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Contact information: Alan's Used Books
PO Box 775, Farmington, Michigan, 48332-0775, United States
Phone: 248-473-4566    
Website URL:

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Welcome to Alan's Used Books, a left handed bookstore owned and operated by Gwen Foss. We specialize in unusual and interesting quality used books. We are a proud charter member of, the world's first and largest cooperative website of independent professional used bookdealers.

Alan's Used Books started in 1990 as an independent small press. In 1997, the business expanded into used books on the acquisition of the library of Alan M. Foss, a close relative who passed in 1985. In 2002, we changed our name to Alan's Used Books.

Alan's Used Books is located in the northwest suburbs of Detroit, Michigan but we are internet only, NO open shop. We buy and sell unusual books, particularly history, science, engineering, folklore, music, theology, ethnology, and various other intellectual topics. Our inventory includes a wide range of nonfiction plus a few odds and ends.

We buy and sell books on odd subjects. Special areas of interest include narrow historical treatises, unusual scientific topics, bizarre humor, ethnic history, folklore, folk and popular music songbooks, unconventional how-to guides, Doctor Who, and anything unusual or offbeat.

Satisfaction Guaranteed. If you are not satisfied with your purchase, we will give you a full refund, excluding shipping fees unless the item was not as described. Please notify us before returning an item. See A note about condition below for more details.

Alan's Used Books is a GREEN Business. We strive to be as environmentally friendly as possible. We recycle all empty cans, old newspapers, plastic bags and bottles and every other bit of recyclable waste we generate. We re-use most of our corrugated scrap and recycle the rest. Our shipping envelopes are made from recycled fibers. All of our bulbs are smart fluorescents and we have instituted other energy-saving and water-saving procedures. Our vehicle is old but it gets 22 miles per gallon. And, last but not least, we find loving new homes for old used books.

The small print: Except for a few of our own titles, we sell used books. This means that in most cases we have only one copy of an item available. Because millions of people all over the world can be viewing our catalog, it happens occasionally that an item we have listed as available will have been sold at the time you place your order. We remove sold items as quickly as possible, but there is always a delay in processing this data before the items are in fact removed. If you have any questions, please feel free to phone us during business hours Mon-Fri 10:00am to 8:00 pm US Eastern time, 248-473-4566, or email to the address above. We will be happy to hold items on your request for a reasonable period of time.

A note about condition: We sell used books. Some show wear-marks from previous ownership. But we never sell books with missing or unreadable text pages. All flaws are noted in the description. We use a simplified version of the standard grading scale, which from best to worst is: As New, Near Fine, Very Good, Good, Poor. Please read our descriptions carefully. Scans available on request. If you are not satisfied with your purchase, we will give you a full refund, excluding shipping fees unless the item was not as described. Please notify us before returning an item.

Featured Item

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Item number: 18191.

Yonezawa   Yonezawa Toys, Games, Hobbies : Lot of 4 Catalogs, 1984-1987  Publisher: Yonezawa Corporation; Tokyo: 1986. Very Good+ Softcover 24 pages; 4to (11.75") 30 cm; Tall softcover, staple binding, 24 pages, color throughout. Text in Japanese. ; This is a catalog for hobby-shops, listing dozens of children's toys with features, specs, etc. No retailprices. Toys include: Radio controlled vehicles. Friction-powered vehicles. Robots. Ride-on toys. Talking telephones. Large-size trucks. BB guns. Sculpture and building toys. Telescopes. More. ; Front cover has penmarks, presumably from distributor. No other defects. ; With this item you will also get: 1) 1984 catalog, English, 24pg. 2) 1985, English, 32 pgs. 3) 1987 Summer, Japanese, 20p. 4) 1981, English, 16p. Most have minor penmarks.
Appr.:  |  AUD 37.23  |  CAD 36.84  |  EUR 24.89  |  GBP 21.13  |  JPY 2,800.00  |  MXN 466.67  |  ZAR 394.37  | 
Featured Item

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Item number: 18189.

Mattel   Hot Wheels 16-Month 2006 Calendar : Plus 60 Fun Stickers  Publisher: Graphique de France; Woburn, Mass: 2005. Near Fine Softcover 28 pages; 4to (11.75") 30 cm; Large square calendar, staple-bound, hole-punched for wall hanging as issued, full-color glossy throughout. Each spread shows a classic Hot Wheels toy, a list of its features, and a full-page calendar for the month. Text is in English, with names of months and weekdays in English, French, German. ; Isbn 0767135229. ; Only a touch of edgewear. No marks, no major defects. Original sticker sheet with 60 full-color stickers is present and in Fine condition. (Please note: title says 16-month calendar but this is essentailly a standard 12-month calendar for 2006 with one extra page with four small calendars for Sep-Dec 2005)
Appr.:  |  AUD 46.54  |  CAD 46.05  |  EUR 31.11  |  GBP 26.42  |  JPY 3,500.00  |  MXN 583.33  |  ZAR 492.96  | 
Featured Item

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Item number: 17931.

[No Author]   Hershey's Recipes  Publisher: Hershey Chocolate Corporation; Hershey, Pa: 1940. Good Softcover 32 pages; 16mo (6.5") 17 cm; Color illustrated softcover, fold-and-staple binding, 32 pages, index, 2 menus, 19 b/w photos and step-by-step diagrams, 12 color illustrations, 58 recipes. ; Published by the Home Economics Department, Hershey Chocolate Corporation, Hershey, Pennsylvania, 1940.; This booklet was in a kitchen and does show edgewear and small spots. No pen marks or scribbles. Binding is holding together. Quite scarce. Sold as is.
Appr.:  |  AUD 13.30  |  CAD 13.16  |  EUR 8.89  |  GBP 7.55  |  JPY 1,000.00  |  MXN 166.67  |  ZAR 140.85  | 
Featured Item

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Item number: 18235.

Drutt, Matthew, with Krens, Guilfoyle, Botts   Art of the Motorcycle, The  Publisher: Guggenheim Museum Publications; N. Y. : 2001. Near Fine in Near Fine dust jacket Third Edition Hardcover ISBN: 0810969122 447 pages; Folio (12.25") 31 cm; Very large heavy hardcover, exquisite silver cloth, silver lettering, red endpapers, [xx] + 447 pages, appendix, extensive bibliography, 95 antique, vintage and modern motorcycle masterpieces shown in multiple high-quality photos, most in full color. ; Exhibit hosted by BMW Motorcycles and Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York. Organized by Thomas Krens, Ultan Guilfoyle, Sarah Botts. Book edited by Matthew Drutt. Chapters contributed by Charles M. Falco, Dennis Hopper, Melissa Holbrook Pierson, Ted Polhemus, Ikuya Sato, Art Simon, Mark C. Taylor, Jose Marquez and Hunter S. Thompson. ; Almost no visible wear. Only a touch of edgewear to jacket. Quite scarce in this condition. (Amazonbuyers please note: Their image shows red motorcycle 3/4 view; our unit shows black motorcycle full-on view)
Appr.:  |  AUD 74.47  |  CAD 73.68  |  EUR 49.78  |  GBP 42.26  |  JPY 5,600.00  |  MXN 933.33  |  ZAR 788.73  | 
Featured Item

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Item number: 17935.

Marsh, J. B. T. (James Brainerd Taylor)   Story of the Jubilee Singers, the : With Their Songs  Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Company; Boston: 1882. Good+ with no dust jacket Hardcover 265 pages; 12mo (7.75") 20 cm; Hardcover, green cloth, black lettering and decor, gilt illustration of Jubilee Hall at Fisk University on front, dark brown endpapers, [viii] + 265 pages, 4 b/w illustrations, 128 spiritual songs with lyrics and music, most in 4-part harmony. ; Revised edition, seventy-fifth thousand stated. No date but we believe it is about 1882. Frontispiece is an Albertype (glossy b/w photo) group portrait showing the eleven members of the Jubilee Singers at that time. Foreword by Erastus Milo Cravath, president of Fisk University. Foreward to music section by Theodore F. Seward. ; Song section contains a few well known songs but many beautiful songs that are not so well known, such as: Been a-listening. I'm a-rolling. I'll hear the trumpet sound. Gwine to ride up in the chariot. Judgment will find you so. Love-feast in heaven. Run to Jesus. Ten virgins. We'll die in the field. We'll overtake the army. We'll stand the storm. Many more. ; Cloth is worn around edges, small split to cloth near crown. Old piece of tape on front endpaper. Pages yellowed from age but not brittle. No marks. Binding tight. Quite scarce and one of the best early books with authentic African American spirituals.
Appr.:  |  AUD 98.40  |  CAD 97.37  |  EUR 65.78  |  GBP 55.85  |  JPY 7,400.00  |  MXN 1,233.33  |  ZAR 1,042.25  | 
Featured Item

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Item number: 18133.

Frostic, Gwen Illustrated by: Illustrated by Gwen Frostic   Heuristic : Words and Block Prints (1st Edition, Signed)  Publisher: Gwen Frostic/Presscraft Papers; Benzonia, Mich: 1987. Near Fine with no dust jacket First Edition Hardcover 64 pages; 4to (10.25") 26 cm; Gorgeous black boards with silver lettering and linoleum-block-print of flying bat on front, illustrated endpapers, 64 unnumbered pages, many different types of paper, some with deckle edges. Page opposite title page SIGNED by Gwen Frostic in black felt-tip. ; 1st edition stated. One of Frostic's rarest titles. ; Spine, which is unlettered, slightly faded. No other defects. A gorgeous book. ; Linoleum block
Appr.:  |  AUD 86.44  |  CAD 85.53  |  EUR 57.78  |  GBP 49.06  |  JPY 6,500.00  |  MXN 1,083.33  |  ZAR 915.49  | 

Terms of Sale:

Shipping Terms: Our Standard Rates: Domestic economy rate (US media mail) $4.00, $1.00 add items. Domestic air rate (US priority mail) $6.95 1st item, $1.70 addl items. (Sorry, we are not able to display a custom shipping fee for each item, but we promise to charge a smaller fee if you order a small item.)

Non-US Customers: Overseas shipping is US$26.00 for First Class Mail International and US$39.00 for Priority Mail International. (Sorry, the US Postal Service no longer offers international economy surface mail.) See info below on Shipping Fee Reductions for more details.

Special rates to Canada: US$21.00 for First Class Mail International and US$23.00 for Priority Mail International.

Shipping Fee Reductions: We pledge to reduce your shipping fee whenever we can. Based on the actual size, weight, and destination of your order, we will reduce our standard shipping fee if we can. In case the actual shipping cost will greatly exceed our standard fee, we will notify you in advance and let you decide before we ship your order.

Alan's Used Books apologizes sincerely for these high fees. We are at the mercy of the available services but we will always reduce your fee in any way possible.

We ship anywhere: We use the US Postal Service. If you require us to ship using a different service, an additional fee will be mutually agreed upon. Shipping times are affected by many circumstances we cannot control, and thus we cannot guarantee arrival time. Delays may be caused by many factors including airport slowdowns, security checks, and customs departments, to name a few. We will give you an estimated time of arrival and thank you for your patience.

Payment: We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover; or personal checks, business checks, or money orders provided they are drawn in US funds. Checks should be made payable to Alan's Used Books.

To pay by credit card: Click on the Add To Cart button to use TomFolio's secure server. The button will appear next to, or below, the book description on the search results page. Orders by Phone can be accepted during regular business hours Mon-Fri 10am-8pm, US Eastern (New York) time.

Browse Items By Speciality Authors
  Reinhold Aman
L. Frank Baum
Guy and Candie Carawan
Terrance Dicks
Gwen Foss
Gwen Frostic
Edgar Guest
Peter Haining
      Johnathan Rand
Vance Randolph
Marilyn Ross
Carl Sandburg
Richard Scarry
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J. R. R. Tolkien

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