Last Christmas, I mentioned my newfound enthusiasm for vintage horror novels and my crusade in tracking them down. It seems like Grady Hendrick’s book, Paperbacks from Hell, has inspired many of us horror fans and though it made them harder to find, I’m pleased to see it. Perhaps it will encourage publishers to give those romance books a rest and start churning out a new crop of pulpy horror – especially if they mimic that vintage cover art.
For those of us on the hunt, there’s a website called Book Sale Finder that lists many of the larger sales around the country. Most of these are hosted by local libraries who collect book donations throughout the year and then sell them for cash. It’s a win/win scenario as the money helps the libraries provide more services for their patrons while book fans on a budget have a fair shot tracking down hard-to-find novels for as little as twenty-five cents. In fact, I recently snagged an old copy of JAWS for only 50 cents!
I attended two more big sales this past weekend; the first boasting 30,000 books and the other 10,000. Oddly enough, I had a lot more success with the smaller sale. I thought I’d share my latest acquisitions. This will be one, of two, posts and, remember if anyone has any good suggestions for horror titles or wants to share photos of their own collections, drop me a line at email@example.com. Btw all photos are scans of the actual books I purchased.
So let’s get started with the first batch…
Best Friends (1985)/Ruby Jean Jensen – Anytime you can affordably land a Ruby Jean Jensen novel in decent condition, it’s cause for celebration. This one sports one of my favorite covers with your typical freaky looking kid (common with these books) and a crazy looking, purple kitty that I just love.
Bleeder (1991)/Gene Lazuta – Mirroring the plot of Stephen King’s The Dark Half (published a couple years prior to this one) a writer’s nasty fictional character comes to life and goes on a killing spree.
Crib (1982)/Harold Lee Friedman – Someone is stealing dead, Jewish babies that have strange, psychic connections with their moms! Somehow I came across two, decent copies of this title and bought both. For one thing, they were a quarter and, for another, it has one of those cool covers with the die-cut window that reveals more gruesome details after you flip it open. This was another fun feature with vintage paperbacks.
Damon (1975)/Terry C. Cline – It mentions both The Exorcist and The Omen on the cover as both were popular books during the ’70s. I wondered why this one never made it to the big screen like they did. However, after reading the story was about a four-year-old boy with telepathic powers and a glandular problem that gives him the sexual drive and physical attributes of a grown man, I think I figured out why.
Dead to the World (1988)/J.N. Williamson – The terrifying tale of discovering all the people around you are soulless and evil. Or, as I like to call it, a visit to the DMV.
Ghost Child (1983)/Naomi Hintze – The spirit of a dead child attempts to possess the little boy who just moved in. The kid’s face on this book cover seriously cracks me up!
Half Moon Down (1985)/Stephen Gresham – An evil force rides into a small Alabama town on a tornado and terrorizes a young boy!
Apocalypse of the Dead (2010)/Joe McKinney – Of all the books I purchased, this zombie story was the most modern.
Blood Test (1986)/Jonathan Kellerman – I own a 1st printing, hardcover of this book but grabbed this paperback for sentimental reasons. I was seventeen and working at a grocery store when the first paperback printing of this book (which had a different cover featuring the same child as this one) caught my attention at one of the check-outs. I loved the story which revolves around a child psychologist named Alex Delaware who teams up with a gay detective named Milo to solve the case. I had no way of knowing these characters would continue to fight crime together for the next 30+ years! In fact, Kellerman’s latest Alex Delaware novel, Night Moves, was just released last month. I have all of them in hardcover and even named my first son, Alex, after the main character. I keep trying to get my older teens to start reading them like I did when was their age but they look at me the same way I’d look at my mom when she tried pushing The Hardy Boys. Trust me, these guys are infinitely cooler and worth reading!
Naked Came the Sasquatch (1993)/John Boston – I literally jumped for joy when I found this killer Bookfoot story!
Rage (1993)/Elizabeth Ergas – The spirit of an angry woman (who was buried by molten lava of all things) is unleashed via an obsidian necklace!