It’s Geek Week (like every other week at HPB)

If you’re looking to express your geeky side with pride—and why shouldn’t you?—Half Price Books is the place. Our stores seem to have a never-ending supply of games, comics, action figures and other items designed to help you geek out.

Here are just a few highlights we’ve learned about that are currently in our stores around the country. “A Geek Week Sneak Peek,” I guess you could call it. If you are interested in any of them, contact The Buy Guy.

Lee---X-Men-1-(2)[1]X-Men #1 King-Size Special
Signed by Stan Lee!
Has a little bit of rubbing and wear to the bottom of the spine, but no other damage or signs of wear.
At our Mentor, Ohio store: $100 Continue reading

Long-Lost Wartime Illustrations by Dr. Seuss (Rarest of Rare Collectibles)

Like another long-lost literary classic published earlier this month (Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee), the new What Pet Should I Get? was written in the late ’50s by an author loved by millions of all ages –– Theodore Seuss Geisel, better known by his fans as Dr. Seuss. We will have copies of this Dr. Seuss discovery in HPB stores when it’s released to the public on July 28. But we wanted to take this opportunity to show-and-tell about a real Dr. Seuss World War II-era treasure, This Is Ann. This booklet was a wartime publication of the U.S. Government Printing Office and was illustrated by Dr. Seuss.

RAREST OF RARE COLLECTIBLES

This Is Ann: She’s Dying to Meet You, by Dr. Seuss
U.S. Government Printing Office, 1943

This 38-page pamphlet was issued to U.S. soldiers during World War II to warn them of the threat of “Ann”—the anopheles mosquito that carried malaria. Many were distributed but few have survived. It’s especially rare to find a complete copy in Very Good condition like this one. The text was written by kids’ book author and illustrator Munro Leaf, who is best known for his children’s classic The Story of Ferdinand.

Our Flagship store in Dallas recently got hold of this rare gem, and they are asking $750 for it. If you’re interested in buying this rarest of rare collectible, visit HPB.com/buyguy and contact me, the HPB Buy Guy.

RARELY-KNOWN TRIVIA

Here are a few little-known facts about Dr. Seuss:

No credit for This is Ann — Dr. Seuss was Captain Theodore Geisel at the time he co-created This Is Ann, so neither he nor author Leaf, who was also serving in the military, received credit in the pamphlet.

Bestseller lists across decades — Only a few authors have ever topped the both New York Times Fiction and Nonfiction Bestseller Lists. The last Dr. Seuss book published during his lifetime, Oh! The Places You’ll Go!, topped the Fiction list in 1990.

Not a fan of Dick & Jane — Dr Seuss said that The Cat in the Hat was “the book I’m proudest of because it had something to do with the death of the Dick and Jane primers.”

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Steve is Staffing & Development Manager (aka the “Buy Guy“) at Half Price Books Corporate.

It came from the buy area: Not just unusual — unique!

Buyers at our stores across the country get the occasional opportunity to handle—nestled among the diet books and serial romances—oddities and treasures, sometimes rare and collectible items.  We love to see a nice first edition.  A beloved author’s signature makes that first edition even more special.  But we sometimes come across unique items—maybe not as valuable as the signed first edition, but very special and personal.

We recently had a chance to look at some wonderful one-of-a-kind items while they were being priced at our Flagship Store in Dallas, and we thought we’d share some photos.

One was a diary presented by noted barrister and Christian Socialist Edward Vansittart Neale to his sister in Taplow, England, in the 1820s.            

 

Entries were made by a number of people through the mid-1830s, and include not only personal notes and poems, but also drawings, watercolors, and pressed flowers. 

Another journal, dated 1816 on its cover, was kept by a Mademoiselle Saynisch in Germany.

 

It includes regular journal entries, as well as an “Inhaltsverzeichniss” (a table of contents) and some intriguing lists.

 

 There were also several bound volumes of handwritten sheet music, lyrics in German. 

A volume dated 1532, Epistole et evangelii che si leggono tutto l’anno, contained some handwritten notes entered by a reader.  How close to the date of publication?  We can’t be sure. 

A collection of Civil war-era letters was being processed.  It’s fascinating to read these personal notes, even though most of them contain little of special meaning to anyone other than the sender and the receiver.   

  

One included a photo, possibly of its writer.

In a letter from the 1920s, a Civil war veteran notes the two times he saw President Lincoln. 

It’s a real treat to examine these fragile documents that long ago meant something to someone—enough to hang onto them.  And in an age in which cursive writing is becoming obsolete, these examples of it have a special beauty.

— Steve, aka The Buy Guy