Have MLs in DJ become an endangered species?

Allbooks at aol.com Allbooks at aol.com
Thu Dec 12 17:23:48 EST 2002

In a message dated 12/12/2002 12:56:43 PM Eastern Standard Time, 
sbiederm at nova.umuc.edu writes:

> John,
>   There is no question that the supply of older ML editions in dust
> jacket is dwindling, but I don't think this problem is limited to the
> Modern Library.  In general, bookstores are not acquiring better stock in
> the ways they did in the past.  Because so many used book stores have
> closed, people have fewer opportunities to walk in and sell their old
> books, which used to be a wonderful source of inventory.  Bookseller trade
> publications with Wanted and For Sale features have also disappeared in
> the last few years.  
>   Although I also buy and sell on ebay, I would strongly encourage ML
> collectors and collectors in general to visit their local used
> bookstores.  In general you will find better prices and have the
> satisfaction of patronizing a business that needs your support.  
>            Sharon
> On Thu, 12 Dec 2002, j b krygier wrote:
> >Two local bookstores that keep a ML bookcase
> >seem to have a regular supply - about the same
> >as when I moved to central OH five years ago.
> >Mostly hard-cover, but I did get a flex Gautier
> >with a DJ for $8 a month or so back.
> >
> >Another that does not segregate MLs seems to
> >provide me with something I don't have about
> >once every other month (this is a store with
> >lots of 40s and earlier books).  A recent trip to
> >Madison WI also found the one bookstore there
> >that has a case full of MLs to have about the
> >same as usual.  This is a place that turns up
> >DJed copies of titles like "The Island Within."
> >A few other bookstores there had a few dozen
> >nice MLs in stock.
> >
> >So from this limited assessment - stores that
> >seek out MLs or have access to old stock seem
> >to have a decent supply.  Alas - most are the
> >more common titles from the 50s and later.
> >
> >I might be willing to say that bookstores that
> >don't have a ML section seem to have fewer MLs
> >than maybe 5 years ago - sort of corresponding
> >to fewer and fewer older (pre 60s) books in
> >general.
> >
> >But then eBay seems to consistently have about
> >400 MLs at any given time and that number does
> >not seem to vary much.
> >
> >There are still alot of MLs out there.  But it
> >takes alot of time to root them out.  Columbus
> >and Madison are ML cities, and I certainly
> >agree that Milwaukee (near my hometown) is not
> >anymore.  I guess a ML city would be one with
> >at least one bookstore with a substantial case
> >of MLs.  Someone needs to make a map.
> >
> >jk
> >
> >
> >

Need I say that Sharon's opinion is one I share?  Since this thread is about 
bookstores, I hope I am not treading too close to the edge of the rules in 
pointing out that there is one in Kensington, MD (near Washington) that has a 
few hundred MLs on the shelf.   I should point out that I do not issue 
catalogs, nor list ML online.

This is not the place to debate all the factors affecting used bookstores 
these days, but perhaps one not well known is that many charities are now 
selling their choice material on eBay and/or other online services instead of 
their public sales, where dealers buy.

OTOH, I think the smaller number of surviving shops means that private 
individuals wishing to liquidate their collections, estates, etc. tend to 
concentrate on those survivors.

Is this list a good place to compile a list of ML specialist shops and other 
dealers?  The only other one I know of is Sam Gottlieb of Camelback Books in 
Phoenix, and I'm not altogether sure whether Sam has an open shop.  Surely 
there are others.  There are of course mail order dealers well known on this 


Don Ramsey  
ALL BOOKS CONSIDERED   <A HREF="www.AllBooksConsidered.com">www.AllBooksConsidered.com</A>
10408 Montgomery Ave., Kensington MD 20895 
(301) 929-0036
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