Saturday, April 06, 2024

Annual Mornington Lions Club Book Fair

The  Annual Mornington Lions Club Book Fair began today, raising money for charity.  My wife and I always look forward to this event which takes place across the weekend from 9am to 5pm.

This year my wife's parents also joined us as my father-in-law is an avid reader.  As usual the books were of great quality and really well organised by the event volunteers into alphabetic sections.

As you can see from the photos below there were plenty of other readers looking for bargains with the books just $2 each.

After scouring all the crates of books I only found two copies of the same James Bond adventure, "Carte Blanche" by Jeffery Deaver in trade size paperback which I already have in my collection.

No luck for me today but my wife and her Mum and Dad managed to find plenty of books and jigsaw puzzles for themselves.  

The book fair continues again tomorrow and we'll definitely be back next year.

As an addendum, afterwards we travelled to Main Street Mornington for some lunch and I noticed this lovely E-Type Jaguar.  I know it's not a Bentley or Aston Martin but it still conjures up the thought that Bond could have driven this vehicle in literature or on celluloid in the 1960's...

... but sadly I suppose Austin Powers has taken that mantle now.

Thursday, April 04, 2024

Recent Pan Acquisitions

I recently visited a secondhand book store here in Melbourne and uncovered four out of five of these Pan editions from the 1960's.  

Apart from the "From Russia With Love" movie tie-in from 1963 the other covers are part of the Raymond Hawkey series.  Three of the books appear unread which is amazing for their age.  Their spines are immaculate.

The novel purchased online was the "For Your Eyes Only" shown below printed in 1966.  It's a rare 16th printing by Pan that used a much thicker paper stock causing the paperback to be fatter or thicker than normal.

As well as the spine size variation you can also notice the colour of the text on the spine is white which differs from the light blue on the regular copies.

The images on the front and rear covers are identical...

except the thicker version has an area showing pricing in red which is absent on this other copy.

This thicker version is difficult to find without an uncracked spine.  My copy also has some cover damage.  It's certainly not the best copy out there but it was within my budget.

Overall I was rapt with these purchases and can't wait to add images of this thicker version to the Less Common Books And Ephemera page on

Sunday, March 17, 2024

Unexpected 007 Magazine Arrives

My English Aunt recently discovered that her friend knows a gentleman named Graham Rye.  Mr Rye is synonymous for publishing the well known James Bond "007 Magazine".  In fact I, like many other Bond fans, subscribed to "007 Magazine" during the 1980's and 90's.  From memory I was member number 00212, and I still have all the copies I received in my Bond room. 

Long story short my Aunt was able to acquire a magazine for me which arrived late last week.

The envelope contained a 151 page tribute edition to Sean Connery after his passing in 2020.   

I've already spent some time reading the magazine and admiring the amazing photos and I'm really enjoying it.

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Ian Fleming The James Bond Collection

A parcel arrived today.  It contained the latest set of novels published in the UK by IFP (Ian Fleming Publications) packaged in an attractive box.  The box set is titled "Ian Fleming The James Bond Collection" and is limited to just 250 sets.

The covers were designed by Webb and Webb and initially released to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the first Bond novel, "Casino Royale" in 2023.  Webb and Webb were then asked to design the exclusive box.

I had already purchased the 14 titles in this set but as a completist I also had to acquire the box set.  The ISBN is 9781915797100 for anyone else interested in purchasing this set, however it's easier to locate on the IFP website.

It really is a lovely set and if these cover designs are anything to go by, Mr. Fleming's works are in good hands.  Look out for this set appearing on my Box Sets / Slipcases page soon.

Ps. Yes I did purchase this box set; it was not a freebie.  It was difficult to purchase though as currently IFP only despatch to the UK and the USA, although they are hoping to remedy that situation soon.

Sunday, March 10, 2024

Chapter House Books Gone ?

As usual during the warmer months my wife and I visit the beautiful beaches on the Mornington Peninsula.  On our drive there we often stop at a few secondhand book stores along the way.  One of those shops is Chapter House Books in Mornington.  Here's some photos from one of my last visits on February 1st, 2023.  I'm sure I've visited since but I can't find the photos.

In August 2022 I noted that Chapter House was displaying a sign in the window "Business For Sale".  I assumed the business would be sold, someone else would take over and life would go on as usual.  Our visit last week proved me wrong as I was saddened to discover the book shop was gone... replaced by a skin clinic.

I'm not sure if the shop has gone altogether.  Perhaps it's moved online as their website still exists.   Or maybe it's moved to another street address.  I'd like to remain optimistic because otherwise another physical secondhand book store has closed.  And with Books By The Bay, just around the corner in Mornington, rarely open it's not a good sign for the only two secondhand book stores in the suburb.

Wednesday, March 06, 2024

John Gardner's "Seafire" Variation Arrives

Around the year 2012, when I first launched, a fellow James Bond book collector visited the site and commented about the existence of a second cover for John Gardner's "Seafire", published in the U.S. by Berkley Books in 1995. 

At that time I already owned one copy of the "Seafire" paperback, which I purchased when it was first released.  My cover featured the book's title in silver foil.  So when this person informed me of a variation cover I immediately set about trying to acquire one.

Roll forward 12 years and I've just received a copy of the variation cover in the mail.

It's certainly been a long hunt.  There were copies appearing from time to time on internet shopping sites, but many were well read beaters.  So when I received the parcel containing this edition, plus six other Bond titles, I was eager to see what condition it was in, especially after it's journey from the U.S. to Australia.

And here's the two variations of this Berkley Books paperback side by side.  The cover on the left with the yellow text is the 3rd printing while the cover on the right with the silver foil text is the 1st. I believe the 2nd printing also features yellow text but I don't have that edition.  Both copies share the same ISBN: 0425147754.

Unfortunately I've forgotten the name of the collector who first informed me about the existence of this variation cover, but whoever you are thank you very much.

Ps. If you're interested in seeing some other slight paperback cover variations here's the page on the website.

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Caulfield Racecourse Vintage & Modern Toy Fair

This morning I visited the Caulfield Racecourse where a Vintage and Modern Toy Fair was held.  I'm a regular attendee of these collector fairs as I'm always interested in what James Bond items might be out there.  In the past I've purchased a couple of scale model vehicles from The James Bond Car Collection.

As usual the event was extremely busy.  There was a vast array of vintage and modern collectables displayed for sale on each vendor's trestle table, although I didn't notice too many from the world of Bond.

Of the few I noticed there were several vehicles from the Bond Car Collection but I didn't take any photos.  Also these three carded Corgi Junior vehicles, shown below, which were released around 1977 and 1979 for "The Spy Who Loved Me" (Lotus Esprit and helicopter) and "Moonraker" (space shuttle) respectively.  I rarely see these nowadays still on their cards so they definitely caught my interest, even if I didn't purchase them.

There was also this "Thunderball" board game which I suspect was released around the year of the fim's release in 1965.  The box looked in great condition too for its age.

No purchases from me today, but it's good to see some rarer Bond collectables still out there.