Member Blogs > Kristian Strom, BooksellerFriday Morning Flashpoints: Haruki Murakami

  • Fri, 25 May 2012 12:08:04    Permalink
    There is one modern author who I'm sure you've at least heard of, but perhaps weren't aware of just how collectible his books have become.  Interest is currently near an all-time high with the recent release of 1Q84, and I would expect it to continue to grow over time.  I was surprised to find that his works have yet to grace the pages of Ahearn's Collected Books, although I routinely sell hardcover copies of his novels for 3 figures, and even 4 figures one one occasion.

    You can learn more about Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami's background here.

    Several years ago, I was fortunate enough to buy and sell two Near Fine Japanese Edition copies of his 1979 Kodansha debut novel Hear the Wind Sing.  Any paperback reprint is worth keeping an eye out for as well, as the only in-print version appears to be in Chinese.

    I'm looking forward to listing a copy of another out-of-print Hardcover volume this week, entitled Dance, Dance, Dance and expect a relatively quick sale in the $75-100 range, even for my ex-library reading copy.

    Another chance scouting mission to an off-the-beaten-path and off-line bookshop several years ago netted ten Fine copies of the Advance Proof for A Wild Sheep Chase, all of which I let go for a nice sum, although knowing what I know now, I regret not listing them at a higher price and letting them sit a bit longer.  After that chance encounter, I now always politely ask the shop owners if they happen to have any shelves in back or behind the curtain that they wouldn't mind me taking a look at while I'm passing through town.
    Several other titles I have sold in Hardcover for a nice amount include Pinball, The Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle.

    Make sure to offer International Shipping options on these listings, as Murakami has plenty of collectors worldwide.

    On a more personal note, I'm looking forward to delving into his essays on running and training for the New York City Marathon, entitled What I Talk about When I Talk about Running.  My girlfriend has recently inspired me to join her on some 4, 6, 10 and 12 mile runs (something I never thought I would actually enjoy doing, as I tend to prefer exercise via sport) so it seems like an appropriate choice for exhausted post-run bedside reading.  The book opens with thoughts gathered while teaching at Harvard and running around Cambridge and deals with the themes of loneliness, isolation and introspection that run throughout his works of fiction. 

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