Miscellaneous Bookshop Gab

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Puritan Board Doctor
I was talking with an employee at my favorite new/used bookshop (Archives, in Pasadena, California) the other day. He's been in the business for 27 years. Some tidbits:

1. I said that, back in the '80s, I used to see scads of copies of the volumes in the Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges series (late 19th/early 20th centuries). He told me those seem to have dried up. "We don't see many of those anymore."

2. The store has several complete sets of Keil and Delitzsch. He remarked that, since that series of OT commentaries went digital, sales of the hardback sets have pretty well died out.

3. He also said that, when people come in to buy Karl Barth's massive Church Dogmatics, they almost invariably buy the hardback set because the price for the paperback set is so high that most folks figure that the hardbacks are worth the little-bit higher price.

4. When I was there, I saw a beautiful complete set of the University of California edition (10 volumes, originally published 1953-1962, and republished as a set in 1984) of the Complete Sermons of John Donne. Each volume was in perfect condition - not a mark on them. Even the dust jackets (all 10 volumes had them) were immaculate. The store's asking price: $450 for the set. (Heh)

Just some news from the local Christian bookshop business...


Puritan Board Senior
Thanks for bringing that up. Google reveals that Oxford is printing a 16 volume annotated edition of Donne's sermons described here . I found some of the articles linked on the left of the page historically interesting.


Puritan Board Senior
I love bookstores where the workers are conversant with the literature they sell! Sadly there's not much in that vein in our neck of the woods.

To the OP: I'd imagine that a used K&D set is difficult to sell, when it's free in e-Sword and goes for $60 in a new, edited, updated set through CBD. Hendrickson published mine and it retails for several hundred dollars...I actually got it on a Black Friday sale a couple of years ago for $40. Come to think of it, that same sale brought Poole's Commentaries home for $20 and C. Hodge's Systematic Theology for $15.

The online "loss-leader" model undoubtedly makes it tough for the local/"Mom and Pop" stores to compete -- though I'm not speaking ill of the local guys!


Puritan Board Junior
I love bookstores where the workers are conversant with the literature they sell! Sadly there's not much in that vein in our neck of the woods.

The workers are conversant in what they sell in our neck of the woods too, but since all they seem to sell is romance novels... :lol:


Staff member
I bought a couple books over the years but many years ago from Archives; pretty sure one of my copies of Dabney's Systematic I got from them. I know I bought my 3 vols of Ernest Trice Thompson's Presbyterians in the South from there. I may have snagged something in the last 10 years but it would have been ebay or somewhere online if so.
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