The OF Blog: Easton Press edition of Moby Dick and other used bookstore finds

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Easton Press edition of Moby Dick and other used bookstore finds

Sometimes, little treasures can be found in used bookstores.  On my most recent trip to McKay's to trade in unwanted hardcovers and paperbacks, I decided to browse through the store (I had nearly an hour to wait for the 30 books and textbooks to be processed).  Just when I was about to turn around and go to the cashier, I saw a nice leather-bound, 22K gilded Easton Press edition of Moby Dick.  There were a couple of water stains on the inside flap (more like wet fingerprints), but for only $25, I suspected I might have something close to a bargain (in perfect condition, these can run well over $100, I found out upon returning home).

The other books are much cheaper.  I enjoyed Hansen's Chess Garden, so I though I'd give Perlman's Ordeal a try for only $4.  Finding a Turkish New Testament for $3 means it'll go with the other 12 New Testaments that I have in other languages.  Decided to give Jack Vance another shot and finding Dragon Masters for only $2.50 helped matters.  Since I'm doing this WoT re-read project, might as well get the prequel, New Spring, and at $2, it was tolerable.

Got the entire Vance Lyonesse trilogy for $6.  The follow-up to Miller's A Canticle for Leibowitz, called Saint Leibowitz and the Wild Horse Woman I hear is nowhere near as good, but for $1, it's a risk I can afford to take.  And I got a hardcover student's edition of Calderón de la Barca's La vida es sueño for $3, so I can have a hardcover spare of that most excellent play from El Siglo del Oro.

Always been meaning to read The Tale of Genji in full and $6 for this newish edition is not bad.  I read a good short story by Thai author S.P. Somtov last year, so finding his The Riverrun Trilogy for $3 is not bad.  I finally got around to buying Mary Renault's Fire from Heaven after being reminded of it recently and $1.50 isn't too shabby, I suppose.  The bilingual Legends from Latin America/Leyendas de Latinoamérica set me back $7, but I suspect it'll be worth it.  And Le Guin's The Eye of the Heron was only $2 and I might be doing a re-read/read of a near dozen or so of her books in the future, so why not?

I seem to recall hearing a few authors whose tastes in books I respect praising Pollack, so getting her Unquenchable Fire for $2 hopefully will make it a low-risk, high-reward find.  Tim Powers' The Drawing of the Dark was also $2, while Sir Philip Sydney (he whom I associate with the Elizabethan Porn Smugglers from the latter days of Monty Python)'s The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia was $3.  C.S. Friedman's first Coldfire Trilogy book, Black Sun Rising was relatively expensive at $3.75, while the third volume to Michael Moorcock's Count Brass trilogy, The Quest for Tanelorn was $2.25.

Best of all, my store credit was still greater than these by nearly $8, so all I pretty much paid for these was the gas it took to drive 45 minutes each way.  Should also mean lots of good reads in the coming months, especially since I'm reducing my purchases of new books to virtually zero for the next few months.

Any of these that you've read about which you'd like to comment?


Derrick said...

New Spring was ok, when I read it back in 2004. Don't know how it would hold up now though.

I just finished reading the first Hawkmoon series by Moorcock and am semi-interested in the last trilogy. The first series was nothing to write home about, so I'm keeping my expectations real low :-)

Daniel Ausema said...

I love La vida es sueño. I've never seen it performed in Spanish, but a semester or two after I'd read it, my undergrad college put on an English translation/adaptation of the play, which was actually very good as well, even though it took some pretty big liberties with translating it.

Larry said...

I'm mildly curious about both as well, Derrick, so I understand the keeping of low expectations.

Daniel, I would love to see that performed in either language, but especially in Spanish. Easily one of my 2-3 favorite plays. I wish I had this blog back in 1997 when I saw a performance of Georg Tabori's Mein Kampf. That was something else, to say the least.

Bill said...

I have that Easton Press version of Moby Dick. Was a small shock seeing it on here. Mine was a gift from my grandfather years and years ago, had no idea what the value was.

Larry said...

Nice to know when you have a beautifully-bound book and that it's worth something, no? :D I have about a dozen books that are worth more new than this one, but this one certainly is the most beautiful to hold in my hands at this moment. Nice illustrations as well.

E. L. Fay said...

My parents have that exact same Easton Press edition of Moby Dick. I brought it to college so I wouldn't have to waste money on a book I already had.

Larry said...

Why do I get the sense that there's this deep bonding developing between people here and Moby Dick? :D

SI said...

Oh my god those are cheap!!! Theres no way I could get such a great price for those books, not to mention the variety you have, living here in NZ!!!! count yourself lucky dude

Chad Hull said...

Perhaps Easton Press Editions are the used book store paradox. I found two in mint condition in a used book store a couple of months ago. Turgenev's Fathers and Sons and Le Guin's The Dispossessed.

I feel embarrassed but I've never read Moby Dick.

RobB said...

I really enjoyed Friedman's Coldfire Trilogy a far future colonization story which frames a dark fantasy quest. I've liked everything I've read by Friedman and think she's quite underrated.

Moby Dick I read for the first time a couple of years ago and it gave me mixed feelings. At times, I felt as if I was reading a textbook on whaling.

Drawing of the Dark I read in the edition you purchased and liked it a lot. But then again, a focal point of the story is beer so I was predisposed to liking it.

Larry said...

The Used Bookstore Paradox - I like the sound of that! :D

Rob, I've read the entire trilogy; this is a replacement copy. Finding it reminds me that I could add it to my re-read/review project, maybe sometime in June.

And while I can't stand the taste of beer (and I've never tried the watered-down types, before you ask), I'm probably going to read the Powers book in a month or two.

However, outside of what I scheduled for the re-reading project, I won't be reading many (or maybe even any) books outside of BAF 4 stories for May. I have about six weeks to finish compiling possible stories for inclusion and there is a huge stack still awaiting me. Several of the journals are over 400 pages, I ought to add.

RobB said...

What did you think of Coldfire? I'm assuming since you purchased a replacement copy you enjoyed it?

Larry said...

I enjoyed it when I read it in 2002 or 2003 and I sent a copy of the first book overseas a couple of years ago to see if a female friend of mine might enjoy it, so yes, it's a series I'll probably re-read in the near future, just to see if I still enjoy it.

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