Ode to three books - and Mike
I just saved more than 4,200 US$ on three used books. Now that's what I call a bargain!
A while back I moaned and wondered about three books that I would like to own:
Presentation by Gary Borger
Fly Patterns by Randall and Mary Kaufmann
The River Behind the Hill by Philip Weigall
The reason for my moaning was that on April 10th when I wrote the blog entry about them, I would have to pay 4,300 US$ to buy all three on Amazon. And no, that's no typo. Four thousand three hundred US dollars for three used books!
As I wrote back then, this price made no sense at all, and did in no way mirror the value of the books, but was the outcome of some strange mechanism on Amazon that sometimes drive prices on used book sky high. I have no idea what causes this, but I can just see that it happens. One seller will set a crazy price, and other sellers will follow troop. The books are typically hard to get titles, which are rarely on offer, and always out of print and unavailable through the publisher or other channels. They are not rare or collectors items as such and neither special bound or autographed by Reagan, Bush or Obama - or even the author for that matter. Amazon lists them now and then, but at ridiculous prices.
Well, fate would that I actually own all three books now. And no, I didn't shell out 4,300 US$ to get them.
I had added all three to my wish list on Amazon, and I go through it from time to time, checking the prices and buy when the price is right.
First the Wiegall book was suddenly set at just over 20 UKÂ£ or 30 US$ including postage. One-click here I come! A pretty far cry from the 1,800 US$ it was listed for just a month before. The book was used but in very good condition and is a very beautiful book indeed.
Then the Borger title suddenly appeared at 28 UKÂ£ or about 43 US$. A massive price drop from the 2,000 US$ that was the price in April. Again I clicked. The book was listed as being in good condition, but having been a library book that wasn't exactly the case. Still it's a rare book, and the pages are fine, but the cover has some "history" in the form of a glued dust wrapper and assorted stamps and notes plus a lot of wear. Never mind. It's a great book, and I have already enjoyed reading in it.
Then I was only missing the Kaufmann Patterns book, and that would come to me for free!
Yes, for free in the form of a very generous gift from my US friend and GFF contributor Mike Hogue of Badger Creek Fly Tying fame, whom I fished with during my recent trip to the US.
Mike had brought a whole bunch of things and I was overwhelmed by his generosity, both in taking the initiative to the trip, setting up some excellent fishing, bringing gear and flies - and a kick boat - and arranging some tying in the Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum. And then the gifts! Amongst them the Kaufmann book, which is now home safe in Denmark, laying on the table right in front of me next to the two others.
Mike kept saying "I'm so tired of people being mean to each other" and he and succeeded above all expectations in being nice. Thanks Mike!
So the net result on the book front: three excellent volumes in the house and 4,237 US$ saved!
That's how I like to acquire books.
PS: The Borger book is currently listed at between 150 and almost 500 US$, Kaufmann title between 100 and 170 US$ and the Wiegall title as low as 50 UK£ or about 75 US$. None of them are cheap, but at least they don't cost the same as a car anymore!