Book collecting - all collecting, I'm sure - is maddening. Take The Delicate Dependency, a paperback original vampire novel, by a late author more known for his pseudoscientific books than his horror fiction, Michael Talbot. Way back when, probably 1990 or so, I had this book in my hands at my old job in a used bookstore, thinking it was just another historical vampire Anne Rice clone by a nobody author, and shelved it along with a hundred other moldering and worn old horror paperbacks. Hell, I probably even took it home, read a page or two, and just brought it back to the store. And now a copy on eBay is going for - get this - $1,149 (it's at $500 as of November '10. And now in March '11 it's $90! Nope - as of September '11 it's at 50 bucks). Yup. One thousand one hundred and forty-nine dollars. That's more than even other perennial vintage paperback collectibles like Jim Thompson. On Amazon the cheapest copy is about $65 used.
It's not that I'm some vampire fiction completist or anything, but when you dangle a horror paperback novel like this in front of me and demand the cost of a nice new TV for it, well, I'm just more than determined to find a copy for, like, a dime. The guy on eBay has "Best Offer" on his listing. Think he'll take a buck for it? Two bucks, tops, that's as high as I'll go. Wish me luck.