Wednesday, April 17, 2013

O is for Out Of Print

One of the wonders of the self-publishing boom has been the huge number of books that have become available. As the traditional gatekeepers are bypassed, more people (like our very own Sheena!) find themselves able to offer their work to a wide audience. Niche books that might never have seen the light of day now have a chance to shine.

Now, we all know there's a downside to this, too. There can be a lot of flotsam and jetsam to sift through to find something of quality. But one area of this revolution where I think authors and readers are already benefiting (and will do so even more in the future) is out of print books.

I got it in my head a while ago to start a collection of the books I loved as a child so I could share them with my own children.

Some, like Snipp, Snapp, Snurr and Flicka, Ricka, Dicka had been reprinted and were still available. 

Others, like The Great Blueness (my favorite book on colors) and The Big Jump (so incredibly clever!) I bought used on Amazon (and no, they didn't cost as much as they're listed for now!)

Some I'm not sure I'll ever be able to afford.
And it just about breaks my heart that I might not be able to share these great stories with my kids.

There is hope, though, and not just for children's books. Ebooks and print on demand are making it easier to bring back all sorts of texts that were otherwise lost forever. Authors who retain the rights to their backlogs are finding new success and new fans by republishing. (I suppose this is a good place to point out the importance of authors being very particular in their contracts so they can retain the rights to their work).

Until this post, I hadn't thought about it, but I wonder if you could petition a favorite author to republish their works. Hmm. 

If you could, what books do you wish you could find back?



  1. Children's Stories: Tell Me Some More
    Hailstones and Halibut Bones.
    The first one is an amazing story about libraries. The second one is MY favorite book about color.

    Oh! And The Great Panjandrum, by Samuel Foote. My kids found an old, old copy of that once, and memorized it, and used to roll on the floor laughing about it.

    YA: Lark and Linnet. They are both by Sally Watson, and they were out of print for years. Happily, they are both back in print.

    What a fantastic post! Thanks!

  2. What a fun post! I haven't thought of E-books being used to help out of print books to become available again.

    Enjoy the rest of the alphabet! Nice to "meet" you!

  3. I wish I could get my hands on an affordable copy of Graham Dunstin Martin's books, Giftwish, and the sequel, Catchfire. I've got Giftwish, but it is so badly beaten, and I lost the dust jacket (with beautiful cover art) long ago. I would live to share these two with my kids.

  4. This is a great reminder for me to think back on all my favorite books as a kid! A lot of them are still around, and now I want to go back re-read them. :)

    Happy A-Z!

  5. I do love how books never have to go out of print with the whole e-book thing, but I do think it is important to buy a hard copy of those really special books. I think everyone has their own list.

    Recently, I visited my parents who are kind of pack rats. I pulled out those old picture books I loved as a kid and read them to my kids. It was kind of special reading to my kids the exact book my mom read to me when I was their age. I'm glad my parents kept them. Their favorite was "Flap Your Wings," which was my favorite too (and still in print). I think I read it to them ten times.


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