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The Great Encyclopedia Countdown

March 5th, 2009  |  Published in Uncategorized


A couple of weeks ago, we went out to a customer's house to buy some books. He was moving and wanted to clear some space. We selected several dozen volumes of contemporary world history to buy and after we reached a deal, we loaded up the car. As we were getting ready to go, he said, "What about the encyclopedia?"

Admittedly, it was a much nicer than usual Victorian-era encyclopedia, in very good condition and illustrated with thousands of engravings. It's not dated, but this copy of the English Cyclopaedia (London: Bradbury, Agnew, & Co.) dates from the mid-1870s. It is divided into Geography (2 volumes), Biography (3 volumes), Natural History (2 volumes), and Arts & Sciences (4 volumes). It must run 10,000 pages.

But we already have a Victorian-era encyclopedia in the store and didn't need another one. So we made our excuses and tried to leave.

To which our customer said, No encyclopedia, no deal. He was moving and couldn't take the encyclopedia. After a bit more haggling, we packed up the encyclopedia and took it back to the store.

We don't have space for it, and so it will be gone by the end of the month, and here's how:

The price started at $300 on March 1. Every morning when we open the store, the price drops $10.

So today, the price is $260.

On March 15, it will be $160.

On March 31, it will be free.

UPDATE: The set sold for $130 to a nice young woman who said, "I have so many books at home, I might as well have some that will look nice in the living room."

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