I will be leaving on Wednesday May 14th for a major buying trip to the Midwest states of Kansas, Missouri, Illinois and Iowa. I will be bringing along my better half, my wife Valeta on this trip. We are going to visit our daughter Amy and her husband Mike in Urbana, Illinois and attend Mike's graduation from the University of Illinois. He is getting his degree in graphic design. Congratulations to both of them for hanging in there and getting this degree.
On these lengthy trips I take my Chevy Astro van and my 8-foot Haulmark trailer and a bunch of empty boxes. I am notorious among my wife and children for always combining business with any travel trip we take. This trip will be no different. I am excited to do some book hunting in these areas. I have some good leads already to follow up on along the route. On these trips I do similar strategies and techniques as they do on the show "American Pickers". I try to identify people who have good books and then make appointments to go see the books. I find that retired antiques dealers are often a very good source of quality books for my inventory. They are also often a good source of referrals. Another good source of information is to contact historical societies, libraries, museums, and the historians affiliated with these institutions. Some states have lists of their official county historians with contact information. Often one referral leads to another and I end up looking at a nice library of books. Some of my most significant purchases on these buying trips have occurred when I meet someone and they refer me to a neighbor or friend, collector or dealer who has an accumulation of books. The thrill of the hunt is definitely one of the most exciting aspects of this business.
The other enjoyable aspect of these buying trips is that I truly love this great country of America and I enjoy travelling to new places and meeting new people. There are so many good and upright people in this country. I have traveled in and purchased books in nearly all of the states except portions of the deep South and Atlantic states. I've been to New England, Ontario Canada, Texas, Louisiana, Kentucky, the Northwest, the Southwest, all of the Western states except the Dakotas, and nearly all of the Midwestern states. I've looked at books in barns, attics, basements, porches, root cellars, storage units, and warehouses. I prefer to look at books in living rooms, dens, and offices, but that's not always in my control.
I've thought about having a separate page for this blog labeled "My best finds". I think that would interest readers and it would be a good opportunity to record and recount some of my most memorable finds in my many years of book sleuthing.