Friday, February 27, 2009

Who Says You Can't Leave Your Children a Fortune?

The reason I added vintage paper to my old books blog is that I've found many interesting things to do with old paper that comes from books, magazines, and newspaper. I had a Time Magazine that wouldn't sell on ebay. It was a 1949 issue. The print ads inside that magazine were cracking me up. So I cut the pages out. I sold a 3/4 page ad from that magazine for $4.03 on ebay. The buyer paid the shipping fees. The ad was titled "Amazing Asbestos". It was glorifying all the amazing things that asbestos could do. So now here we are, 60 years later, knowing all the BAD things that asbestos can cause......and that ad seems pretty wrong huh? I mean, hard to believe that just 60 years ago, this country was promoting asbestos as the next best thing since sliced bread! So vintage paper can be sold to those who are interested in a particular subject that they are collecting.

Think of this too: Suppose you grew up in a particular city or town. Now you've moved away and you've been gone several years. Suddenly you notice (on ebay or elsewhere) that you can buy the old newspaper articles from your childhood....from your old hometown. Or maybe an old catalog where your parents used to order all your childhood toys. Wouldn't that take you back? Would you like to go back and read them again? Would you even pay a few bucks for that personal history? Lots of people do!!

Some categories of news clips and magazine articles and ads are popular. Movie stars are popular. Politicians (some of them) are very popular. Sports stars like car racing, horse racing, baseball, football, golf,,,,,, and then old maps, vintage clothing or knitting patterns, you name it someone is collecting it!

So when I titled this post "Who says you Can't leave your children a fortune" I mean, think about what you buy. Think about what you throw away or maybe recycle. Recycling is good for our planet. Thinking of collections to clip from magazines and newspapers is even better. It's a win/win. You clip articles and ads of the things you are collecting. Then recycle the rest that you don't want. Your collections will be held for years. You were going to buy that newspaper or that magazine anyway. Why not save parts of it to earn several dollars in later years? Store them properly. Don't leave them in a damp garage or attic where they will be exposed to humidity or extreme heat. They will either dry rot or become moldy if you don't store them properly.

Don't put newspaper clippings inside other books or magazines. There is something in Newspaper that turns brown with age. If it's laying between the pages of another book, it will make those pages turn brown too. (It may be that newspaper is more acidic.)

In my next post I will show you some clippings of the peanuts comic strips which are popular now-a days. You can't clip them now to save because they ended in 2000. Every peanuts strip now is simply a re-run. So Peanuts from 1950 - 2000 are vintage. After 2000, you may still see them in your daily newspaper, but they are re-runs. I will show you some pictures in my next post.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Oldest Oz Books

I'm happy to say that I just sold my two oldest Oz books. I removed them from the list of Oz books for sale in my right column. The lady who bought them said she wanted them because they are in public domain and she wanted to use the color plates in the books! I'm excited to see that even though the books were in such bad shape, someone can still find use for them. The two titles I sold were "The Scarecrow of Oz" and "Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz."

I checked to see about the later titles and they aren't in public domain yet. For those of you who haven't heard of it yet, public domain is pretty cool! Books that were published prior to 1923 are no longer copyright protected. (At least that's my understanding of it.) (And I might add here that I'm speaking about copyright laws in America because I don't know about copyright laws in other countries.) When a book is in public domain, that means it belongs to the public to use as they wish for projects or to change it slightly and republish it as their own! Lots of people have made several dollars by taking old books in public domain and making them their own. Some works that were published after 1923 can be in public domain too but there are many rules that apply so if you're thinking about using public domain you should really check with a copyright attorney to make sure you can obtain rights to an old work without being accused of infringement!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I Just Felt Like Crying

I mentioned in my first post how I have always loved books. I'm not kiddin! I love the way they feel in my hands and I love the way they smell. I was the same way about fresh new notebook paper and the smell of real wooden pencils too! School was my escape and when I was young I loved school.
I think they allowed us to go to the library at my little country school when we made it to 5th grade! We were big enough kids then to check out library books! Our little school library was really a walk in coat closet that had been used to store books instead. The first book I checked out was "Bambi". A chapter book that made me cry. It was so sad! I also checked out "Old Yeller"....and it made me cry. Then I checked out "Where the Red Fern Grows" ....and guess what? It made me cry. Of course I eventually moved on to books that didn't always make me cry. Throughout the years I've probably averaged reading 4 or 5 books per month. Some I'm glad to say have given me a lot of good feelings and laughter, while others have scared the daylights out of me! So now you know that I get emotional over books. You won't be surprised when I tell you about the Wizard of Oz books I found in one crate in the storage unit....and how they made me want to cry!

I've done enough research by now to know how special these old books are. And for anyone my age, who didn't love watching the movie of Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz? So when I found these messed up...I felt like crying.

I've listed them in the right column for sale here but I think they really need to go to a book conservator or at least someone who knows one. I don't have a book conservator here in my town. If you're interested in these books and you're up for the task of overhauling them, you can email me at I will tell you what damage I see and then show you the pictures below. They definately have old wet damage, and from what I've read, some of the areas that look whitish/dusty are deactivated mold. The book covers are worn/chewed, one spine completely missing. They are coming loose from their bindings, the black and white illustrations have been colored by a child. The name plate has the name of the child who owned them (of course). The pages are browned with age and soiled with various brown spots and smudges. Surprisingly though, most of the color illustrations are still bright and in good condition
When I list these things here, I would appreciate any comments that any of you have to offer me. Maybe you have good ideas about what I could do with these books?

What's in my way?

If you will read my first post about how I ended up with 2000 old books then this post will make sense to you. You see, to get to the old books I have to somehow create a path to them. They are in the back of the storage unit behind furniture and artwork. My youngest son and I have been there twice alone and have taken down smaller pieces of furniture like end tables and set them out in the hallway of the storage building so that we could get to the art and carry them out. Once past the art, we could actually reach some of the crates with old books in them. Carrying home everything that I could fit in my car trunk and my back seat, I was able to get a few items home and get them dusted. Some of the pictures have glass and some don't. For those that do, I've used a lot of windex to clean and shine them up. I've sold a few on Craig's list which I like because I don't have to worry about shipping.

I've just about got all the artwork home now and I have to tell you it is really crowded inside my house! My oldest son was able to help me move some of the small furniture here last weekend with his truck. So now we have an (almost clear path) to the books. But the books are on the bottom in crates and there's another ton of furniture like chairs and more tables stacked like a house of cards on top of those crates! Next time I go back with my youngest son I will be having him climb and start handing down pieces of furniture to me so that we can set those in the hallway of the storage building and reach more books.

But I want to show you something that I found in all the artwork. This oil painting on canvas is 45 inches tall in the frame and 33 inches wide. The actual painting without frame is 36 inches by 24 inches. So in order to get it into the trunk of my car and bring it home I had to let my backseats down. It's big, beautiful and signed by the artist. I spent about 4 hours yesterday morning google searching everything I could about this artist. His name is Andreas Gyula Bubarnik. Some of his paintings sell for over $5,000. I put this one on Craigs list yesterday around noon for $2,500. I've already received an email question about it but I don't know if there are any serious art collectors in my town or not. Time will tell. Meanwhile, if you've been looking for a Bubarnik Oil painting and you want to buy this one, email me at You would have to pay for shipping and insurance. If you're interested, let me know.

Monday, February 23, 2009

How I Ended up With 2000 Old Books

Hi Ya'll,
I'm Kathy. I'm not a Katherine or Kathleen. Just Kathy. I'm a Tennessee country girl, raised by a tobacco farmer and still have the scars to prove it! Starting my life on a farm has helped me face many challenges that life has offered me. Every job I've ever held after working in a tobacco patch seemed pretty darn easy! My dad taught with strict authority and cutting sarcasm. So from that I learned not to mess up the same way twice! In fact, it caused me to think I had to be everything!

Well, now that I'm almost 48 years old, and raised 3 kids of my own by myself, I not only gave up the idea of perfection, but have even learned to laugh at my mistakes (a little). I'll be sharing some of my mistakes as well as some of what I've learned along the way with you, dear blog audience.

Now, down to the details.....
I find myself rather suddenly, with 2000 books and several hundred old magazines to sell. My brother inherited these about 2 years ago when his 92 year old friend died and left him in her will. In fact, she left him the entire contents of her house, and in a separate location, she left him 115 acres of farmland!!

So why did he inherit but I am the one selling?
I thought he had already sold all the contents of her old house. But in January of this year, he told me he had rented a climate controlled storage unit just 10 minutes from my house to store the remaining things from her household goods. (My brother lives an hour away in a place called Bumpus Mills, TN. (They don't have any climate controlled storage in his little map dot town.) But I live in Clarksville, TN and it's a border town to the military base of Ft. Campbell, KY so there are plenty of storage companies here.

I think my brother mentioned it to me at this time because I became unemployed in October of last year and he knew I might have time to sell these things now. He's really being very sweet because he told me if I wanted to try to sell his stuff, I could keep the money myself if I sold anything. He hasn't had time to mess with any of it because he works a lot of overtime for TVA. The storage unit is costing him $105 per month. So it's a win/win for both of us if I can get these things sold.

Now in my farm girl imagination, I thought everyone who visits ebay couldn't wait to get their hands on all the treasures I would find in these 2000 books. (I'm unemployed so I have time to create all these listings on ebay.) I wasn't even considering the magazines. In my mind, I was only considering the fact that I have always loved books and so must everyone else! Boy was I dismayed!

This blog will be somewhat of a journal for me to keep online. You will get to see what I'm learning as I go...... about old books and about life itself.

I will offer books for sale or ideas to share as time goes by. If you'd like to be on my email list just fill out your name and email address above in the right column. If you have a question for me you can email me at