Rediscovered: More on Collecting Haefele

Ah, my mention last October of Lloyd Currey not having seen the true first of John D. Haefele’s A Look Behind the Derleth Mythos has shaken up the valuation on the title and seems to have pried a couple of copies out of hiding and onto the block.

In November two copies of the first edition hardcover showed up on Amazon. One came with the price tag of $150 — the other $286.99. That was when I first noticed on November 9th.

November 17 the prices were $150 and $343.01. November 24 back to the first prices I saw. February 15, $150 and $459.25. Today I see it’s $150 and $184.39.

I can’t say that these offers are for actual books, especially with the wildly varying algorithm-driven pricing on the second copy. (Could they be trying to rope someone into ordering, THEN they think they’ll just find a copy somewhere? Ha!)

I think it’s safe to say that someone got the message.

(And as always in the book collecting hunt, if you can bag one cheap, good for you. Skill. Patience. You know the drill.)

And now Haefele has almost talked himself into the idea that his first book was not his first book. We were figuring his maiden booklet was the bibliography of August Derleth he did in an edition of 100 copies for The Cimmerian Press in 2006, but lately he’s thinking he sprang much earlier, in 1997 with another booklet, The Arkham House Supplement: Bibliographical Additions, Comments, Marginalia.

“The Supplement was my first book, I suppose,” Haefele ruminates, “in a run of only some 45 copies, most of them distributed to the membership of the Esoteric Order of Dagon amateur press association.”

Sure, forty-five copies, a hundred copies — plenty to go around, right?

And while I again touch on the subject, check out one of the Currey blurbs for Haefele’s history and checklist on the topic of Modern Arkham House ephemera:

* Haefele, John D. “Arkham House Ephemera: The Modern Years.” In: Firsts: The Book Collector’s Magazine. September-October 2019 (volume 29, number 9-10), pp. 24-32. A checklist is scheduled to appear in the November-December 2019 issue. There was an earlier article in Firsts on Arkham House ephemera (in the October 2002 issue) which I can’t lay my hands on to verify at this moment.

The 2002 bit of course was something I did — but here’s the thing: Currey loaned me his entire sales stock of the ephemera to check for unknown items at the time. I was half-shocked he’d misplaced the issue. Currey was in the thick of the action.

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