the man!), I would LOVE to have signed first editions, and I'm sort of glad that RAH didn't go in for the "meat-market" mass signings authors do today. I have 8 or 9 first editions myself, and a cute little signed softcover of Menace. None of them cost me much at all.

(by the way, the shop owner said he just started reading your book, Bill.)

You happen to have wandered in to the shop of one of the most prominent sf booksellers in the world, Barry Levin -- (something I hve never managed to do, btw; it's always closed when I've been by it). Levin actually does set (the top range of ) prices in his catalogs.

The $4,500 ones would be Starship Troopers, Stranger, and Moon is a Harsh Mistress. But that's nothing. A couple of years ago someone collected together the three dedicatees' copies of Stranger and offered them for $25,000. Levin probably knows who that was (if in fact it was not he).


Mon Oct 11, 2010 6:40 am
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Post Re: rare Heinlein books and global prices
BillPatterson wrote:
The $4,500 ones would be Starship Troopers, Stranger, and Moon is a Harsh Mistress. But that's nothing. A couple of years ago someone collected together the three dedicatees' copies of Stranger and offered them for $25,000. Levin probably knows who that was (if in fact it was not he).
Still listed on the Web site of the Fine Books Co. in Rochester, Michigan: http://finebooks.home.comcast.net/~finebooks/ch.html

Now being offered for $75,000.

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Mon Oct 11, 2010 9:12 am
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Post Re: rare Heinlein books and global prices
beamjockey wrote:
BillPatterson wrote:
The $4,500 ones would be Starship Troopers, Stranger, and Moon is a Harsh Mistress. But that's nothing. A couple of years ago someone collected together the three dedicatees' copies of Stranger and offered them for $25,000. Levin probably knows who that was (if in fact it was not he).
Still listed on the Web site of the Fine Books Co. in Rochester, Michigan: http://finebooks.home.comcast.net/~finebooks/ch.html

Now being offered for $75,000.

Hmmm. Michigan -- could be Aronovitz.


Mon Oct 11, 2010 6:55 pm
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Post Re: rare Heinlein books and global prices
I have exactly one autographed RAH --the trade paper of NOTB. Some people don't like that book, but I am fond of it on several accounts.

It's actually a somewhat famous story, as I bought it from LOCUS. Charlie Brown liked to tell the story of how RAH offered to sign a whole bunch of those for him to support LOCUS. And in the archives there are some pictures of RAH visiting LOCUS in Oakland for one of their periodic parties (probably a fold/staple/stuff party).

We had a second one (CAT), but in a moment of financial weakness some years ago sold it at a handsome profit. I still regret that, but it seemed needful at the time, and I suspect the Old Man would actually appreciate that he contributed to the family budget at such a juncture, and that I was willing to pull the trigger on that basis.

I'm sitting on the original first six volumes of The Virginia Edition. Well, I'm not the only one. Mine are different, tho. Mine have identifying markings from the Butler Public Library (Robert's hometown library that he and Ginny have endowed in multiple ways. . .) as having been part of their collection. One of these days I'll likely contribute them to a Worthy Cause for auction.

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Tue Oct 12, 2010 6:54 am
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Post Re: rare Heinlein books and global prices
I looked at the website and confirmed that my copy of Cat is worth something.

My copy has the mistake on pg 300 and I still have the correction strip. Concidering I bought it new probably for the
cover price that is all for the good.

Too bad its not really worth something big, but nice to know.


Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:15 am
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Post Re: rare Heinlein books and global prices
I have signed books from:

Jack Williamson: Demon Moon and The Humanoids

The Humanoids is the 80's re-release in Hardcover. I found it at the used bookstore I visit often and paid 40 cents for it. Near new condition too. They applied their credit scheme to the price so i paid 5 cents on the dollar. Even at $8 it would of been worth it. It is also the only one I have that is just a signature, all the others have a little something inscribed as well.

WIlliam Gibson: Idoru and Zero History

Bill Patterson: Robert A. Heinlein : In Dialogue with His Century: Volume 1 (1907-1949): Learning Curve

For me the value of the signature comes from the value the writer has to me. If it ends up being worth something, bonus.

I would like to own, at some point, works signed by RAH and Frank Herbert.

Rob


Tue Oct 12, 2010 12:24 pm
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Post Re: rare Heinlein books and global prices
for me the value isn't the signature, just the vague idea that The Man imparted his discarded skin cells to the same dusty tome i am holding. inscriptions are only better because it makes it less likely that the signature is forged, but i don't want someone else's personalized inscription on my library shelf.

i've read articles in Skeptic and other places questioning why scientifically minded people impart reverence to autographs. i think because it is proof that the author made a momentary acknowledgment-- 10 seconds of his short lifespan was personally dedicated to creating a mini-work that only I have. for me a photograph is better, but not if it was taken at a meat-market signing like a convention. unless you can fool people into thinking the photograph genuinely depicts you and the famous person "hanging out." but if that's the case, you don't really care about the famous person, you are just self-conscious and paranoid.

BillPatterson wrote:
You happen to have wandered in to the shop of one of the most prominent sf booksellers in the world, Barry Levin -- (something I hve never managed to do, btw; it's always closed when I've been by it).

bill, please check out the shop, it was a really fun time. i was there on a sunday and it was open. you can answer in person the question Barry asked ME: "do you know when the second volume of the biography is coming out?"


Wed Oct 13, 2010 9:52 am
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Post Re: rare Heinlein books and global prices
AlexHergensheimer wrote:
for me the value isn't the signature, just the vague idea that The Man imparted his discarded skin cells to the same dusty tome i am holding. inscriptions are only better because it makes it less likely that the signature is forged, but i don't want someone else's personalized inscription on my library shelf.

i've read articles in Skeptic and other places questioning why scientifically minded people impart reverence to autographs. i think because it is proof that the author made a momentary acknowledgment-- 10 seconds of his short lifespan was personally dedicated to creating a mini-work that only I have. for me a photograph is better, but not if it was taken at a meat-market signing like a convention. unless you can fool people into thinking the photograph genuinely depicts you and the famous person "hanging out." but if that's the case, you don't really care about the famous person, you are just self-conscious and paranoid.

BillPatterson wrote:
You happen to have wandered in to the shop of one of the most prominent sf booksellers in the world, Barry Levin -- (something I hve never managed to do, btw; it's always closed when I've been by it).

bill, please check out the shop, it was a really fun time. i was there on a sunday and it was open. you can answer in person the question Barry asked ME: "do you know when the second volume of the biography is coming out?"

Ha! I'm just the author. you don't think they tell me things like that do you??!!

The thing was written and turned in four and a half years ago; David has just started editing the second volume. If things go smooth as glass -- and they won't -- the earliest it could possibly be out would be Christmas next year. More likely Spring or summer 2012 -- just in time, as I tell people, for the end of the world. I guess my job here is done . . .

Part of the autograph thing is that the person is actually concretely present to you, not merely an intellectual stimulation, when you are holding a book that he held. I noticed some of the same things in the Secret Stacks of the Special Collections -- where they have a lock of Carlyle's hair, for example. For someone who has always been an abstraction filtered through the very complex process of reading, you are suddenly hit with a sensory artifact.


Wed Oct 13, 2010 5:04 pm
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