Disappointing news from Abebooks

Just received notice that my Gregg “Rip Van Winkle” order from Abebooks, which I was so excited about, was “cancelled.”  I have a feeling it had already been sold and they didn’t remove it from their database, but I’m very disappointed, since it was fairly cheap ($10 or so).  At least I’ll be getting “Sign of the Four” because that order was confirmed.  Has anyone else been disappointed like me?  I don’t like going through e-Bay very much, so I was happy when I found it on Abebooks…

(by jim for


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  1. I also did a search for Alice in Wonderland and found a bookstore that had it listed on their website for an agreeable amount.  I emailed them about payment and found out they had already sold the book.  It's still on their website too!  Very aggrevating.    I recently purchased a set of four books on ebay – Rip Van Winkle, A Christmas Carol, The Great Stone Face, and Diamond Necklace.  If you don't mind a xeroxed copy of Rip I'll be happy to mail one to you.   I was bidding on another set yesterday (or Monday – my days are running together) that had Rip Van Winkle in it too (but other ones I wanted also) but the bid kept going up and I finally said "nope – it's yours".   Hope the rest of your day is better. Joanne

  2. It's interesting to watch some of these bids on e-bay.  Who are these people who are paying so much for old shorthand books?  Oh . . . I bet they're some of us!    If you ever see it listed, there's a volume called "Short Classics in Shorthand" that includes a number of these works of literature in one book.  My copy is leather bound.  Also very nice to have is the boxed set "American Readings in Gregg Shorthand".  Otherwise the individual titles do seem to keep coming up pretty regularly.   Alex

  3. Thanks, Alex.  I think there was another thread somewhere on paying too much for material on e-Bay, which I'll have to track down and read again.  At least on Abebooks the price is set, even though they may end up cancelling your orde!

  4. Yep, add me to the list of disappointees. I had bid on a copy of Hamlet written in Gregg shorthand (a small, soft cover) on eBay, but when the bidding passed $55, it lost its attraction. The very next day I found a copy on Abebooks for about 10 bucks, and, you guessed it, about 3 weeks after placing the order, I was told it had been sold.

    I, too, have a copy of the leather-bound Classics in Gregg Shorthand with most of the literature that was also published single copy. It's a great book. Grab it if you see a copy. It's a worthy addition to any Gregg collection.

  5. First of all, the book is copyright 1927.   It includes:   A Christmas Carol The Great Stone Face The Legend of Sleepy Hollow Rip Van Winkle The Man Without a Country   In addition to being leather bound, it has gold page edges . . . looks more like a New Testament or prayer book than a shorthand text.   Alex

  6. Remember that ABE is just a clearinghouse for a number of antiquarian and used-book sellers.  ABE itself doesn't have any control over the inventory or selling process.  I've gotten replies from sellers that "the book you want is no longer available" . . . but if you've been in some of the shops and seen how they operate, the real miracle is that books so frequently ARE available.  A lot of these sellers are one-person or "mom and pop" operations, and I can imagine the difficulty of keeping up a computer database.    Alex

  7. I will remember that, BUT I just got yet another notice that another book I had ordered at the same time (this time from Ireland, Gregg Shorthand adapted to the Irish language) was not going to be coming.  So out of an order of three, should I consider myself lucky that I got at least one?!   I have had better luck with Alibris, but admittedly, I doubt they have much in the way or shorthand books.  Thanks for making me keep a level head about this! 

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