Saturday, January 14, 2012

On The Hunt

I love books as much as any avid reader out there; and I love to collect them as well (as a good majority of you know).  However, what I love to do is hunt down books I would love to read and own.  These aren't just any books, these are books that are out-of-print and are rare as hell to find.  These are the challenge, my whale, my reason for going into second-hand bookstores armed with my handkerchiefs and antihistamines and looking through the dusty shelves for hours on end on wet, humid days.
However, there have been times where I've rejoiced and found some wonderful books by pure chance.  Stumbling upon an out-of-print book by accident is fate; really it is.  Hunting for one for years is like having a carrot dangled in front of your face just out of reach and yet you still want it so very badly.
Out-of-print and not published in Australia.
For me, yesterday was one of those days where the hunt for one of my most-hunted books came to an end.  'Christian Slater: Back from the Edge' by Nigell Goodall was a book I've been looking for since it came out in 2005.  However, it never hit the bookstores here.  So, I had to order it in through The American Bookstore and I had to wait three weeks for it to come in from the UK.  I don't care why it didn't come out here, but now I've got it, I am not letting it out of my sight.
There's other books I have that are out of print; such as 'The Letters of JRR Tolkien' edited by Humphery Carpenter.  This was my first out of print and extremely rare book I found; and I was on holidays when I did find it at a bookstore in Wales jammed in a bookcase in a dark attic room where I was forced to use a torch (talk about really going Indiana Jones kinda hunting!).  I also nearly ended up with the bookcase landing on me because it was so old!  
I have had other books that are out-of-print just land in my lap.  And strangely enough, when I posted them off (without knowing they weren't in print anymore), I've stumbled upon another better copy of the same book.  'The Stone and the Flute' is such a book.  I had a copy of this book from an old boyfriend; and I gave it away as somebody on Bookcrossing wished for it (and being the kind of person I am, if I'm not into that book right now, I'll give it away).  So, when I found out it was out-of-print, I started hunting for it.  And when the Life Line Bookfest came around mid-year 2009, I found a better copy of it there... actually, I found about four copies there for next to nothing.  
So, what books have you hunted around your city, country - or even the world - for?  Have they cost you a lot of money once you've gotten your hands on them?  Or did you spend very little cash on them (and scored a great deal?)?  Until my next post, happy reading!


  1. I'm so glad you found a copy of Nigell Goodall's book Christian Slater: Back from the Edge. If memory serves me correctly your a fan of Christian Slater's, right?

    1. Oh yes... I'm a massive fan of Christian's; have been since I was around 16 and Dad asked me who I liked from Hollywood and they were advertising Christian's movie 'Gleaming the Cube' on tv to show at the movies... Dad took one look at his face and cringed saying: "Oh my God, you're kidding right? He looks like a delinquent." Of course, being a rebel, I was please by the reaction (even though I didn't have a clue who Christian was at the time) and said to him grinning, "Oh, yeah, he's hot!" when in truth I thought he was disgusting. However, over time, I grew to think he was the hottest guy on two legs; and still do. :D