How long does it take to fully recover from surgery? My mother-in-law confidently asserted that it was one week per hour of surgery, but I'm not convinced.
This week I made a concerted effort to put some more books on sale. Fortunately, I've now reached a point where I have valued so many different titles, I can instantly identify the books that are of no value. This saves a lot of time, but the ratio of valuable to worthless books is still depressingly low.
If I open a box of random pre-ISBN books, I'm also certain that it will contain at least one copy of the following:
The Ascent of Everest
Anything by Dickens
The Rose Annual
Variable Winds at Jalna, by Mazo de la Roche
The Pilgrim's Progress
A Famous Five book
A late Victorian 'penny dreadful', published by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge
What Katy Did
Over two dozen Companion Book Club/Readers' Union hardbacks
A 1920s title about book-keeping
The Wooden Horse
Popski's Private Army
A reference book published by Odhams
Heute Abend! Book One
The Wind in the Willows
I could go on, but I'm sure you'd rather I didn't.
Any title that isn't familiar gives a little skip to the heart, particularly if it isn't published by Rupert Hart-Davis (for some reason, nearly all of their books are worthless). Perhaps this will be the book that pulls me back from the brink of penury. I type in the details and press enter. It is worth 61p.
But sometimes I am pleasantly surprised:
Even on a bad day, I can usually rely on finding a title that will provide some harmless peurile amusement:
I was also amused by these covers:
I also find titles that provide surprisingly pertinent information. For example, after my recent rant about house prices ruining the 'dreaming suburb' of Teddington, I came across this:
"In some London districts it is reckoned that more than one quarter of the inhabitants change their address each year."
That quote from a late Victorian book called 'The Problems of Poverty' by John Hobson reminded me that London's population has been in a constant state of flux since the Industrial Revolution and that the seemingly unchanging world of postwar Teddington was just a brief interlude.
However, although it's good to find titles that interest or amuse, I need to derive an income from my books. Every month I have to pay for stock, plus the rent, postage and commission fees. Whatever's left over is my wage. Last month it reached a new low.
Between recovering from an operation and dealing with a child with 'special needs' (I hate that phrase, but can't think of an alternative), it has been a struggle to deal with a backlog of work. This month, I hope to make up for lost time and perhaps in the process, I may find some more gems.
On the other hand, I may just find books like this: