19th Feb2013

Thrift Justice – The One With All The Books

by Will

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I love books. The real kind, with words and few (if any) pictures. Before I even discovered comics, I used to beg my mom to take me to Crown Books to get the latest Hardy Boys paperback. Once I got into comics, pictures took over for words, but I still get in a book every now and then. In the world of thrifting, I tend to stay away from books. Why? Because of motherlovin’ book scanners. I’ve probably gone over this before, but there’s a group in the reselling community known as book scanners, who just camp out in the book aisle like it’s the manga section of Barnes & Noble. At that point, they either use a phone app or a dedicated scanner to scan the barcode of each and every book to find out if it has any value on the secondary market. Long story short, you won’t find many great books due to these vultures. I know some of you are thinking, “Why do you hate them so much, Will? You’re a reseller, too!” You see, my “gift” is that I have an eye. I don’t scan. I don’t use Google. I see things and notice there’s something unique about them. If they could do that with books, I’d have more respect for them. Instead, they use technology as a crutch. Without the scanner, they wouldn’t know what they have. It’s like a guy with a metal detector – even if he finds something, he probably won’t know what it is unless he truly knows coins and whatnot. Every now and then, however, I happen to find something before they do (usually it’s a book that doesn’t have a barcode; that’s too much work for them). I thought I’d share a few of those finds with ya today.

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I actually got this on my honeymoon, but didn’t fit it into the Thrift Justice Road Trip post at the time. I’ve never read Bone, and always kinda thought it was overrated. I mean, it looks like the “Adventures of Albino Smurf”. Still, you can’t really have an opinion on something you haven’t experienced, so I picked this up. “One Volume Bone” has been available for years, but I never really wanted to spend the money. There’s even a full color version now, but it was never high on my list of reading priorities. This B&W copy, however, only cost me $3 at a roadside thrift store in the Outer Banks. It’s not pristine, but it’s a good “reading copy” at about 10% of its original price.

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Like everyone else, I’d been a fan of the Boondocks series on Adult Swim, but I never really read the newspaper strips. I remember them being controversial and getting kicked out of a lot of papers, but I never gave them the time of day. So, when I came across this collection, I decided to take a chance. It also helped that the store considered this a children’s book, which meant it was $0.69. I honestly don’t even think they charged me that, which I’ll explain later…

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I’m no fan of Doctor Who. It’s not that I have anything against it, but it’s just too vast of a franchise for me to get into. I mean, it’s a 50 year old franchise! Sure, people tell me “You don’t need the old stuff. Just start with Eccleston”, but I don’t believe you! If I get into something, I go ALL IN, and that’s not easy to do when half of the series is only on tapes allegedly owned by some African warlord. So, that has kept me from giving The Doctor a chance. Still, these books are from that earlier era, and I love a good sourcebook, so I grabbed all of these. I’m still not sure if I’ll ever read them or just try to sell them.

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This is a nice coffeetable book that I got the week after Disney bought LucasFilm. Nice pictures. Still gonna sell it, though. I’m no Warsie. #Trekkie4Life

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So, this was a nice find and I’m sure I only got it because there was no barcode (I love that scanners are too lazy to type in a simple ISBN). This was a 3-volume hardcover reprint set of the Archie Goodwin/Al Williamson Star Wars newspaper strips. Remember how I thought I got Boondocks for free? It was because of this set. I don’t think the cashier saw that book because it was between these. That wasn’t strategic or anything – just coincidental. So, as she flipped through them, she decided that they were children’s books. Signed & numbered children’s books. In GREAT condition. So, after a quick trip to my friend eBay, a $2.07 investment eventually netted me $160. Man, there are times when I LOOOOVE thrifting! This was  one of them.

So, there ya have it. Book scanners make things a bit more difficult, but there are still treasures to be found. For all of their tech, they’re still missing some gems right in front of their faces. And that’s just fine by me!