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BookThink's Top 10 on eBay
October 2009

by Pamela Palmer

#139, 14 December 2009

NOTE: Items numbers are now included in this article. They are in the individual auction comments section below the author and title. Click the links to see the listings.

If you guessed The Lost Symbol was in the Fiction Top 10, you'd be right - 5 times. Dan Brown's latest novel took half the places on the list. He was joined by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Ayn Rand, Cormac McCarthy, John Steinbeck, and Erle Stanley Gardner. The non-fiction list ranged from Ninja Submission to the 3-volume Handbook of Iron Meteorites. But most surprising was the appearance of two eBay store items. BookThink hasn't noticed store items on earlier lists, so it may have been more common than we think. Wouldn't you be surprised if one of the books in your eBay store made the list?

Fiction Top 10
October 2009

#1 $1,450.00 Edgar Rice Burroughs MAD KING McClurg 1st in dw nice
#2 $1,125.00 Atlas Shrugged Signed 10th Anniversary Edition
#3 $1,035.00 Blood Meridian
#4 $809.00 The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown - Signed (2009, Hardcover)
#5 $806.00 The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown SIGNED LIMITED EDITION
#6 tie $700.00 THE LOST SYMBOL by Dan Brown **SIGNED LIMITED 1/1000**
#6 tie $700.00 AUTOGRAPHED The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown 1 OF 500
#8 $689.99 TCOT Velvet Claws, 1st in 2nd DJ, Erle Stanley Gardner
#9 $667.89 Sea of Cortez Book By Steinbeck 1st edition 1941
#10 $642.34 The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown 1st, signed 1000 limited

The Mad King
Edgar Rice Burroughs

The 1926 1st edition in very good condition sold after 6 bids.

Atlas Shrugged
Ayn Rand

The signed 10th anniversary edition in like new condition attracted 13 bids before selling for $1,125.00. It was #1128 or 2000 in the limited edition.

Blood Meridian
Cormac McCarthy

24 bids took the 1985 1st edition to $1,035.00. It was described as "Book is in excellent condition! ... Dust Jacket is in immaculate condition with only very light shelf rubbing."

The Lost Symbol
Dan Brown

Leading the pack of signed 1st edition Lost Symbols in the fiction top 10, this copy in brand new condition sold after 7 bids. It was 1 of 1000 in the limited edition.

The Lost Symbol
Dan Brown

Another signed 1st edition also was 1 of the 1000 in the limited edition. It sold after 6 bids.

#6 tie
The Lost Symbol
Dan Brown

Sold as a BIN, this signed 1st edition was 1 of 1000 in the limited edition.

#6 tie
The Lost Symbol
Dan Brownbr> 150379431961

Another signed 1st edition of The Lost Symbol tied for #6 in the list. It was 1 of 500 in the limited edition.

The Case of the Velvet Claws
Erle Stanley Gardner

The 1933 very good 1st edition in a 2nd edition dust jacket attracted 13 bids to sell for $689.99.

Sea of Cortez
John Steinbeck and E.F. Ricketts

Coming in at #9, the 1941 1st edition sold for $667.89 after 14 bids.

The Lost Symbol
Dan Brown

Yet another signed 1st edition copy of The Lost Symbol rounds out the fiction top 10. It was 1 of 1000 in the limited edition.  

Non-Fiction Top 10
October 2009

#1 $4,980.00 Harry Potter and the Half blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
#2 $2,607.57 1934 Security Analysis by Graham and Dodd 1st Ed.s
#3 $1,749.00 Time and Two Seats by Wimpffen, Long Distance Racing
#4 $1,526.00 First Copy off press of SuperFreakonomics signed!
#5 $1,485.00 Narcotics Anonymous 1st Edition(Blue Book)
#7 $799.99 Ninja Submission by Masaaki Hatsumi Rare Ninjutsu
#8 $750.00 SIGNED Irving Penn EARTHLY BODIES Nudes 1949-50-2002
#9 $700.00 Margin of Safety by Seth A. Klarman (1991, Hardcover)

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
J.K. Rowling

The signed 1st edition in brand new condition sold as a BIN. It was listed by a US seller with 11 feedback.

Security Analysis
Benjamin Graham and David Dodd 140351315009

23 bids took this 1934 1st edition in good condition to $2,607.57 and #2 in the October non-fiction category.

Time and Two Seats
Five Decades of Long Distance Racing

Janos L. Wimpffen

Sold from an eBay store, the very good signed 2-volume set brought $1,749.00.

Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

A novice seller listed a winner with this "first copy off press of SuperFreakonomics." The charity auction attracted 40 bids and closed at $1,526.

Narcotics Anonymous:
It Works


"Picture is not actual I was going to add one but cant find my camera," wrote the seller with 1 feedback. The very good condition book sold after 13 bids.

Handbook of Iron Meteorites
Vagn F. Buckwald

The 3-volume 1975 university press work was ex-library described as in very good condition. After a 10-day auction, it sold on a single bid for $1,200.

Ninja Submission
[in Japanese]

Masaaki Hatsumi

The 1991 1st edition written in Japanese sold from an eBay store for $799.99.

Earthly Bodies
Irving Penn's Nudes, 1949-50

Maria Morris Hambourg

Sold as a BIN, the signed 1st edition in a dust jacked was described as in like new condition.

Margin of Safety
Seth A. Klarman

The like new in dust jacket copy of Margin of Safety sold as a BIN.

Red Roses From Texas
Nerin E. Gun 350261623617

Listed by an Australian seller, the 1st edition in dust jacket sold after a single bid. "The print run was estimated at less than 1,000 with the majority of books going into the British library system."

By the Numbers

19 sellers were from the USA
1 seller was from Australia
16 books were published during or after 1950
4 were published before 1950
Seller feedback ranged from 0 to 6143
7 purchases were BIN, including at least 2 from eBay stores
0 purchases were Best Offer
15 books were sold by sellers with 100% positive feedback
Feedback percentage ranged from 94.1% to 100% for sellers who had feedback
The oldest book was published in 1926.

*feedback is noted at the time the auction is viewed by BookThink.


Antiquarian & Collectible Top 5
October 2009

#1 $22,666.33 1838 Mormon Hymnal
#2 $14,900.00 1899 Original Wonderful Wizard of Oz Baum FIRST EDITION
#3 $11,300.00 TOKYO SUBURBIA by Takashi Homma, DLE, 15 PRINTS + BOOK
#5 $7,600.00 CHESS R. Braune, Apotre de la Symetrie. 1913. X-Mas 18.

A Collection of Sacred Hymns, for the Church of the Latter Day Saints
David W. Rogers


In some cases, the very existence of a book is more significant than its condition. That was true in the case of the 1838 Mormon Hymnal. The US seller described it's many flaws, starting with, "INCOMPLETE, soiled and worn; now professionally restored." After 6 bids, it sold for $22,666.33.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
L. Frank Baum

Sold as a BIN, the 1899 1st edition brought the Spanish seller nearly $15,000.

Tokyo Surburgia
Takashi Homma

Listed by a US seller, the book of photography was described as a "very fine/new, signed, limited edition with a signed portfolio of 15 c-prints ....'

A Pocket Alamanack for the Year 1754
Benjamin Franklin

Coming in at #4 is the 1754 almanac by Benjamin Franklin. It sold for $7,800 after 24 bids.

Apôtre de la Symétrie
R. Braune

Listed by a Swedish seller, the 1913 40-page book on chess attracted 15 bids.

Want to read more articles by BookThink's Associate Editor Pamela Palmer? Click here.

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Contact the editor, Craig Stark

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