12 Days of Great Reads

I realize tradition tells us it’s 12 Days of Christmas, but since I’m lacking in geese a laying, swans a swimming, lords a leaping, and a partridge in a pear tree, I figured I’d put my focus on something I do have, and enjoy: books.

During the next 12 days, I’ll take a few minutes each day to tell you a little bit about some of the collector references I dig most. Each book was put out by our sister publishing group, Krause Books, and has that ‘something’ special that I, in my humble opinion, believe sets it apart. As a special bonus, I was able to work out a deal with the shopkeeper of our online store, KrauseBooks.com, to provide a 25% discount on all of the books that made the list. If you chose to order a copy of any of these books at KrauseBooks.com, and you use Discount Code GREATREADS14, you’ll save an extra 25% on top of any discount already listed.

Check here each day between Dec. 8 and Dec. 19 to see which books make my list. Plus, the special 25% off discount code is good thru Dec. 21.

Day 2: Toys & Prices, Edited by Mark Bellomo

The foresight to see the value of toys when they’re in their prime isn’t something I had in my youth, but decades later, there’s no question that the playthings of the past are an incredibly cool category of collectible.

If toys carry an unmatched level of cool, then Toys & Prices is the supreme guide to coolness, at least in my opinion. I love how easy this book is to use, with clear-cut category breakdowns, a practical pricing system, and descriptive tidbits that help with identifying similar versions of toys.

I’m also a big fan of the Top 10 list of auction prices realized that accompany the introduction to each category of toys. Although, I may never get my hands on a 1971 Hot Wheels Purple Olds 442, a Fisher-Price Penelope Penguin, circa 1935, or a 1967 Wonder Woman, Comic Heroine Posin’ Doll, but in the event I do, I like to know the type of treasure I have in my hands.

With Toys & Prices in hand I don’t have to wait on ‘would be’ toy treasures to come my way, I can appreciate decades of toy coolness right away. Check out this popular guide for yourself, and you can score a copy of Toys & Prices at KrauseBooks.com for just $10.34, when you use Discount Cod GREATREADS14 and order by Dec. 21.
Check it out>>>

Day 1: Picker’s Pocket Guide to Signs by Eric Bradley

Vintage advertising signs are some of my favorite collectibles. I trace my love of signs back to my youth, when I would look forward to spending time with my dad on his fuel-oil delivery route, largely because it brought me up-close-and-personal with several examples of the brilliant red Mobil Oil Pegasus.

As my passion for signs grew, I began to delve into the history behind each one I acquired. That’s one of the things I really enjoy about the Picker’s Pocket Guide to Signs. Eric and I meet the world of vintage advertising signs in the same way, with tremendous awe and respect for the way advertising designers used color, designs, fonts and symbols to convey a message or put the spot light on a product. We also share an uncontrollable urge to dig into the history of a piece, and discover whatever we can about its origins and its initial advertising ‘mission,’ if you will.

soda pop advertising signs

Sample page from the Soda Pop sign section of the Picker’s Pocket Guide to Signs.

I love that this book includes a nice variety of signs, such as your typical beer, soda pop, and petroliana signs, as well as advertising signs for farm & implement companies, home and garden and food. Which reminds me, did you know did you know that Planter’s Mr. Peanut character was not originally created by a savvy ad executive, but a 13-year-old girl, back in 1916? Yep, that’s the kind of fascinating historical tidbits I found throughout this beautifully illustrated and enlightening book.

This book is a righteous great read, and one I know I will pick up off my book shelf to re-read time and again. Plus, you can score a copy of the Picker’s Pocket Guide to Signs at KrauseBooks.com for just $8.76, when you use Discount Cod GREATREADS14 and order by Dec. 21.

Check it out>>>