Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Society of Women Geographers

A copy of They Made Their Mark: The Society of Women Geographers is up for sale on ebay.

I'd done a search on Fay Gillis Wells, pioneering woman pilot, and then scrolled down at all the other "similar" offerings that eBay always gives you.

Being curious (as the Patrician Havelock Vetinari advises - never lose any opportunity to learn something new (I paraphrase)) I went to wikipedia to check out the Society of Women Geographers.

It was established in 1925 by Gertrude Emerson Sen, Marguerite Harrison, Blair Niles and Gertrude Mathews Shelby

They founded it because of course women weren't allowed into the men's clubs of the day. As a matter of fact, the Explorer's Club didn' admit women until 1981.

The Society of Women Geographers today only has about 800 members - which is sad. There's got to be more than 800 women geographers in the world!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Ask questions before you buy a book from an author you collect

This isn't a new lesson I learned - I learned it a couple of years ago. But since I didn't learn anything new today, I figured I'd share this!

I am a dedicated reader of a variety of types of authors. Mostly mystery, some science fiction. And I like books in matching sets. They don't have to be first editions - in fact I couldn't afford first editions of most books I want! Nor do they have to be hardback.

They just have to be matching sets, and crisp, clean copies.

So, I am a fan of the author Sarah Caudwell, whose detective is Hilary Tamar (never specified whether this is a man or a woman and in England Hilary can be a name for either sex).

Her books are:

Thus Was Adonis Murdered
The Shortest Way to Hades
The Sirens Sang of Murder
The Sibyl in Her Grave

She also wrote at least one short story, and contributed a couple of chapters to a mystery collaboration novel which I have.

And that's it. Sadly, she passed away of cancer in 2000, when she was only 60 years old.

As a matter of that I think about it...I think had she passed away before I ever discovered her first book, Thus Was Adonis Murdered...

Anyway, Thus Was Adonis Murdered was her very first book, and the very first book of hers I read.

I read it so many times that it began to be tattered, and I wanted a new, cleaner copy. There wasn't one in my local B&N. I could have bought a new copy on Amazon for $7.50 plus postage, but I decided to be cheap and look on ebay. I found a copy for a dollar, postage $4.00, so I saved a couple of bucks.

The paperback book arrived and it was the matching cover of three of the four remaining Caudwells that I had. (The fourth book came out after the other three had been published as part of a series. The center illustration was by Edward Gorey, as were all the others, but the spine of the book wasn't in the same style as the other 3). The cover was pristine.

I looked inside the book to read it...and it was not Thus Was Adonis Murdered. I still have the book, I kept it as a curiosity - obviously the printers had put the wrong cover on the wrong book. (Unfortunately, although I know I still have this book I don't know what I've done with it, so I can't tell you what the interior book is.)

Now, that's probably an extremely rare occurrence - it never would have occurred to me to ask the seller, "Hey, have you looked inside this book and are the pages in the book the same as the cover?" And, I have to say that this isn't a question I'd ask because I suppose it would seem too weird - and what are the odds of that happening again?

 Anyway, I decided it was time to go to Amazon and buy a "new" copy. I typed in And Thus Was Adonis Murdered, but as is Amazon's way they gave me a list of all of Caudwell's works.

And I saw that a complete, matching set of books - so that the covers of all of them matched - had been released in England. They were black covers - or white covers - with an illustration done in the same manner, presumably by the same illustrator.

I preferred the black cover versions to the white cover versions, so I proceeded to order those via eBay, just because they were a little cheaper than I could get on Amazon.

I had to go to three different sellers to get the four books, and I didn't ask any questions. The covers in the descriptions looked good, and it never occurred to me to ask what the spines of the books looked like. (Also, some sellers use "representative" covers - they don't scan in the cover of the book they're selling, they take a cover jpg that already exists and use it.

So three of the four books were perfect - clean spines, covers with pointy corners.

The fourth book I ordered, The Sybil in Her Grave, had been well-read. There were all sorts of lines - whatever the term is - on the spine indicating the book had been read several times, and  the outside corners were 'bumped.'  More than that, there was a green dot on the spine, using glue that was very very good - aka I couldn't get it off without ruining the paper underneath it.

So from now on, whenever I order a used book from eBay, I read the descriptions very carefully, and then I also send a question directly to the seller, asking if there are any "dots' or other adhesive labels on the book front, spine or rear cover, or on the inside covers, and what are the conditions of the books corners.

If you ever buy any books via eBay, and care about the condition of those books, I suggest you ask those questions directly of the seller, just to be on the safe side, before you order the book.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

You can find The Rescuers glasses on eBay.

I suppose I should also call this blog, "What I learned from Wikipedia."  Or maybe just "What I learned today."

In 1977, Walt Disney brought out The Rescuers, starring Eva Gabor as Miss Bianca and Bob Newhart as Bernard.

When I first started watching it - I was 16 and saw it in the theaters - I loved the opening song - very powerful. (You can hear it here - unfortunately not with the images of a bottle floating in the ocean that were part of the movie.)

After that...I started out not liking it. I had read the original The Rescuers book by Margery Sharp and loved it, and of course the movie changed it, truncating two different The Rescuers books into one. Also, although I love Bob Newhart, I didn't think his voice as Bernard suited the part. But as the movie continued on, I did like it, especially Evinrude the dragonfly and the two villainous pets -Brutus and Nero. (Ever notice how there are always two villainous pets in Disney films?).

I believe it was McDonalds - or perhaps Taco Bell or Burger King, but I'm pretty sure McDonalds, that offered Rescuer glasses, and I got one of Evinrude.

It was top quality glass, I think, but somehow about 10 years later it got broken. So a couple of years ago on a whim I checked to see if eBay would have any of these glasses from now 40 years ago (2017 will be the 40th anniversary of the film), and I'll be 56!) and they do. Below is just one listing, for a Miss Biana glass, but checking today it looks like every single glass is available, albeit from different sellers, ranging in price from $1 upward.

I went to The Rescuers Down Under when it came out in 1990 and I didn't care for it at all.

By the way, I still, at age 55-going-on-56, love Margery Sharp's Rescuer books. They are meant for kids but there's humor that adults will appreciate, and they're just fun! Also the illustrations by Garth Williams are cute and clever.

You can get The Rescuers movie and the first The Rescuer book from Amazon. Sadly, it looks like they are out of print... but they are all available (from different sellers) on eBay.


The "What I LEarned From eBay" Manifesto

I spend a lot of time on eBay.

I collect women in aviation memorabilia, and if I have an discretionary money, I also collect marine exploration, space exploration, and certain philatelic subjects as well.

Sometimes, when I'm surfing through the eBay offerings, I click on an image and in the description, find out things I never knew about a wide variety of subjects.

At other times, I just find certain collectibles that I never knew existed, and I share them here as well.

NOTE: I am not affiliated with eBay in any way, nor am I affiliated with any eBay sellers. I just share things that are of interest to me.

I am, however, an affilate, and so if you'd like to help support this blog and provide me with the funds to buy more stuff on eBay for my collections, I'd appreciate it!