Sunday, 16 January 2011

Endearing Indira?

If you often visit eBay - perhaps in quest of Ladybird Books - you might some times have tried searching by 'Most expensive item first'. If you've tried that in recent weeks you might have seen a Ladybird Book 'Indira Gandhi' at the top of that list.

Yes, that's right. £350.00 for a laminated Ladybird Book which dates from 1986. A seller's typo? Did the seller mean £3.75? Isn't even that quite dear for a relatively recent book?

Well clearly £350.00 wasn't a typo. When the book failed to sell at that price, it swiftly re-appeared at £325. As you can see, it is currently listed with a starting price of £325.00 (Buy-it-now option of £350.00).

So should you 'Buy it now'? Well, guess what. I wouldn't if I were you.

Yes, actually this is a pretty rare book. Not many were printed. Perhaps the book was commissioned shortly after her assassination, when the world was still shocked at the turn of events. Perhaps when the book was finally ready for distribution in 1986, the world had moved on. Perhaps now Ladybird was concerned that they might be accused of political bias. Or perhaps it simply didn't sell very well.

At any rate, there were never many copies in circulation and so Indira Gandhi today is perhaps the hardest-to-find Ladybird Book ever printed with a glossy cover (ie after 1983).

But it's not exactly 'The Impatient Horse'. There are copies out there. I've come across 3 copies on sale in charity shops for charity-shop prices since I've been collecting. If really want one to complete a collection, you'll find one sooner or later if you hang on for long enough.

Can't wait? Just look a bit further down the list of the same eBay search and you'll find this one

A 'mere' £49.00 ...


Mike W said...

Even rarer would have been the Churchill book in the 'History' series. Apparently it was due to follow on from the Shakespeare title (No 50) but even though it was ready at the presses - one blog I read stated that it had been typeset & was 'raring to go' but it was pulled at the last moment. So sadly it never appeared.

Helen said...

I'd never heard that before so thanks Mike. What a shame it was pulled. It seems such an obvious choice to end the series with. And just imagine unearthing an early production mock-up of '561 Winston Churchill' from a cardboard box at a carboot sale .... Geeky heaven.

Anonymous said...

Why people pay this amount for a book you can still buy new for £2.30 is beyond me!!

Helen said...

£2.30 new?? Where? That's intriguing.