[ModLib] Joking

Roger Lathbury lathbury at gmu.edu
Thu Nov 10 15:08:03 EST 2011


Not to worry. I didn't take it ill. I wondered if you were joking. Then it occurred to me that I just might have been immodest. However, I am, as Holden Caulfield in _The Catcher in the Rye_ says of his school peer Eddie Morrow, "as sensitive as a toilet seat."

My wife can confirm this. Not to worry.

The places where you can find bargains are church sales (my Modern Library _A Hazard of New Fortunes_ was $1.00--from the upper price room of the Unitarian Church), thrift and junk shops, garage sales, and bookstores where everything is overpriced because the owner is terrified of being taken. Sooner or later such venues do what they dread. It's like a self-fulfilling prophesy. They think they're getting top dollar for something whose stellar qualities they have missed. 

I bought an an autographed Auden _The Shield of Achilles_ signed to St. John Perse under his real name. Inscription in French (rare for Auden). It also featured Auden's text corrections throughout; they hadn't looked carefully. $100 FIRM, I was told. I paid, tried to look crestfallen.

I think it better not to educate these stores; it would only hurt their self-image and cause bad feelings. And kill the goose that lays the golden...etc. 

Best,


R. L.
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True he did not state they where jacketed. However please understand I was joking. I meant no offense at all! A poor joke I'll concede, but a joke meant to express admiration not scorn or any other negative thought.

I'm afraid that the days of booksellers making such egregious pricing errors are over. We all know who we can blame for that! Al Gore. Because he invented the Internet.

A joke please take it as such ;)



Terry Morris, M.L.S
Polaris Library Systems
800-272-3414 ext. 4529 office
315-885-7436 cell



On Nov 10, 2011, at 2:31 PM, "Roger Lathbury" <lathbury at gmu.edu<mailto:lathbury at gmu.edu>> wrote:

In case you're interested:

Only the blue cloth copy of _The Great Gatsby_ is in jacket--but it is a pleasantly fresh one, though dulled on the spine, and the first state. It has however many books the earlier jacket is supposed to have--I checked it out, once. Bought it with an autographed Shielah Graham _Beloved Infidel_ for $75 or something a few years ago. Rather a bargain, I thought.

The green one is a little frayed but otherwise fresh. The gold is dulled but the print is legible. This too was acquired inexpensively--$2.50--from a bookstore that assumed that since it wasn't a first Scribners _Gatsby_ it should be priced like a paperback.

The cloth of the brown _Gatsby_ is very bright but the text has separated from the binding at the front. The balloon cloth printings did not use supers, as you may know. However, this is quite a special copy, as it is signed by the author for Elizabeth Lemon, the platonic mistress of his editor Maxwell Perkins, and has text corrections in Fitzgerald's hand to the introduction. He was never happy with it.

It is for me a priceless book. I have had a special archival box made for it. The story of its acquisition is quite dramatic, and I may publish it sometime, but I first have to wait until some of the people involved have died.

Greetings to all.


Roger Lathbury


He doesn't state the three Gatsby's are in jacket...are they?

SPECIALIZE IN MODERN LIBRARY
OXFORD WORLD'S CLASSICS
FOLIO SOCIETY OF LONDON
LOEB CLASSICAL LIBRARY
EVERYMAN'S LIBRARY
He doesn't state the three Gatsby's are in jacket...are they?

SPECIALIZE IN MODERN LIBRARY
OXFORD WORLD'S CLASSICS
FOLIO SOCIETY OF LONDON
LOEB CLASSICAL LIBRARY
EVERYMAN'S LIBRARY

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