On the bright side, it also means some of those books you have stacked hither and yon throughout your domicile might have some real value.
Of the ten most sought-after out-of-print books of 2008, as compiled by BookFinder, one is a true crime title. The book is Legally Sane by Jon K. Hahn with Harold C. McKenney. This book first came out in 1972 from Regenery in Chicago. The book is a biography of serial sexual predator Mark Alan Smith and is extremely rare and hard to find.
Now why on earth is this old true crime paperback in such red-hot demand nearly forty years later?
Beats me. I haven't heard of the book before. Has anyone out there got a clew about this mystery? I managed to find the cover -- Mr. Mike's (Canada's best OOP true crime bookseller) has a copy for sale right now.
I thought that the cover art might indicate lurid contents. But after writing this post, I received a note from the author's son who assures me that the book is so hard to find because there is still a lot of interest in McHenry and Lake counties, Illinois, about this particular serial killer. Says my correspondent: "Had this criminal been 5 to 10 years later in time he would have been a bigger story than Gacy or Richard Speck. It is just Chicago news coverage didn't come out to McHenry County back then."
Meanwhile, I recently came across another OOP treasure. The cover of this gem, Bizarre Beauties by Brad Steiger, is above. The book has essays about many women who are well known to me, including one Dr. Zeo Wilkins (the subject of my first book) and Countess Marie Tarnovska (the subject of my second, if #1 does well).
I can't wait to get this one in the mail and add more "bizarre beauties" to my ever-growing OOP library. But I think I'll skip Legally Sane.