Monday, December 3, 2012

Vintage Paperback Hoarder

Good morning!

I mentioned before, in a post about vintage pulp fiction book covers, that I have a real problem with a capital P about buying paperbacks. They're everywhere, I tell you! And being dirt cheap and vintage-centric certainly does not help my case against them when I'm trying to resist temptation. I favor movie tie-in books, fifties' pulp, and James Bond above others, but the truth is, when books are like four for a dollar, I can't help but shovel in and gladly trade greenbacks for paperbacks. It's an illness.

Luckily, my sister, Susan, is really into Etsy right now, and really good at "the internet", period. A couple weeks ago, she saw me tearfully parting with a box of my beloved books during a collection purge that played pretty much like a scene straight out of, holding up a book, looking at it, putting it in the "to go" pile, remembering how I bought it at such and such thrift store that wasn't even there anymore and how excited I was when I found it, and putting it back in the "to keep" pile. Repeat three or four or twenty times and I finally just had to go "TAKE THEM. TAKE THEM OUT OF THE HOUSE." Instead of going to Goodwill, though, Sus set up an Etsy storefront called "Paperback Hoarder". I designed a header for her like the one on this blog, but after that, Susan carefully scanned, posted, and wrote copy for about twenty paperbacks all on her own...and we've already sold two! Hurrrraaaaay!

Before I bid the rest of them fond adieu and Sus sends them off to their new homes throughout the continental U.S., I thought it might be fun to look at some of the ones currently in the store on Etsy. If you like what you see, tell your friends! Or better yet, pull the trigger on one yourself! I love all of these and would keep all of them if I could, but I'm trying to make space in the house, so my loss is definitely some-dude-in-Utah's gain.


1) Dallas by Lee Raintree (Dell Publishing, 1978)

I've mentioned probably a half dozen times on the blog how into Dallas I used to be. Really! I don't understand the hubbub about Dynasty (in spite of an undying love for Joan Collins and everything she does, I was bored stiff at that show), but a whim purchase of the first seasons of Dallas in those hazy, pre-Netflix days sent Matthew and I on a primetime soap watching binge of epic proportions. So you can imagine, being as in love with Pammy and Bobby Ewing as we were at the time, how exciting a chance find of the Dallas tie-in paperback at Goodwill would be!

The single funniest thing about this book? In spite of the b-e-a-u-t-f-u-l cover (missing Victoria Principal...?), which I would like to have a framed copy of in my living room, the text of the book is pretty much the longest, fan fiction porno romance I have ever seen in actual, legitimate print. I felt like a ten year old again, surreptitiously reading the latest issue of my grandmother's subscription to Confidential. Jock Ewing did WHAT? With his WHAT?! There's a lot of steamy scenes, way steamier than even perpetually-just-coming-out-of-the-shower Patrick Duffy regular tv paces. Escandolo! I love it, but it's yours if you want it.

2) Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Fotonovel Publications, 1979) (First Printing)

I actually have two copies of this, which is the one and ONLY reason this is up in the shop. Fotonovels were apparently a just-pre-everyone-having-home-videos format which hoped to bridge the gap between movie-tie in books and the movies themselves by making a book completely made up of stills of the movie, Sunday comics style. The 1979 version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers is actually in my top five horror/sci-fi movie favorites of all time, maybe a notch below John Carpenter's The Thing, but not by much. Look at the little cut-outs of Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, and Leonard Nimoy on the cover! Did I mention Leonard Nimoy's in it? He is.

3) Gidget by Frederick Kohner (Bantam, 1961)

I know the term "midget" is actually kind of offensive nowadays if you're not talking about mini Tootsie Rolls, but heck if I don't want to be five foot nothing just so someone could call me a "girl midget", the inspiration for the portmanteau nickname that became Sally Field's cutest tv role bar none. Who needs a flying nun when you can have the most adorable teenage surf bunny of all time? Now, sadly, Sally Field is not on the cover of this book, but inside, you nonetheless have the source material for the film series and the television property both. In the immortal words of the possibly-drunk-at-the-time reviewer from the Hartford Courant, "Gidget...makes one think of Catcher in the Rye." I think the comparison between French author Françoise Sagan was more apt, but less memorable. hair. But not too long, because you might accidentally hypnotize yourself.

4) The Yakuza by Leonard Schrader (Future Publications Limited, 1975)

When my friend Ruth turned eighteen sometime in the early 2000's, it was a Nashville/Davidson County/ maybe Tennessee law that pornography shops has at least 20% non-pornography for sale in their places of business to be called "booksellers" instead of "adult video stores" and reap the positive tax benefits from being labelled as such. I don't know a lot about that law, or adult bookstores, for that matter, but when Ruthie wanted to visit said establishment to meet a checklist of criteria for "things to do when you turn 18" (buy lotto tickets, cigarettes, legally attend a rated R movie, etc), I acquiesced, and was rewarded for my patience with a whole book rack full of deadstock seventies' paperbacks and crossword puzzle books. Never touched! Brand new! Apparently imported from England (see the prices at the bottom of the back cover?)! I picked up this one for the cover alone (Robert Mitchum, where do I start?), and still think it's one of the best things you could leave lying out on your coffee table. LOOK AT IT.

Last but not least, here's a "vintage" picture of me circa 2008 posed reading one of my favorites of the Bond books, You Only Live Twice. How do you like my growing-out-and-cursed-with-cowlicks 1920's bob that really looks more like a Beatle cut in spite of myself? I had to flat iron that front bangs section EVERY MORNING in order to beat the unruliness of, again, the four cowlicks my hairline is blessed with. I am glad to not have this hair anymore!

Do you have a dreadful addiction to some vintage good that is too cheap and awesome to pass up, sometimes? Which of these paperbacks would you like to have in your collection? Any tips or horror stories from Etsy selling in the past? Pass 'em on!

That's all for today, see you kids tomorrow.

PS: If you like stickers/wall art/high quality prints of neat old 1890's French surgical postcards, or Gibson Girls, or Sim City (their stock is vast and varied), check out SoSticky! Susan and her fiancé Matt do some great stuff with out of copyright old designs and a lot they even cook up on their own! Here's some I'm into right now:

Do you SEE the zoopraxiscope picture at bottom? Yes, yes, and YES!
I am not biased (I am so biased), but these are awesome.


  1. I love the classics, the tackies and ANYTHING by Larry McMurtry! Sarah xxx

    1. Me too, me too! Glad to know there's others out there! Esp. on the tackies front.

  2. I love vintage books...I remember on one of our last thrifting trips I found some old music books from waaaay back when. I'm sad I didn't buy them :(

    1. The best thing about old books, though...the next crazy cool set of vintage ones is juuuust around the corner. :)



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