Thursday, August 12, 2021

Love Found In Mornington

I visited Mornington again a couple of weeks ago and it turned out to be very fortunate.  First stop was the secondhand store Books By The Bay.

After a bit of a wander through the store I found two Bond paperbacks; a copy of Ian Fleming's "From Russia With Love" and a copy of Anthony Horowitz's "Forever And A Day".

Then after speaking to the store owner, Leonid, I was introduced to a Jonathan Cape copy of "The Spy Who Loved Me".  The hardback was a fifth impression printed in 1963.  There was some slight silverfish damage on the back of the dustjacket but that only momentarily deterred me from purchasing it.

And here's some photos of the book at home.

After bidding farewell I then visited Charter House Secondhand Books, but wasn't as fortunate here with the Bond novels.  I will return again though.

Saturday, July 31, 2021

Limited Edition Video Set

Back in 1998 MGM Home Entertainment released an Exclusive Limited Edition Video Set for "Tomorrow Never Dies".  The set was only available in the UK and included a VHS copy of the Pierce Brosnan movie, a strip of film, and a paperback book.  

The book was a promotional paperback copy of Raymond Benson's first James Bond novel "Zero Minus Ten", first published in 1997 by Coronet.  This is the first (and only) promo paperback I'm aware of that accompanied a home cinema release of a Bond film*.

Many years ago I managed to acquire a copy of the same promo paperback sans cassette container, and now I'm stoked to have acquired the complete set.  

I'll hopefully add a post for another promotional paperback set soon...

Note: * Strange really as you'd expect the Movie Tie In paperback, also written by Raymond Benson in 1997 and published by Coronet, to have been a more logical inclusion with this set.

Wednesday, July 07, 2021

Canterbury Books Visit

A few weeks ago I visited Canterbury Books.  It was my first visit in almost two years and after all the lockdowns it was great to see the store still going strong.

I spoke to Helen, one of the owners, asking permission to take these photos and discussing the fate of several secondhand book stores around Melbourne during the past year.  I then enquired if she had any James Bond novels and she pointed me toward a copy of Anthony Horowitz's "Trigger Mortis" (for just $2 !!!).  There were plenty of other quality books for sale at great prices too but currently no other Bond's. 

Before I left, Helen said I had to have a look at a gift left on her store windowsill by a local artist.  She was chuffed to find this book a few days earlier and open it at the bookmarked page.  Very impressive.

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Market 3196 Visit In Chelsea

On Monday my wife and I visited Market 3196 near Chelsea for the first time.  Basically it's a large warehouse containing heaps of small stalls.  We only realised the market existed when we saw a sign while driving along the Mornington Peninsula Freeway.

The stalls sell art, clothes, dog food, toys, LPs, knick-knacks etc and lots of books.

Unfortunately I didn't manage to find any James Bond novels however I wouldn't be surprised if there were some in the past, and future.  And the books I saw were really good quality.

I'll definitely be visiting again.  Here's a link to the website: 

Friday, June 25, 2021

Coronet Movie Tie-In Variants

Back in 1995 when "Goldeneye" premiered at the cinemas I purchased the accompanying Coronet movie tie-in paperback by John Gardner.  A few months later I noticed the same MTI paperback on the shelves but this time Bruce Feirstein's name was given credit on the cover for the screenplay the book was based on.

Roll forward to 1999 and it turns out exactly the same issue occurred again, but somehow I didn't realise until last week when I discovered a second version of the Coronet paperback by Raymond Benson for "The World Is Not Enough" for sale online.  Today I received this second version in the mail.

This version also gave credit to Bruce Feirstein for the screenplay where it was missing on the first edition.

Strange how this issue could occur twice in four years.

Thursday, June 03, 2021

Great Pan Director Series

When I first starting collecting James Bond novels it wasn't easy to find out the names of each book series.  There was no internet nor Ian Fleming Bibliography for reference.  So series titles were either little known or perhaps even untitled.  Now Bond series titles like "Still Life", "Raymond Hawkey" or "Girls On Guns" are well known to collectors.

One series whose title I was unclear about for many years was published by Great Pan in the early 1960's.  The series had "painted" covers and featured an impression of James Bond (pre Sean Connery era) at the base of each cover holding a gun.  That figure was based on Ralph Vernon-Hunt who worked for Pan at the time.

There were seven Ian Fleming titles released in this series.  Click here to see them all.  When I was first collecting this series it took me years to find the copy of "Moonraker" shown.  I'm not sure why but this was definitely the hardest title to find in this series.  When I created the website I had no idea what this series was titled, so I named it "Ralph Vernon-Hunt", but collectors (and experts like Jon Gilbert) now refer to it as the "Director" series.

As time's gone on I've seen less books featuring Mr. Vernon-Hunt in secondhand bookshops or for sale online.  They're definitely becoming scarce and those available often demand premium prices.  That's why when I saw this copy of "Live And Let Die" online for $10 the other day I had to snap it up.  Let's see if it's still possible to collect this series for a second time without paying a premium.

And finally, the excellent Pan Paperbacks website has further details on Mr. Vernon-Hunt.  Please click here to read more. 

Monday, May 31, 2021

Virtual Meeting Surprise

I was involved in a virtual meeting the other day and noticed one of my workmates, who was working from home, had a 007 logo on the wall behind him.

After he'd finished talking I asked him about the poster and he moved his camera to show the whole sheet.  It featured a compilation of all the James Bond movie posters up to "Quantum Of Solace".  He explained he bought the poster after visiting the "Designing 007 Exhibition" at the Melbourne Museum back in 2013 (which I also attended).

After the meeting concluded my workmate said he'd send a photo... and here it is.  Thanks mate.