I'm sure you can imagine how that whetted my whistle. I couldn't wait for the magic man's next bout of ebay action.
I didn't have to wait long and he soon had some of those books up for sale.
The first is called Empires, Hippodromes and Palaces. It is written by Jack Read (surely, he should be called Jack Write!) and has a foreword from radio funnyman Roy Hudd. It is 9.5"(inches) x 6.5" and Paul proudly declared that it is in excellent condition with only a slight curling of the dustcover. The book tells the story of Frank Matcham, who Paul says was the greatest theatre designer and architect of all time. As you'd expect it contains many photos of his creations but Paul was also keen to point out that there are many photos of the artists who worked in them. A great find for a theatre buff that's for sure. Paul had what I thought was a steep asking price of £5 and £3.50 p+p but I suppose he must feel like he got burned over the recent glass-bowl-with-swirling-design-sold-for-99p debacle.
It was sold to the one and only bidder; tattyratty who must be delighted to be buying a theatrical book from one of the countries leading practitioners of the theatrical arts!
Next up was a book with the racy title, The Ultimate Seduction by Charlotte Chandler. Don't worry, it isn't Paul revealing the secret methods he used to woo the magical beauty Debbie McGee, it's actually a selection of celebrity interviews.
Paul makes it clear that in this book the celebrities are people who've really earned the title and are not what he dismisses as "TV 15 minute wonders." And he's not wrong, Woody Allen, Charlie Chaplin, Bette Davis, Henry Fonda, Alfred Hitchcock, Henry Moore, Laurence Olivier, Pablo Picasso, King Vidor, Mae West and Tennessee Williams are all in there. (To be honest, I have no idea who King Vidor is or what he has done to "earn" his celebrity, but that's just splitting hairs.) Here's a top tip for any ebayer - use a bit of wit. Paul certainly does. "The dustcover paper sleeve is slightly... dusty... so it has done its job." See what I mean... by using a gag he has turned the negative (a dusty dust cover) into a positive (it's done its job.) Well done Paul.
I'm amazed this item didn't start a bidding war, but no, it sold to its one and only bidder for the princely sum of £5 (+£3.50 p+p) but this time the lucky reader was thebubba666. 666! Yikes! Still, that sets Paul up with a running total of £10.
The next book was called For Millionaires Only so maybe it wasn't bought because people assumed that unless they were millionaires it wasn't really for them. You don't get many millionaires hanging about on ebay after all! (Except Paul Daniels, of course!) But actually this book by Gordon Cruickshank is all about the world's most glamorous cars. It shows you the history and lifestyle that goes with the most expensive cars and features many beautiful photographs. It is 9"(inches) x 11.5" and Paul adds "apart from some curling and dust on the dustcover, is just about as new."
Why Paul chose not to do the dustcover gag on this listing is a mystery and might go some way towards explaining why the book didn't sell. Maybe it's because the book was published in 1993 and the world of millionaire's cars has moved on significantly since then. Maybe it's because Paul misspelled the author's name wrong in the listing. Anyone looking for a book by Gordon Cruickshank won't have found this listing, as Paul missed out the vital middle 'c.' Paul was offering the book for £4 (+£3.50 p+p) but is still the proud owner of a book about expensive cars. Oh well. Running total... still £10.
Finally for this batch (there are more coming in a few days!) we get to It Ends With Magic. One can imagine Paul - the nation's favourite conjuror snapping this up purely because it has the word "magic" in the title. If that was the case he would have been disappointed to discover that it is actually a memoir by the late great Spike Milligan.
In Paul's listing he says, "this is quite a large, heavy, book and it is the story of the Milligan family. Filled not only with wonderful reminisces of a bygone age, Spike also inserted a lot of photographs and his own drawings."
He also quotes Spike's words from the rear of the book;
"This story is in essence true. I have written in my own whymsical style, which I inherited from both sides of my family, it has been gleaned from my mother's and father's diaries, letters, notebooks and stories passed down by word of mouth. Fortunately, since the age of four, I have remembered very clearly any stories, recollecitons I've heard from the adults of my family. I've never written a book like this before; it is an atempt to collate a history of the Milligans and Kettlebands for my descendants to read." Spike Milligan.
thebubba666 was clearly delighted with both of his purchases and has now left identical feedback for both purchases saying, "Great Packaging. Totally Fab books....all good.....many thanks" and the buyer of Empires, Hippodromes and Palaces, tattyratty, agreed, saying "Excellent item. Excellent service. Many thanks." Paul has given both buyers positive feedback, quite possibly using a cut-and-paste technique as it is identical each time: "Good buyer, prompt payment, valued customer, highly recommended."
Paul has more books for sale and the auctions end in less than a week so check back soon to find out how they go.
But for now, I'm sure Paul will enjoy the £18 he has made from selling 3 out of the 4 books. Not a lot!