Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Coming to a post office near you…

Carol Jones of Turn the Page found this interesting (and a little worrying) post on an eBay forum:

“I learnt today, from our local Postmaster that because of a new computer system being installed in Post Offices, that items that have postage labels i.e not in a satchel, will not have the postcode on the receipt anymore.

When he saw the look of horror on my face he said that he had already emailed the powers-to-be explaining about eBayers in particular, needing the postcode as part of the proof of posting.

He said our Post Office was one of the first to have the new system so I don’t think it is widely known at the moment.”

For many booksellers, the postcode on the receipt is a method of cheap ‘insurance’ : it proves the parcel has indeed been posted off and is out of our hands.  The next method is Registered Post and costs a great deal more.  Let Australia Post know that leaving the postcodes off receipts is not acceptable.  Write AusPost, or talk to your local postmaster.


Capt. W.E. Johns died in 1968 but 40 + years on his books are very much sought after by a new generation of readers and by collectors.

Johns was the creator of not just the Biggles books but also the Gimlet; Worrals; and Steely books along with a series of Science-Fiction books.

This prolific writer of children’s fiction also included a number of adult fiction and non-fiction titles in his prodigious output.

For the collector the books to look out for are at the beginning and at the end of his writing career.

The early books, published by John Hamilton & Oxford University Press are very hard to find as are the books written by Johns towards the end of his lifetime; 1964-1968 and published by Hodder & Stoughton & Brockhampton Press. Such is the demand for these 1960’s works that Norman Wright in the U.K., with the permission of the Johns estate, is re-publishing many of these titles currently in limited editions of 300 copies.

As with all truly collectable books the most keenly sought items are first editions with original dust wrappers. The price for the harder to find titles is continually increasing. However the more common Dean & Sons editions, produced in vast quantities for the U.K. supermarket chains, are so common as to be almost worthless.

The ‘holy grail’ for most Biggles collectors is “The Camels are Coming” (John Hamilton) whilst amongst the last dozen or so titles published between 1964-1970 “Biggles and the Little Green God”; “Biggles and the Deep Blue Sea and “Biggles and the Noble Lord” prove very elusive for most collectors.

One of the reasons why Biggles has cemented himself in the hearts and minds of Australian readers is the long-running Australian produced and immensely popular radio serial,” The Air Adventures of Biggles”. Many a Biggles collector became addicted to the books after being first exposed to our ‘flying hero’ and his chums in the radio serial.

Further information on both the Biggles books and the radio serial can be obtained by contacting

While browsing on the web…

A few interesting things brought to us by Carol at Turn the Page

  • For all you Enid Blyton collectors out there, a previously unpublished manuscript has surfaced.  Unfortunately there are no plans to publish it yet, but maybe one day you can add the check to your list.  Read more here from the Adelaide Now site.


  • On a sadder note, an aritlce in the UK written in the Guardian laments the fact that more and more secondhand bookshops are closing.  Online shopping, e-books, and charity shops are making what once was a shop in every town become a rarity.  A bit depressing, but worth the read… 


  • And because you should always close on something more upbeat, check out the awesome architecture of the Kansas City Public Library.  It’s just the parking structure (and the libray itself is said to be a bit ‘plain jane’, but Missourians and their cars are very lucky!


Man’s Best Friend – Books!

If Australians bet on two flies climbing up a wall, they’ll collect everything.  A quiet Friday night in front of the tele proves it. And there are a lot of bibliophiles out there.  Most of them are pretty harmless. Although some of us go nuts, we don’t all end up with Boulard’s Syndrome. Just for the record, Antoine-Marie-Henri Boulard was a pathological 19th century collector. He tried to own every book and pamphlet ever published. Some say he ended up with 300 000 volumes. Others say 600 000. Some say they filled five whole buildings. Others say six and others say eight.
Whatever Floats Your Boat
Sydney has had its share of bibliomaniacs. David Scott Mitchell was legendary. And one, recently-deceased gentleman used to scour the Salvos, the garage sales and the charity book fairs, lug his boxes home on the bus and stack them up in his garden shed and under his eaves.
  Read the rest of this entry »

A Welcome from the Guild President

Greetings Everyone,

 Welcome to the 2010-2011 trading year. May it be productive and enjoyable for us all.

At our first meeting for the year, on 19 August, members brainstormed for new ideas using Edward de Bono’s “Six Thinking Hats”. This was a different approach for us and some new ideas were generated.

It was agreed by all that we want to warmly welcome new members and wish to particularly encourage them to come to meetings and share ideas.

In addition we particularly wish to encourage members who are no longer financial to rejoin. Current members have missed your input and you are missing out on the benefits of membership.

A reminder that the deadline for participating in the Bowral Bookfair is approaching.

Please contact Gavin Harris of Cross Art and Books or Margaret Dunstan of Somerset House Books if you wish to participate. 

Long live the book and long live book collectors!!!!

 Margaret Dunstan

President Bookdealers Guild  NSW (Inc)

–Contributed by Margaret Dunstan of Somerset House Books