Tuesday, January 13, 2015

...And You Lose Some

"You're a double-malted with two scoops of whipped cream; you're the moon rising over the Mosholu Parkway...."  --S. J. Perelman

Once again in the Too Good to be True category, Wonder Book of Frederick, MD offered a signed copy of S. J. Perelman's Baby, It's Cold Inside (1970) on AbeBooks for the preposterously low price of $3.59. As if that weren't enough, shipping was free. The listing had a stock image of the cover and provided no scan of the author's signature. What could possibly go wrong? I decided to take the plunge and risk $3.59 of my hard-earned money on the outside chance that a bookseller would be willing to let a signed book by the great humorist go for that low price. Here's the listing:

Well, it just so happens that a signed copy of the book is on eBay right now! Here's the sort of thing that we would hope to see for our ready cash if our ready cash were equal to $320:

Baby, It's Cold Inside (1970) by S. J. Perelman inscribed "For Harriet/with such admiration/for her prose and/her person that/words fail me.../Sid/26 September/1970"

Now let's compare this with what we actually received for the book offered at 1% of the price of the eBay copy:

Well, we do indeed have a signed copy of Baby, It's Cold Inside, but it isn't signed by the author! My guess, of course, is that Raymond A. Park, Jr. was the previous owner of this fine book. Wonder Book of Frederick, MD has been selling on AbeBooks only since 1997, so the store can be forgiven for mistaking this book for one signed by the great Sid Perelman. Of note, there is a 30-day return policy. For the record, I am not planning to go through the trouble and expense of returning this book to the seller in the hopes of reclaiming my $3.59 investment.

Note:  This blog has yet more about signed books and about S. J. Perelman. Nothing to report though on Raymond A. Park, Jr. and his refined taste in literature.


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