Saturday, February 13, 2010

Bagging Betty. Nabbing Neels.

Betty Suzanne has been lamenting the scarcity of Betty Neels novels in Colorado. It occurs to us here at The Uncrushable Jersey Dress, that finding Neels - especially a specific Neels novel could be a challenge. In the spirit of international peace and cooperation, we shall now share our treasure hunting techniques. I'll start. Here's a list of where I have found my Bettys:
  • Goodwill. Thrift stores are usually the cheapest way to go...and since I'm not really married to a fabulously wealthy Dutch doctor, cheap is not just an option, it's a mandate. Thrift stores are definitely "catch as catch can"...not a very reliable source, but sometimes you can hit the jackpot.
  • Used book store. I happen to have a local bookstore that carries a lot of used romance novels. I took one look at the romance section and nearly turned around and walked out...instead I asked the manager if she knew where I could find Betty Neels. She not only helped me find a few, she then dug around and found all (or at least a lot) of her stock of Betty Neels and put them all in the same area. Nice.
  • Amazon. New Betty Neels will run about $4.99 plus shipping. They have a "buy 4 for the price of 3" special - so you can save a bit there. Used Betty Neels at Amazon can usually be found for $0.01. Yes, a penny - but then you have a $3.99 shipping charge too...for a grand total of $4.00.
  • ebay. I recently purchased a lot of 38 Betty Neels on ebay. I paid $29.48 (that includes shipping). That averages out to somewhere in the range of a little over 76 cents apiece (she said, while doing highly inaccurate sums on the back of an envelope). Not bad.
  • Library sales. Betty Suzanne mentioned that she had just scored 5 at her local library. I've not had that kind of luck, but I have found at least one at my local library. And it was only 10 cents.

I have amassed a total of 118 Betty Neels stories (I'm counting each one in an omnibus separately)...that leaves me with something like 20 to go. I have also picked up another 56 for you, Gentle Readers, because that's how we roll here at The Uncrushable Jersey Dress.

How many do you have? How have you bagged your Bettys?

We have a couple of links way down on our sidebar (the title is "Every Neels Thing") that could help you figure out how many Neels you have or have not read (or purchased). Here's a link to Wikipedia that has a pretty darn good list of Betty's books. The list I typed up (The Neels Canon) is not necessarily the be all, end all authoritative list...knowing me, I goofed up and missed a couple.


  1. I have around 130--still missing one or two but have a pretty solid collection. Goodwill is my go-to but I've bought new at Barnes and Noble and Amazon from time to time and braved paperback re-sellers.

  2. So, I'm up to 10 books/11 stories. I may have just snagged two more through the paperback swap website. I'll let you know how that turns out.

  3. I *think* I have them all, but I clearly will have to pull them out and triple check the list. I may be missing some of the novellas, but they're recently published so won't be hard to get.

  4. Thrift shoppes, like Goodwill and the Sally Ann, libraries and informal UBSs are my best bet. Of course unlike Betty Magdalen, I have a ways to go: I only have two!

  5. Janet: You need to enter our Feb. book drawing! It's way easier than it looks. You might just win yourself another Neels.

  6. I have almost all, missing about 20+/- or so, although I think I have read almost all of the missing ones. Would love to get my hands on a copy of Esmeralda, as I don't think I've ever read it! I got a lot of my copies at a local used paperback bookstore here in VT, but in recent years I've been buying copies off of eBay -- btw, it costs a fortune to get books shipped from Canada to the US, but I did get a few of my old Bettys from Canada. My first Betty: approx. 1979 or 1980 (I was about 12 or 13), an omnibus (3 books in 1) from 1974 or 1975, Saturday's Child was in it, perhaps Tulips for Augusta too? Sadly, I don't have it anymore as I didn't start holding on to my Bettys until about 10 years ago. I love getting the old ones, the covers are so much fun, but I have quite a few of the reprints from recent years as I'll buy anything Betty -- we need tote bags with logos ladies!

  7. I love the old covers too - the new ones are "pretty" but they don't do much for me...Not that I always like the characters on the old ones - but even if the hero/heroine are goofy looking, at least I can remember what's in the book.

    Tote bags...I like your thinking.

  8. If I win, I'm going to ask that Betty Janet get the book (unless I don't already own it). Not that I think I should win; that would be pushy and obnoxious. :-)

    I love the idea of tote bags. Or "uncrushable jersey T-shirts."

    My favorite artist was the guy (I'm pretty sure it was a guy) who did the cover to Fate is Remarkable. He did lots of other Harlequin covers from the era. He actually made people look nice (rare back then) and he had good technique with the heroine's hair. Didn't necessarily match what she was supposed to look like, but it was nice.

  9. I recently reread "Emma's Wedding". The cover art was fine...but it was sooo not a scene from the book. On the cover it shows a newlywed couple outside a church - she's wearing a sleeveless white wedding dress AND veil - and the weather is nice. In the book she wears a suit(natch)with a hat(natch) and outside it is driving rain.

    Betty Keira and I will do a little research on the t-shirt/tote bag idea. We have some original "uncrushable" artwork that would look fab.

  10. Just tell me where to send the check! I'm up for anything and everything "Uncrushable."

  11. Janet: is "Sally Ann" code for "Salvation Army"? We call it "Aunt Sally's". Goodwill is "G-dub".

    I spent years keeping an eye out for a then out-of-print book("Andrew Henry's Meadow") and was rewarded by finally finding it for the outrageous price of 69 a thrift shoppe. Nowadays if I want a book that badly, I'll look for it on Amazon. Doesn't quite have that thrill of the hunt...*sigh*...but it does save a lot of time.

  12. I have (I think) all of them. I worked hard for 2 years, surfing ebay, amazon and making trades via the yahoo Betty Neels group to get my collection built up. I spent just over $150 for it, but sold some of the dupes for about $20 so I did pretty well. I had about 30 more dupes but hubby was on a "We gotta get rid of some BOOKS!" phase so, as I'd just hooked my niece and her mother-in-law on Betty, I gave the lot to them and then my niece put them in the various waiting rooms of the hospital where she works. (Stealth-Betty-Conversion!!)

    Somewhere along the way I realized I did NOT have a copy of Heaven Round the Corner and went on a desperate search for it - alas, only to be found on Amazon at, *gasp* $32.50 - TRULY! Well, I resolved that'd be one Betty I'd never own. And then, one lovely day, I received a package in the mail - my best friend had bought it for me! :)

    At various times, I've tried to work out the value of the collection (although I'll never sell it, of course) and realize that some books are valuable today and then worth nothing in a few weeks - what's up with that? (I know it has to do with the re-release of these titles, but it still seems odd. If it's an original copy in good condition, you'd think...oh well.)


  13. Stealth-Betty-Conversion..hahahhaha. I gotta try that.

  14. I think I have them all, including the novellas and short story. But, need to double check the list now.
    Heaven Around the Corner was the last, and the most difficult to find at a reasonable price. I know why it was so limited, it was probably my least favorite, but others may love it.

  15. I love Betty Neel's books I think they are awesome I have a few and I keep looking around the op shops I live in New Zealand , I just keep looking for any of her books and i read them over and over again they are wonderful , hugs from a Betty Neel's fans Nana Kat