Friday, April 11, 2008

Guess We'll Have to Cancel the Bentley, Then

Since I started cleaning up my mom's books, my dad decided to clean out some of the other books that have been accumulating unregarded for decades. He's been reporting to me periodically that he's amassed a number of first editions that he was sure were worth megabucks and asked me to find a rare book dealer to appraise them.

Knowing -- from John Dunning, among others -- that just because a book is a first edition doesn't mean it's valuable; remembering the well-loved condition of most of my parents' books; and judging by the almost eerie lack of collectible items among my relations (barely a set of Depression glass dessert cups between them), I gently suggested that I should look up a few items at the ABE booksellers site first to see if it would be worth it for a dealer to come out and have a look. Since I'm going over there tomorrow for round two with the dust monsters in the garage, I thought that would pacify him.

Well, I forgot two things about Dad: first, that he never cares about wasting other people's time, and second, that when he has a bee in his bonnet, he really gets buzzing. He called this morning to tell me that he's had not one but TWO dealers out to the house this week to assess the "collection." They both told him what I already suspected: the books are worth zilch.

Fortunately, he's philosophical about this disappointment. Unfortunately, it's suddenly become my problem to decide how to dispose of the books.

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