Biblio, Bibliopoly, Bibliophile: Just Who Are These B's?

- by Michael Stillman

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Books & Collectibles offers a clean search for primarily Australian material.


Books & Collectibles. This is another overseas site, from an American point of view, but not one heavy on American dealers. Yes there are some, and some European ones too, but this is an Australian site, and most of its booksellers are Australian shops. There are 229 dealers, and listings are said to be 2.5 million. This is not by itself a large number, but for a site dominated by Australian dealers, that has to be a healthy quantity. There is no need for me to say which collectors in particular should go to this site since the answer is obvious.

Naturally, it would be unfair to grade this site based on a search for my test book, Mark Twain's Innocents Abroad. However, I'm not fair, so I go ahead and try it anyway. To my surprise, it finds 27 matches. And Books and Collectibles allows me to set the currency I want to use, so I am able to bring up the prices in American dollars. That's nice because Australian dollars are one of the few currencies left that still make the Yankee dollar look valuable. The prices range from $4.70 for a "well worn....reading copy," to $473.98 for the 1871 (I assume first) Australian edition. No wonder Twain shows up here. He is universal.

Consistent with the site's makeup, despite this being an American title, 17 copies are offered by Australian dealers, versus 8 American and 2 British. Only the one copy was actually printed in Australia, with the rest closely divided between the U.S. and the U.K. In keeping with the dictates of fairness, I also search for books about kangaroos. Now I find lots of books that I, and probably you, were not aware of. Books & Collectibles offers me copies of Skippy the Bush Kangaroo, Dumper the Kangaroo, The Life of a Kangaroo, Kangaroo Confidential, Chai the Kangaroo, The One in the Middle is the Green Kangaroo, 'Roo Shooters Guide, My Kangaroo Fanny, The Kangaroo Betrayed, etc. Can any other site give you a selection of kangaroo titles like this? I don't know. I've never looked.

Books & Collectibles may be found at www.booksandcollectibles.com.au.

Well, we have already exceeded our allotted space without getting past the "B" book listing sites. There are other interesting book sites that begin with the letter "B," but we will have to save them for another day.