29 August 2009 by Published in: Civil War books and authors 10 comments

Not far from our house is one of my favorite destinations–a Half Price Books store. One never knows what one will find there, and sometimes, you can get some really excellent buys there. I’ve seen a few of my books there in the past, typically when they’ve been remaindered by my publishers. That never excites me, but I understand the business of bookselling, and I understand that publishers will remainder my books whether I want them to or not.

Today, though, was a first for me.

Glory Enough for AllI wandered over by where they keep the valuable books–often rare, or antique books, that they keep under lock and key–and was stunned to find one of my books in that case, locked up, and with a $60 price tag on it. I actually didn’t even notice it at first–Susan did. I was trying to understand why an H.E. Howard book on the Battle of Cloyd’s Mountain right next to it had a $250 price tag on it.

Susan noticed that they had a signed first edition copy of the hardcover version of Glory Enough for All: Sheridan’s Second Raid and the Battle of Trevilian Station. The book isn’t even ten years old, although the hardcover edition definitely is out of print, so I was genuinely surprised to see that sort of price on it; it’s really not all that rare or hard to find even though the hardcover edition has been out of print for several years.

Susan asked the fellow at the checkout desk–who clearly was not accustomed to the idea of an author seeing one of his own books in the store–to unlock the cabinet, which he did. She took the photo that appears with this post, and then handed the book to me, as I was curious to see for whom I had signed it; it was entirely possible that it was one of the 2200 copies that had been purchased by CWPT as a fundraiser for the Trevilian Station battlefield. I opened the book and was flabbergasted to see that it was a copy that I signed and then gave as a gift to some of Susan’s cousins, who obviously thought so much of my gift that they sold it to Half Price Books. I have to admit that I was offended by that, and I have told Susan that I will never give those relatives another one of my books again.

The whole thing was just a very strange and surreal experience. It still weirds me out a little to find myself on the shelves of book stores, but this one was by far the strangest incident where I have found myself on the bookshelves of a book store. Weird. Very weird.

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Comments

  1. Sat 29th Aug 2009 at 3:47 pm

    Eric –

    Congrats on becoming a “collectible” author as well! ๐Ÿ™‚ Did ya notice the $150 price tag for an unsigned 2nd edition of “Siege of Suffolk?” I’m not entirely sure, but I think that’s still in print at list price.

    Paul

  2. Sat 29th Aug 2009 at 3:58 pm

    At least you got a decent price tag on it! One of my acquaintance bought a signed copy of one of my books for 50 cents at a yard sale, so at least you command the big bucks! LOL!

  3. Charlie Knight
    Sat 29th Aug 2009 at 5:30 pm

    So I’ll entertain bids on my copy 1st Ed of the Howard Cloyd Mtn book…let’s start the bidding at $200 shall we?

  4. Sat 29th Aug 2009 at 10:11 pm

    I’ll never trade in my Wittenberg books. Well.. OK maybe if I was really desperate. Like if I needed a meatball sub and didn’t have any cash. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Chris Evans
    Sat 29th Aug 2009 at 11:39 pm

    Wow. How strange. I can’t believe the price tag though-$60. I have the book in the original paperback edition. I wonder if that will ever be a collector’s item too?
    Chris

  6. Mike Peters
    Sun 30th Aug 2009 at 9:52 am

    Eric,

    I had them open the case a few weeks back and looked at the Suffolk & Cloyd’s Mtn. books, since I already have your Trevilian Station book. I told them that I thought each was still in print. So why the exorbitant price? I was informed that each was an autographed first edition. I told them that all first ediitions in this series came autographed. And I got a blank stare.

    I got that same stare when I told them the author of “Glory Enough for All” was local & a friend of mine.

    Mike Peters

  7. Sun 30th Aug 2009 at 10:28 am

    Eric,
    Sounds like my in-laws, have invited them to my book signings, but always no-shows, won’t even give them either of my two books as presents, since they might just end up in that dreaded pile at half price.
    Art Fox, Pittsburgh

  8. Sun 30th Aug 2009 at 11:04 pm

    Eric,

    The nature of gift giving and gift receiving provides endless opportunities for delight, embarrassment, intrigue, and disappointment. At least, with that hefty price tag, your book will end up with someone who actually appreciates it.

    The joke at work is always “Please don’t inscribe your book, it’ might reduce the ebay value”.

    Best wishes,

    Mannie

  9. Mike Maude
    Mon 31st Aug 2009 at 8:07 am

    My experience with HPB has more often been stumbling on grossly underpriced collectible books I can happily add to my mountaineering collection.

    I did find a signed copy of Rush’s Lancers in great shape at a different used bookstore though, for a steal–so now I have 2.

  10. Mon 31st Aug 2009 at 9:10 am

    Eric,

    That is way too weird. I started the Dahlgren book over the weekend. It is good enough that it should be on the “rare” books shelf at Half Price Books. Can’t wait to interview about Dahlgren.

    Mike

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