Throwing in the towel!

Six hundred and thirty eight. SIX HUNDRED AND THIRTY EIGHT! That’s how many emails i’ve sent in the last four or so days to various book selling places. I’ve been using the Yellow Pages and searched for used and rare book stores and with the help of lists on wikipedia going through every city in every state with a population of +20 000 citizens. And i can’t take it anymore. I’m so incredibly sick of it all i feel like i might start to cry. Sometimes in the midst of all the copy/pasting it felt like it might actually make me go mental and i found myself totally lost in the somewhat pathetic task and all of a sudden eight hours had passed and it was time to go home from work… I’ve gone through every state except Washington, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, New York and Maine. So sadly i am not done yet, but i need a bit of a break from this crash course on US geography.

So far i’m guessing that i’ve actually gotten a reply from about a third of them. By now i’m also sick of the words no, never seen it, unfortunately, sadly, looked everywhere, regret to inform you… But oh well, can’t say i was expecting anything else.

I’m a little bit surprised at the number of small and local stores that keep websites and sometimes the designs of these sites made me chuckle a little bit remembering my own site that i kept in the mid 90’s. But those little chuckles are pretty much the only positive thing about it all. I’m also surprised at the number of christian / religious book stores that seem to be in business, lord knows i could use some of that devine intervention but i don’t know… I’ve not bothered to contact any of these stores, seeing as many of them keep a list of “banned books” where you can find books like Harry Potter, Alice in Wonderland, Anne Frank, Private Parts, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Catcher in the Rye, Gone with the Wind, To Kill a Mockingbird and pretty much anything by Stephen King i figured that since the book i’m looking for has naked angels on the cover such a book would be burned on sight…

I also found a couple of sites/people who specialize in tracking down hard to find books and who claim to have a pretty good success rate. A handful of other stores offered to try and do the same, i have of course accepted these offers but i don’t know what kind of magic they can pull off. But i figured it can’t hurt, there’s always the chance of one of them finding it at one of those library sale things. A slim chance but still a chance.

I was also pretty thrilled to see a fantastic looking copy of Cool Gabriels appear on ebay a few days ago, but then it of course rocketed to $350 in a couple of hours. Compared to last weeks big auction for Trombone by Three where i actually thought i might have a chance considering the condition and waited and waited for it to end i still prefer to have something take off early so you can just let it go straight away.

To end on a positive note i’ve now received the two books i’ve been waiting on and yesterday all the stuff that i’ve been stacking up at Frank Edwards was shipped and i’m very much looking forward to receiving that. After an embarrassingly long hiatus i’ve also put in some work on my Brillo Box and considering my track record i’ve set the humble goal of having it finished before the end of the year. But i’ve been having that same goal for a couple of years now, so we’ll see… you can’t rush a brilliant artist!

It was the third of September, that day I’ll always remember…

Well, not really. Wish i could say that i made some spectacular find today but sadly i have not, at least not yet. For some reason i had the feeling that things have been soooooo slow lately and that i need to get a move on. But then i realized that’s not really true, i’m still waiting on a lot of cool stuff to arrive from across the pond. There is just one more thing that i’m hoping to include but we’ll see what happens… I’m also waiting on another pretty good find at Tradera that i’m hoping will arrive today as well as a recommendation of a book on Andy Warhol from Guy Minnebach, so yeah… things are not as slow as they seem.

A couple of days ago i also picked up my copy of Andy Warhol: Polaroids 1958-1987, apparently it was already available in europe. I’ve been busy with busting down walls in the new house and also doing some gardening or whatever in order to prepare for the planting of a new hedge so i haven’t had time to really sit down with it, but it looks great. Great and heavy. And by heavy i mean heavy enough to kill a man with one blow. The only annoying thing is that the cover folds out in a way that makes it hard to read the book without occupying an entire table or couch.

For a long time i’ve been planning to try and put together some kind of list of my opinion on the rarity of the dust jackets, and i’m still working on that. I also got a little unexpected help with this but more on that later when i actually get to it. As a part of this i’ve also tried to contact all of the publishers hoping to find someone who could help provide numbers on how many books were printed. I first did this a long time ago and last week i went through the list for a second time, so far not a single reply… But they should be able to provide this information should they just care enough, so i’ll keep asking until i hear back.

I’ve also been doing some foreign diplomacy which after much ado turned out to be successful and the result of that should be shipping this week hopefully. It’s nothing that will “break the internet” but it’s still pretty cool in a way.

Last but not least i’ve also taken on the crazy, incredibly time-consuming and in all likelihood the total waste-of-time-task of emailing used book stores. A lot of used book stores. The book i’m looking for is set in the south so i figured i might as well start there and so far i’ve gone over Alabama och Georgia and probably sent well over 100 emails, have only heard back from two so far… I think the publisher (which is now mostly defunct) had their headquarters in New York City so that might be my next stop, should only be a cuple of thousands of stores there… I don’t mind spending time on things like this though, makes you feel like you are doing something about it and not just checking Amazon every ten minutes or so hoping for the best. It also helps to pass time at work… but yeah, most likely what will happen is that i’ll send out +500 emails and shortly after that the book will just appear in my wish list.