What’s In Your Wallet?

Do you know there may be extra spending money sitting around in your bookcase? It’ true! And I don’t mean “First Edition” books or “Signed by the Author” copies by famous authors.

I mean, specifically for this blog post, old timey paperbacks with specialized cover artwork by reknowned English Artist, Tom Adams.


Let me give you an example . . . or nine:
People worldwide collect Tom Adams paperback artwork, in fact, there is even a Yahoo! Group dedicated to his legion of fans. He has become one of my favorites and happily I have a full collection of all his paperback works.

Here are four covers of old Raymond Chandler stories commissioned in the 1970’s and painted by Tom Adams.


You can instantly see TA’s style, the high colors, simple emphasis and overall boldness and intrigue. When next browsing around in used paperback bookstores you can recognize his work immediately by these factors. Most generally the paperback companies do not give credit to the illustrator, but you will know it’s Tom Adams just by looking with an informed eye. His style is undeniable.

Here is another series done by Tom Adams for Pocket Books, which feature “Wrap-A-Round” cover art. Can you see the twist? Each is like a mural!




The way I originally discovered this phenomenon was via a customer in Australia back in 1999. Scott was then/is now an avid Agatha Christie fan and wrote to ManorBooks saying that he was looking for one special cover of a title, “Miss Marple’s Final Cases” published by Fontana in the UK, the 1980 Continental Edition. It featured coverart work by Tom Adams and although Scott had never seen the work, he knew it existed in the “series.”

I began my quest and finally found three copies in Stockholm, Sweden! Since then I have only found one other copy from a seller in Portland, Oregon. I have written hundreds of e-mails to European booksellers looking for this elusive cover.

So, if you are looking for some extra Christmas money or just spare change in your pocket, be on the lookout for this cover and/or any paperbacks with Tom Adams artwork. (Retail price for the cover shown below can range anywhere from $35-$125, depending on overall condition.)


Miss Marple’s Final Cases
by Dame Agatha Christie

Published by Fontana in the UK
1980 Continental Edition

Interested? Wanna know more about Tom Adams?


In future posts I will highlight other rare and valuable paperback cover artwork that will bring you a some extra $$.$$.



One response to this post.

  1. Too late…when we moved from Idaho to Utah, we went through and got rid of ALL our paperback books. We gave them to DI, after being in the used book business for a few years. But, I doubt we had any of value. That’s not our style…all our “Stuff” is worthless! But, I’m glad that you are having such success in your business. You go, Lauralee!


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