21 June 2007

Stephen W. Meader. Bulldozer, 1951.

Stephen W. Meader. BULLDOZER. Harcourt Brace, NY, 1951.

Current Selling Prices
$80-$200 /£45-£100

This is the third of a trio of Ebay nostalgia/ children's books (Young Adult) that are highly sought after. The other two, covered earlier by us were Jellybeans for Breakfast and Lazy Liza Lizard -- all much wanted by Boomers who grew up on them. The other two were for girls -this one is for boys and tomboys and budding business tycoons. A fairly simple plot - Bill Crane and his friend Ducky Davis discover a Caterpillar Tractor sunk and abandoned in a lake and use their ingenuity to restore it and build a profitable business. Among their adventures, a successful battle against a forest fire. All with cool b/w illustrations by Edwin Schmidt.

Most copies out there are paperbacks or rather sad ex library copies--here is a description of a paperback that with most other titles would be immediately tossed, trashed or vapourized. It is described in what I call the Alain Robbe Grillet style --i.e. so much detail that it is hard to envision what the thing actually looks like. The cost for this paperback is $70 - take it away Alain:
'...Fair binding cracking at page 100; heavy spine crease; moderate crease along spine edge of front cover; slight crease along spine edge of back cover; ½" trinangular chunk missing from front fore-edge; ½" closed tear to top back spine edge; 1" closed tear to top and bottom front spine edges; small, slight crease to back corners; two heavy creases to bottom front corner; heavy crease to upper front corner; rubbing and chipping to upper edge of front cover; rubbing to other edges; rubbing, slight soil to covers; several indentations to front and back covers, two penetrate to next two pages; crease to bottom corner of about a dozen pages; age tanning to pages and inside of covers, pages are not brittle; moisture stain to margin of bottom corner of first 18 pages, does not affect the text; rectangular piece cut out of top corner of front endpaper; ¼" closed tear and crease to fore-edge of last three blank pages...'
If the book was stabbed through the middle with a greasy kebab skewer and then dropped in a puddle it could hardly be worse but after all this we are assured '...pages are clean, no marks to text, no owner signatures, inscriptions, store stamps, remainder marks.' I would avoid buying the library of the collector who buys this.

VALUE? Hard to find a decent non Ex Library first in jacket for less than $100, a simple reader can be picked up for under $30. There are several firsts on ABE at between $200 and $300, the most expensive, as always, being the nastiest. [ W/Q ** ]
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