This morning I was scouting Heritage Auction Galleries' website for local items of note perched on the auction block when I noticed a few bookshelves' worth of titles being offered at the low, low price of ... one whole dollar (not including buyer's premiums, which do tend to add up). Among them were the titles you see here: George H. Santerre's 1955 La Réunion history White Cliffs of Dallas (which is actually sitting at the opening bid of $101, given the fact it's signed and extremely rare), a signed copy of Justin Kimball's 1927 Kessler Plan Association of Dallas-published Our City Dallas, Lucy Trent's 1936 history John Neely Bryan: Founder of Dallas and that 1927 street directory.
Going for a whole two dollars is one of the 100 copies made of Stanley Marcus's The Book Club of Texas, which is signed by Mister Stanley; Robert Sparkman's only-500-printed A Day in the Life of Lon Tinkle, published by the Friends of the Dallas Public Library, has no bidders just hours before the auction closes.
Turns out, all those and many more are being offered as part of Heritage's Weekly Internet Rare Books Auction, which is all of two weeks old. Hence, the good deals -- not only on the Dallas- and Texas-related tomes (some nice J. Frank Dobies in there), but on first editions signed by the likes of Martin Amis, Rick Moody, Richard Russo and Dick Francis.
"There are likely to be some bargains in the beginning, because people are just learning about them," says James Gannon, Heritage's director of rare books.
"We had a Texana auction last weekend in Dallas, and it did pretty well," he tells Unfair Park. "But part of that collection is being offered in the weeklies going forward."
Today's auction closes at 10 p.m.; next week's begins immediately after. Which means if you're interested in snapping up these titles at ridiculously low prices, hop to. (I've seen and almost bought Kimball's book several times, but always balked at the price tag. Not this time. That's my $2 bid. But if you want it, I won't stand in your way.)
"This is something I believe in firmly," Gannon says when asked about the genesis of the book auction. "There's a whole thing happening in rare books where stores are closing, and people don't have places to buy books. And rare books may be $50, $75. They don't have to be in the thousands. And people are also running out of places to sell their books. They can take 'em to Half Price, and they won't get as much. So this fills two needs -- buyers can get good prices, and sellers can make more money."