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Contact information: Alan's Used Books
PO Box 775, Farmington, Michigan, 48332-0775, United States
Phone: (email only please)    
Website URL:

. . .

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. Our bestseller continues to be The Church Where People Laugh, a treasury of Unitarian Universalist jokes. Our other popular title is A Who's Who of UUs, a compendium of brief biographies of over thirteen hundred notable Unitarian Universalists.

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, ethnology, and various other intellectual topics. Our inventory includes a wide range of nonfiction plus a few odds and ends.

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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 30 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, 248-893-7029, or skyp-e2skyp-e gwenfoss, 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

Buy Now
Item number: 14030.

Meccano   Dinky Toys 1971 : Catalog No. 7, Always Something New from Dinky Toys  Publisher: Meccano Tri-Ang Limited; Liverpool, England: 1971. Near Fine Softcover 23 pages; Dinky Toys, Catalog No. 7, 23-pg color glossy catalog, 1971, no pric es shown. ; This item is from collection of Peter H. Foss, founder and former president, Michigan Model Car Collectors. ; ; Catalog shows almost no wear.
Appr.:  |  AUD 31.32  |  CAD 30.51  |  EUR 21.51  |  GBP 17.20  |  JPY 2,700.00  |  MXN 337.50  |  ZAR 293.48  | 
Featured Item

Buy Now
Item number: 222.

Foss, Gwen   Church Where People Laugh, the : A Treasury of Jokes, Quotations, Observations, and True Stories about Unitarians, Universalists, and UUs (UU Joke Book)  Publisher: Gwen Foss; Farmington, Mich: 2004. New Fourth Edition; Second Printing Softcover 76 pages; 8vo (9") 23 cm; 76 pages, over 300 jokes, quotes, anecdotes on the most liberal of religions. Have yours signed by author with insc ription as wanted. ; UUTopics. Multiple copies available. (Don't miss this author's other great book, A Who's Who of UUs) ; Fold-and-staple binding. No defects. New book. ; Universalist Unitarian History & Lore Series; Vol. 1
Appr.:  |  AUD 9.22  |  CAD 8.98  |  EUR 6.33  |  GBP 5.06  |  JPY 795.00  |  MXN 99.38  |  ZAR 86.41  | 
Featured Item

Buy Now
Item number: 13494.

Hecht, Ben Illustrated by: Illustrated by Freeman Eliot   Sensualists, the : (1st Paperback Edition, 1959)  Publisher: Dell Publishing Company; N. Y. : 1959. Very Good+ First Paperback Edition Paperback 223 pages; 16mo (6.5") 17 cm; Cover art by Freeman Eliot. Author photo by Philippe Halsman. All edges green. ; Dell D294. Copyright 1959. This is 1st paperback edition, October, 1959. Authored by famed screenwriter of Notorious and many other suspenseful films and ghostwriter of Marilyn Monroe's autobiography. ; 'His wife, his mistress. Now, at last, they were face to face'. ; Beautiful condition. Only a tiny bump to lower edge of rear cover. Pages yellowed from age, as usual. Appears unread. Quite scarce in this condition. ; Dell D Series; Vol. 294
Appr.:  |  AUD 10.44  |  CAD 10.17  |  EUR 7.17  |  GBP 5.73  |  JPY 900.00  |  MXN 112.50  |  ZAR 97.83  | 
Featured Item

Buy Now
Item number: 13005.

King, Rufus   Holiday Homicide : A Cotton Moon Detective Story (1st Paperback Edition, 1943)  Publisher: Dell Publishing Company; N. Y. : 1943. Good+ First Paperback Edition Paperback 238 pages; 16mo (6.5") 17 cm; Color illustrated covers, blue endpapers, all edges pale green. Rear cover has color crime map showing scene of the crime, with ships, wharf, floorplan of boat interior, etc. ; Dell 22. Mapback. Copyright 1940. This is 1st paperback edition, 1943. ; Covers are worn and have light creases. A few leaves creased at upper tip, not affecting text. Interior clean, binding tight. ; Dell Mystery Series; Vol. 22
Appr.:  |  AUD 9.28  |  CAD 9.04  |  EUR 6.37  |  GBP 5.10  |  JPY 800.00  |  MXN 100.00  |  ZAR 86.96  | 
Featured Item

Buy Now
Item number: 13134.

Salten, Felix   Bambi : (6th Paperback Printing, 1940)  Publisher: Pocket Books; N. Y. : 1940. Very Good Sixth Printing Paperback 209 pages; 16mo (6.5") 17 cm; Stiff green covers illustrated with pine forest and two deer, red endpapers, all edges red, b/w illustrations in text, 209 pages. ; Cover art by Frank Lieberman. Foreword by John Galsworthy. Copyright 1928. This is the 6th Pocket Books paperback printing, 1940.; Light edgewear, mainly at crown. Title page has circular emboss from former owner. No other ownership marks. No writing or scribbles. Binding tight and square. A very nice early printing of this timeless classic. ; Pocket Book Series; Vol. 10
Appr.:  |  AUD 17.40  |  CAD 16.95  |  EUR 11.95  |  GBP 9.55  |  JPY 1,500.00  |  MXN 187.50  |  ZAR 163.04  | 
Featured Item
Buy Now
Item number: 14050.

West, James E.   Boys ' Life Magazine, Bound Volume, 12 Issues, 1933 : For all Boys, Published by the Boy Scouts of America  Publisher: Boys Life; N. Y. : 1933. Very Good+ Hardcover 600 pages; Folio (14") 36 cm; Large format, green cloth, gold lettering on spine, 50 pages per issue. Articles, editorials, fiction, info about scouting and outdoor life, comics, ads, plenty of photos and illustrations. Mostly b/w but covers (both sides) are in color. ; Complete run of 12 issues, January 1933 to December 1933. Large and heavy over 8 pounds. (We also have 1932 and 1934 in similar condition) ; No defects to issues apart from slight yellowing of pages. Bounding is solid and square with spine abit faded but quite readable. Quite rare.
Appr.:  |  AUD 179.81  |  CAD 175.14  |  EUR 123.51  |  GBP 98.73  |  JPY 15,500.00  |  MXN 1,937.50  |  ZAR 1,684.78  | 

Terms of Sale:

Shipping Terms: 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.

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: Based on the actual size, weight, and destination of your order, our standard shipping fees may be adjusted, in most cases downward. If we can, we will ship by Standard Flat Rate Priority Mail International for US$25.00 (the book must fit in the flat rate envelope) and pass the savings on to you. In rare cases where 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 or s-kype2skyp-e gwenfoss 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
Eric Sloane
Stephen Sondheim
J. R. R. Tolkien

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