Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Dickens Lust

I can't help myself. I love buying books and adding them to my personal library, and with eBay and other internet books sources making it all so easy these days I really have to watch myself. Here's a good example of what happens to me on a regular basis. The other night I spotted ten very attractive Charles Dickens novels that were published in 1885 by Belford, Clarke & Company of New York. The original owner of the books signed and dated each of them when she received them for Christmas 1886.

Now, right up front, I realized that I could not afford all ten of the books since each one of them had a starting bid price of $5.00 plus $5.00 in postage and handling fees. But imagine my surprise and delight when I picked up two of them for bids of only $5.50 and $7.50, respectively. Two of the books were subsequently withdrawn from the eBay auction but two others were still available when I checked last night. At least one of the ten went for something over $20.00 but I didn't follow them all too closely because I didn't want to be tempted into bidding for others in the set. I won't be receiving the books for about another 10 days, but I'm looking forward to getting my hands on them.

The first picture is self-explanatory but this second book is a front view of The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club. I've also included a copy of one of the simple inscriptions made by the original owner that Christmas season some 120 years ago. The books appear to be in pretty decent shape so I'm hoping that I'm not disappointed when they arrive.


  1. Good for you! I love the color and hope you are pleased with it when it arrives. There is something about a really old book, isn't there?

  2. There really is Jenclair. I always have to wonder about the history of the old books by the time they fall into my hands. That's why I like to see owner signatures with dates in the old books. I'm keeping my fingers crossed on these two...

  3. Great find! They look like they're in excellent condition.

  4. Those look incredible - I love the fact that they are signed and dated by the original owner!

  5. I was shocked to find them waiting for me when I got home from the office this afternoon. They are in great shape and they'll look really good on the shelf after I freeze them for a couple of days (inside a protective bag to keep out moisture) to kill off any bugs that may have made the trip.


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