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Topic: 2 questions about out of print magic books
Message: Posted by: magicmonkeyphoto (May 27, 2004 08:08PM)
What is the store with the largest selection of out of print magic books?

What is the store with the lowest prices for out of print magic books?


Message: Posted by: Clay Shevlin (May 27, 2004 08:28PM)
If you know what you are looknig for and have a good idea of what you want and how muhc you'll pay for it, you should look on Ebay. Mario Carrandi (aka "magicinvestments") often has gooditems for sale.

A good bet if you want good, honest advice and knowledge is John Cannon of Aladdin Books. You can call him at (714) 738-6115. There are others out there who are reliable, but I can't recommend John highly enough.

You can also try Michael Canick (in New York city). Last time I visited his shop he had a nice selection.

As to your question about lowest prices, it depends on what you are looking for. I'm not sure any one dealer always has the lowest prices.

Good luck.
Message: Posted by: magicmonkeyphoto (May 28, 2004 06:39PM)
Thanks Clay!

I will look into the places you mentioned. Any idea on how to contact Michael Canick? Is that the name of a store or just a person that runs it?
Message: Posted by: canick (May 30, 2004 09:39AM)
Thanks for the referral, Clay. If anyone wants to contact me, my info is below:

Michael Canick Booksellers, L.L.C.
Phone: (212) 585-2990
E-Mail: canick@panix.com
Website: http://www.canick.com
Message: Posted by: eddieloughran (May 31, 2004 07:07AM)
Derek Lever at taurusmagic has a very large stock of old books, although I don't think they are really cheap.
I would check out Magic Books By Post. They have only new books, but some of those new books are quite old.
Martin Breese has a selection too.
Hope this helps
Message: Posted by: Woofledust (Jun 1, 2004 06:37PM)
H & R Magic Books (Hatch & Randall) at http://www.magicbookshop.com claims to have the largest selection of used magic titles found anywhere, and of course many are out-of print. They are located in Humble, TX. They have an excellent reputation. The prices are reasonable and the statements concerning condition, etc., are trustworthy. Incidentally, the biographies of Richard Hatch and Charlie Randall on the website make for some fascinating reading!
Message: Posted by: bkentner (Jun 16, 2004 04:31PM)
Look on Advanced Book Exchange at http://www.abebooks.com They are a large used book database. I know Michael Canick lists there. But like auctions the books can be listed from dirt cheap to the rediculus for the same book. It just depends on what the dealer thinks they are worth when they list them.
Message: Posted by: canick (Jun 16, 2004 08:03PM)
Just a brief note on used book prices. In my experience of 10 years as a magic bookseller, prices are based primarily on 3 variants: rarity, edition & condition.

By rarity, I mean how easy is it to get the book. E.g., how many copies have been offered in the previous year (or 10 years)? Is a reprint available? Etc. Often, a "rare" book is reprinted and the original loses some of its value, except to collectors.

By Edition, I'm talking about whether a book is a first edition, later edition, reprint, etc. I can go on & on about this, but some editions (generally firsts) are just more valuable than others. We pride ourselves on being virtually 100% accurate in describing editions (altho I admit to the occasional mistake).

By Condition, I mean what shape the book is in. How accurate is the description? Does the book have a dust jacket? Etc. Do you care? Again, we take great effort in describing the condition of our books.

Many people say that they're just interested in the information, not the condition, edition, etc. Fine. We sell many great magic books for $3 or less. There are cheap copies available of many magic books, although one should factor in the value of one's time in searching for them. Moreover, I find it a bit ironic that people who claim to just be interested in the "information" feel differently about other purchases. E.g., do you care if clothes are used, tattered or new as long as they cover your body?

Anyway, just a few of my thoughts.

Michael Canick
Message: Posted by: Rennie (Jun 30, 2004 03:10PM)
The best selection of used magic books I ever found was from Byron Walker of San Leandro Ca. Unfortunately he does not have a website and I am at work so cannot give you his phone number, but if you did not find what you were looking for let me know as I will get his number for you.
P.S.- Just purchased a book from Byron yesterday for $37.00 that recently sold at auction for $51.00 , so saved myself some money.
Message: Posted by: sethb (Aug 25, 2004 06:50AM)
I think Mr. Canick has a good point about paying some attention to the condition/edition of a book.

In my experience, it doesn't always pay to buy the cheapest available copy of a book. A book that's in good condition will last longer and require less care or repair. It will also maintain its value better than a book that's not in good shape. And some reprints are not done from the original plates (which may no longer exist), but are basically photocopies of the first edition, with a resulting loss in quality of picture reproduction and so forth.

While it's not necessary or possible to buy mint condition copies of everything, I have found it worthwhile to spend a little more for a better copy. If you're going to use and enjoy the book for years to come, the additional expense is not a big deal in the long run. SETH
Message: Posted by: canick (Aug 25, 2004 03:14PM)
Hear, hear, Seth. Just a quick follow-up note. In the general bookselling world, most dealers will describe the condition of their books, often in detail (as we do). This practice is not always followed in the magic book world.

Michael Canick
Message: Posted by: sethb (Aug 26, 2004 06:51AM)
Along that line, I have found that most used booksellers are pretty conservative in their book descriptions. So, if anything, the book arrives in better condition than I would have expected.

I assume this is so because any reputable bookseller wouldn't be in business very long if he/she continually misrepresented the condition of the books being sold. And if a purchaser isn't happy with the condition, it just gets returned and there is no sale. So there's not much point in having overly optomistic book descriptions. SETH
Message: Posted by: Clay Shevlin (Aug 26, 2004 06:35PM)
Seth: perhaps it's evidence that I am too picky (Michael Canick may vouch for this! :)), but I have found that most dealers are NOT conservative in their descriptions of condition. Although it is theoretically possible that a 50 year old book could be in mint condition, any dealer who uses the term to describe that book is suspect to me. That's not to say that most book dealers aren't ethical, just my thoughts on how they describe condition.
Message: Posted by: sethb (Aug 27, 2004 06:56AM)
Clay, my guess is that the answer lies somewhere in between our responses.

I may have just been lucky in my purchases, or dealt with only honest booksellers. I'm sure there are a few rotten apples out there, I've just been fortunate not to deal with any of them. Also, most of the books I'm looking for are usually less than 30 years old, so it's probably easier to find copies that are in good condition.

As far as being picky goes, I do insist upon no water damage, spine damage, mildew, etc. There's obviously no point in owning a book that's not in good physical condition, or that could jeopardize other books in a collection (by the spread of mildew, for example). But as you've noted, books age too, and there is probably no such thing as a "new" 50 year-old book. Fortunately, a book that's been printed on decent paper and has had decent care should last at least 100 years or more, from what I understand.

So while I try to buy books that are in very good condition or better, I don't expect them to be perfect (and couldn't afford them if they were!). But I'm generally very happy with my sight-unseen purchases. SETH