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Collecting Highlights Archives Past issues of the Collecting Highlights column for Anne McCaffrey Fans. Posts are open for reply, so feel free to add a comment about what you own or would like to!

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Old Jun 13 2008, 06:20 AM   #1
Hans
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Default Collecting Highlight (66) - Habit is an Old Horse [the cheap book]

Yes, one letter difference in the title of this collectors hghlight (apart from the number) and it is no mistake

From Hargreaves I knew there were three editions of the story Habit is an Old Horse. There are actualy more but Hargreaves neglects to mention The Girl Who Heard Dragons anthology in the short-fiction chapter of his book, which is excusable only because that book was to be published a year after his fine biblography was published.
I know and have seen the chapbook of course, but unfortunately all the copies I have seen during the last ten years were either not for sale or, if they were, invariably (well) out of my price range. Edith reported a copy under 50 pounds I think but even that I find way too expensive.

Now I thought the other two copies besides the chapbook on which Cheryl did a wonderful collecting highlight (to be found here) and which includes yet another story, might mean there was a cheaper way to obtain the story about old Knock because it is also printed in an anthology called The Visitor Book (named only Visitors Book in Hargreaves, p. 203).
This anthology is a collection of short stories by famous authors who moved to Ireland (most of them did so in the seventies because of the attractive tax deal, or rather, no-tax deal ).

The book was published by the Irish publisher Poolbeg Press (not Poolberg as Hargreaves gives) in 1979 as a hardcover and by the UK publisher Arrow as a mass market paperback in 1982.
The title of the book can give some mild confusion as the cover (of the paperback at least) reads: "Used in Evidence by Frederick Forsyth and other stories by some of the world's bestselling authors. The Visitors Book" which completely ignores the other important bit, what the subtitle on the title page tells: "Short stories of their new homeland by famous authors now living in Ireland" And on the title page the title is (more correctly) "The Visitors' Book".

I was rather surprised that a search for the 1979 hardcover on Bookfinder revealed only a handfull, selling relatively "expensive" from around about $8 upwards. Even more surprising (to me at least) was the fact that I could only find three copies of the paperback ranging in price from $6.50 to a ridiculous $19.34.
These prices and the fact that I had been looking for either the hardcover or the softcover on eBay now for as long as I am registered there, made me decide to make a Collecting Highlight.

The book contains the following stories:
The Righ Spot by Patrick Skene Catling
The Last Holiday in Ireland by Malcolm McDonald
The Fork in the Road by John Arden
All Wheels, Gears and Cogs by Harry Harrison
As Simple As That by Kyril Bonfiglioli
Used in Evidence by Frederick Forsyth
Habit Is An Old Horse by Anne McCaffrey
Irish Joys by Richard Lewllyn
Point of NO Return by Peter Luke
The Rush by Robert Bernen
The Bard of Ballyelohesra by Wolf Mankowitz
Jacob by Neil Boyd
A Decent Man by Erik Hougaard
Publish and Be Conned by John Gardner

Quite some famous names indeed

Yes, you guess right, I recently got the chance to acquire one of these books, the Arrow paperback, for a reasonable price of 2.50 pounds (and even that's not cheap for a used paperback) ex postage. I finally could add the cherished little short story to my collection. And what a wonderful story it is! When reading it for the first time I remember thinking: "The dratted woman made me cry again..."

Here's a picture of the cover of my copy:



If you will be looking for one yourself I wish you happy hunting!

If any of you has the Poolbeg hardcover I'd very much like a picture of the cover as I haven't been able to find one on the internet!
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Last edited by Hans; Jun 13 2008 at 06:48 AM.
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Old Jun 13 2008, 10:05 AM   #2
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (66) - Habit is an Old Horse [the cheap book]

Very nice, Hans! I'll have to find a copy of that paperback now! I love the little shamrock!

Here's a picture of the hardcover for you Hans...................

[CENTER]CENTER]
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Old Jun 13 2008, 10:16 AM   #3
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (66) - Habit is an Old Horse [the cheap book]

Thank you Becky! Should have know you would have a copy
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Old Jun 13 2008, 08:58 PM   #4
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (66) - Habit is an Old Horse [the cheap book]

Me too, me too! I have one like Becky's.
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Old Jun 14 2008, 09:13 AM   #5
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (66) - Habit is an Old Horse [the cheap book]

Yeah, I have one. Couldn't tell you what it looks like though.
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Old Jun 14 2008, 09:28 AM   #6
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (66) - Habit is an Old Horse [the cheap book]

that's suddenly makes it a lot less rare.
Do the three of you also have the paperback?

Nah, seriously, the only thing I can say tat, for some reason, it doesn't turn up on eBay that often. Some of the stories are really, really nice!
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Old Jun 14 2008, 09:33 AM   #7
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (66) - Habit is an Old Horse [the cheap book]

I only have the hardcover, which I acquired a year or so ago. Not from eBay, but just a online used bookstore found through Bookfinder. I'm not surprised it's not in eBay that often, it doesn't look like that remarkable an anthology, one that collector's would snap up.
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Old Jun 14 2008, 02:34 PM   #8
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (66) - Habit is an Old Horse [the cheap book]

I've had my copy for years. It was something I felt I had to have when I first started collecting. Mainly because I figured I'd never have the little booklet as it was so rare and expensive. I probably paid too much for my copy, but it wasn't bad.
But I will have to have a paperback copy now, since I love that little shamrock!
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Old Jun 14 2008, 09:58 PM   #9
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (66) - Habit is an Old Horse [the cheap book]

I've had my copy for years too. I do not remember where I got it. I honestly think ebay. And I think it was something that I saw/see often on ebay. I really do not think it is that rare a book. *shrug*
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Old Jun 14 2008, 11:27 PM   #10
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (66) - Habit is an Old Horse [the cheap book]

Oh WOW Hans... one more lovely book to add to my *HUNT* list...at least now I will know what I'm asking the blood hound to go looking for.
Yes Becky... I like the shamrock touch too
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Old Jun 18 2008, 04:05 AM   #11
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (66) - Habit is an Old Horse [the cheap book]

Only the paperback here.
But must have been reasonably cheap, as I'm tight!
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