Another delivery from Mr. Postie yesterday, a really nice, bright, excellent condition copy of this:
The first Pan paperback of Deep Water, from 1961. That's a great cover. And I've noticed on the back covers of these Pan editions of Patricia Highsmith books (The Blunderer has this too), there's a photo of Highsmith looking really rather sexy. She was a real fox when she was younger.
Speaking of The Blunderer, the copy of that I bought turned out to be a little loose inside – the pages are in danger of falling out in places. Such is the occasional danger of buying old books online (although it was only £3.50 including postage). Last year at the Rye book fair (I think it was Rye anyway; might have been the Chelsea antiquarian book fair) I overheard a dealer talking about how the internet was "a fiction," i.e. you'll see second hand books for sale online much cheaper than you would in a bookshop or at a fair, but the description never matches up to the item.
I have to say that sounded to me like a defence of the indefensible: the often extortionate prices dealers charge for books in bricks and mortar shops or at book fairs (although not always at the latter – there are deals to be had). Generally speaking I've been pretty pleased with the condition of books that I've bought online, either on eBay or AbeBooks. Sure, there's the odd book where the seller hasn't quite owned up to all the faults, like my copy of The Blunderer. But mostly what you read in a description online is what you'll get, and you can always ask the seller questions before you buy, which I do as a matter of course these days, especially on AbeBooks, where info is sometimes out of date or minimal. Every seller I've queried has come back to me fairly swiftly, as obviously they're keen to sell a book if they can.
Anyway, I can always buy another copy of The Blunderer somewhere, and in the meantime read the one I have.
This is probably quite a boring post. Sorry about that.