You know how it is. Rooting around on the dusty shelves of a second hand bookshop, looking for nothing in particular, but with half an eye on your chosen specialist subject. In this case, the old apples'n'pears geezer. The search, often as not, proves fruitless. But every now and then, you spot something interesting. Something interesting and ideally not too expensive, maybe even a bargain. Another hour of your life pencilled down in the Ledger of Life as 'Not Entirely Wasted'. Result!
So you get your new-old book home, and after a cursory flick through the pages, admiring the pretty colour plates, marvelling at the wide range of toxic chemicals available to orchardists of old, you nestle it comfortably onto the bookshelf next to that other copy of the same book you bought a few years ago... damn!
Now this wouldn't be an issue if I was a serious collector of books. Perhaps this newly bought copy is in better condition. Maybe it sports a dog-eared dust jacket I hadn't previously owned. Like as not, it's an entirely different edition, a rare 1946 copy, made from poor quality War Standard paper rather than the common as muck Velum pre-war editions. The content will of course be entirely the same...
I'm not a serious collector, so every now and then I like to clear out any unnecessary duplications for nothing more than the price I payed plus a little postage and packing. Top quality cider or perry works too in this regard.
The Fruit Garden Displayed (RHS, 1974 edition) - These are common, I've already got a slightly later edition, and a tatty harback (possible) 1st edition from 1951. Still very usueful, and worth having if only for the fascinating adverts at the back. Cost me £1.50.
CAMRA Good Cider Guide - David Kitton (Alma Books, 1987) - Useful in its day, but more of a historical reference book now. Very little editorial, but one of the better gazeteers of producers at the back. Cost me £0.99.
Modern Fruit Growing - W.P Seabrook (Ernest Benn Ltd, 8th Edition 1947) - A lovely little book covering all aspects of commercial fruit growing (though mostly apples), and featuring some nice b/w photos, and a great selection of vintage advertising at the back. I've already got a slightly earlier dust-jacketed edition. Cost £3.00
Good homes please, no dealers, and if you've already got a good copy, please leave this one for someone who hasn't. Leave a comment, or contact through the website if you're interested.