I did it! I won the bid on eBay for this not-so-pretty book. I probably spent too much for it, but these books don't go up for sale all that often. And the prices in the rare book stores... yeesh!
Do I need this book? No. I just wanted it. Do you know what this book-with-no-cover is? It's a 1925-26 R.L. Polk City of Detroit Directory. I bought it for $132.50. With shipping and insurance it came to over $144.00. It sounds like a lot of money for a book I don't need doesn't it? I must admit that I feel a little guilty spending that kind of money on a book I don't need. But I'm justifying it to myself by remembering that my daughter buys several books in this price range every semester (have you seen the price of college text books lately?!?). And she rarely gets more than 50% back on resale. I'm thinking I can probably get what I paid for the directory back when I'm ready to part with it (unless of course Ancestry.com finally gets around to putting city directory databases back online).
So what will I use it for? Every genealogist knows about the value of city directories. How many times do you wish you had a city directory available at your fingertips? All of my immigrant ancestors came and settled in Detroit and they were all here by 1925. It was an exciting time in Detroit (Remember my Roaring 20's post?), and their Polish neighborhoods will all be well documented and accounted for in this book. I figure with the price of gasoline these days I'll probably save a hundred bucks just not having to make multiple trips to the library to look up info I'll need for my family histories and novels. That sounds like a good rationale doesn't it? ;-)
So now I just have to wait for delivery. It shouldn't take too long. The seller is here in Michigan. Oooh! I'm so excited!
Read my series of articles about city directories:
I Won the eBay Bid
What's In A City Directory
City Directories: The Introduction
City Directories: The Indexes
City Directories: The Statistical Department
City Directories: Chronological History
City Directories: Miscellaneous Information
City Directories: Directory of Names
City Directories: Street Guide and Directory of Householders
City Directories: Classified Business Directory
City Directories: Additional Information