The Finest Book in the Whole Record Shop
What's the joke about driving on a parkway and parking in a driveway? Does it matter?
I was shopping at a local record store that started carrying books about two years ago. It's no secret that sometimes the best bargains are the records found in used bookstores and the used books found in record stores.
In my experience, a lot of people who collect books and records usually collect both, so doubling up makes good retail sense. Plus, making a single stop is more convenient when it comes time to liquidate your collection.
In the 2-for-$3 bin, I found this large, slipcased copy of Georgia O'Keeffe: The Artist's Landscape first published by Twelvetrees Press in 1984. It's a book of Todd Webb photographs, taken from 1955-81.
I checked the colophon. It describes the book as a second printing (of 5000 copies), following a very limited run of 79 copies (each containing an original Todd Webb print). The 40 photos in this edition are sheet-fed gravures on uncoated paper stock. It's a beautiful book, even if you're not a fan of O'Keeffe. It's probably worth $100.
There was no price sticker on it because the linen-covered slipcase is a poor surface for the non-aggressive stickers this store uses.
I took the book up to the register, along with my other selections. I explained to the cashier there was no price tag on the book of photographs, and asked if he could find a price for me. He removed the book from the slipcase, examined it closely. Then he took a close look at the slipcase.
"There's no price tag on it," he said. "I know," I said. "Is there a way to figure out what the book costs?" The cashier shrugged. He called someone over, and she took the book to the backroom.
The cashier rang up my other purchases just as the woman returned with the book.
"It's $4.95," she said. I thanked her for looking and turned to the cashier. He asked me if I still wanted the book. I told him I did.
I doubt very much I'll ever resell it.