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Used Book Find

Abebooks recently sent me a e-flyer describing their "most expensive book sales in 2008." My interest was piqued...was there a mathematics book on that list?

To my delight, the sixth most-expensive book was a mathematics book...Oliver Byrne's version of the The First Six Books of the Elements of Euclid, sold for $11,750. This edition, issued by Charles Wittingham of the Chiswick Press in 1847, is special as it uses colors to simplify Euclid's propositions, and has been "described as one of the oddest and most beautiful books of the 19th century." The current asking price for this edition is $22,500.

However, my bubble of good-feeling was popped quickly.... noticing the third most-expensive book was sold for $12,874. The book? A first edition of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, but it was signed by both Rowling and cover artist Cliff Wright.

My thought: somewhere on ebay someone must be selling a "signed" version of Euclid's Elements! Especially since someone on ebay sold an autographed picture of Jesus Christ for about $32 (plus shipping) in April of 2005. And, no, I was NOT the buyer...but now (1/2/2009) some guy named Melvin is offering on the Dallas Craiglist "ONE GENUINE AUTOGRAPHED PHOTO OF JESUS 10" X 12" WITH CERTIFICATE OF AUTHENTICITY. $250 CASH ONLY.