Friday, June 17, 2011

Winkie Convention Countdown: 21 Days to Go

Back in the '80s, it was a lot harder to get ahold of older Oz books if you just wanted to read them. The Baum books were generally available, and Books of Wonder had started their terrific reprints, so we knew that would keep going. But the later books in the series were out of print, and had been for some time. But at the conventions, I slowly pecked away at filling in the gaps through the auctions and sales tables. In 1989, I was doing well and actually had some money to spend, but there were about a half dozen titles I just couldn't find. Merry Go Round in Oz, the toughest to get, had just been reprinted by Books of Wonder, but the rest just weren't coming. After the auction and looking at the sales tables that year, I was disappointed that I couldn't find them. I was commiserating with a few fellow Winkies when one Lary Abrahamson said, "Come with me," and took me to his car. He had a bunch of books, let me look through them, and I found all of the rest of the titles I was looking for, in decent but affordable editions. We haggled, struck a price, and my collection of the Famous Forty was complete! He even gave me Ozoplaning with the Wizard of Oz (it was complete, but in pretty tatty shape; I made sure to give it to someone else once I got a better copy), and on the plane ride home, I finally got to read the last book of the FF I hadn't already read, The Shaggy Man of Oz.

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