Re: Encyclopaedia of Ferns for sale
- Subject: Re: [ferns] Encyclopaedia of Ferns for sale
- From: Johnscott302@aol.com
- Date: Fri, 7 Jan 2005 10:07:04 EST
In a message dated 1/7/2005 5:54:11 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,
A last remark on ebay, for that's little to do with ferns anymore: different
people have different opinions as to what is included in shipment cost. I
would say postage and, if you have to buy an envelope, that one too. But
another seller once explained to me that she also paid one to bring it to the
post office. Also, some people insist on using Fedex ($35) instead of US-mail
($5)... This is not exclusively an ebay issue; the same applies to the
Amazon-related used-book stores. Sometimes I can get the same book shipped
$20 and $6.
Before we get of the subject of books. I buy a lot of fern (rare and not so
rare) books on the Internet. In searching the used book sellers and ebay, it
is truly buyer beware. The book dealers are either ignorant of value or try to
get as much as possible from their equally ignorant buyers. On several
locations I told the sellers that they were asking too much for the book or the
shipping charges. The standard reply is I can get it from someone.
On good example of ignorance is 'The fern herbal' by Elfriede Abbe.
She printed 150 copies in 1981 and it was reprinted by Cornell Press in 1985.
The original was apparently hand printed on handmade paper. The reprint is
slightly smaller and on normal paper.
I searched for the original for 15 years! I found it in several libraries in
the Philadelphia area and in my naive days tried to buy it from the libraries
suggesting that the original wasn't of much use to anyone but a fern nut.
One library indignantly replied that their book wasn't even cataloged as a
fern book -- but was in their collection of specially printed books.
Back to the Internet.
I regularly scanned the online catalogs like ABE.com with the usual
listings of "Abbe Fern Herbal" getting 25-30 listings as FH 1985 Cornell U Press and
even 1981 Cornell U Press (Obviously not the original). The usual price
Then one day buried in 36 listings was one that stood out. Fern Herbal -
Checking it out the listing stated 'number 90 of 150 copies'. Could this be
it -- finally.
I don't know what I was willing to pay. But it was only $45 -- within the
range that day the other 35. Did this dealer know what he had!
Rockland Botanical Garden
PA Zone 5.5
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