Tuesday, December 23, 2008

News from the book bin

I had gone to the book bin (which the readership recalls is at the town dump) hoping to score some interesting source material to make my Christmas cards out of, and wondered into a Xanadu-like store of TV Guides.

Boxes and boxes of TV Guides. Some were so large and so packed that I couldn't even move them.

I once came across a store of National Geographics like this, and completely on impulse filled a crate with them. Geos have no real resale value, despite how many grandparents have filled their attics with them. The libraries do save them, they do have research value, and the ads themselves are highly entertaining. I sorted through my find, passed on a few issues that may have had interest to friends and actually took the rest right back to the bin. This was not a treasure trove.

An entire year of 1984 Geos -- boxed -- on eBay is valued at about $6.00.

This issue of TV Guide, featuring Mrs Van Halen, is priced at $8.00 on eBay, and $12 in the Official Collectors' Guide.
And there I was literally hip deep in potential cash.

Again, I had no plan. But I know these things about the book bin:
1 - things don't "keep"
2 - the dump is open only 7 hours one day a week, and I can't always make it there

So I didn't know what I would do with such a catch, but I expected I would think of it later and regret not having gotten them. I chose one box I could lift and carry, inspired by Valerie resting on top of it, and got out of there before anyone noticed.

I would prefer to sell them as a lot, because I don't have a lot of time (and too much obsessive tendency) to try listing each issue on its own. But I do want to get a sense of what the combined value is of what is in there. I haven't even counted them. If my 5th grade math is correct (and there is little evidence of that on most days) there are nine stacks of about 10 issues in that box, though there may be more. Call it 100 for now -- 150 if the stacks are deeper than I am imagining them.

The leading dealer in Guides offers no info on buying my stash. They offer instead, "....send a S.A.S.E., email, or call on the telephone. If there is no answer, leave a message on the answering machine and your call will be returned." Quaint. Bet there are Geos in that house too.

I have made no move yet. File it under my inability to follow-through on things. I once spent a summer pricing and cataloging my comic collection, then couldn't bear to part with them. I know I won't go that far, but if I can find a single buyer (preferably one I don't have mail this giant box to) I will gladly unload it for full profit.

By the way, I didn't find anything for the Christmas cards. I went another way, and was pleased with the outcome. I was tempted to transform the Guides, but I have seen enough Antiques Roadshow to know better.


  1. Loved the hand-made Christmas card! I think you should forget about software and go into card design. If Anne Taintor can do it, why can't you?

  2. YES - I agree the handmade was great ... now you'll have to blog about your experience in trying to "break into" the greeting card industry!


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