Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Vintage Betty Jackpot

via email:


I imagine you'll already have Betty fans in MO so I don't need to be added to your map.  I just wanted to say how much I enjoy your blog and how it's helped me in my quest for Betty's.  I also have enjoyed your cooking posts.  I've not subjected my family to British cooking but if they catch me reading often ask if it's a Betty.

Anyway, I wanted to share a neat Betty collector story with folks who can appreciate a great find.  First a little background- I've been collecting Betty's for around 10 years.  I was introduced to them by a friend who used to order them from a seller in Australia.  She had "allowance" to  spend so I read hers and bought books at they were reprinted by Harlequin. As time went on, I've bought them everywhere- I love the old covers.  Unfortunately, my collection was lacking the oldest Neels.  I had never even seen A Sister in Amsterdam.  I live in rural Mo and have access to one used book store in town.  Our little library has a book sale once a year and has a tiny room in the library for donated books that they don't think will sell in the annual sale.  I walked in a couple of months ago and saw 4 or 5 shelves covered with old Harlequins in  mint condition- evidently some older woman had a subscription back in the 70's and had read them once and they had sat upon her shelf.  I thought I'd be lucky to find one Neels in the lot.  I found the first 10 or  so original editions printed by Harlequin in the US.  I'm still in shock.  Yes, the pages are yellowed, but the covers are pristine and I have the joy of having a nearly complete Betty collection.  BTW- I got them for $.10/piece.  I could barely contain myself at my good fortune.  The only other time I've found even half as many non re-prints was when a collector had dropped off her collection at the used book store.

I know I'll never,ever have another Betty find day like that again.  I have to add that my neighbor picked up a few of the non Betty's from the same era and they're not as well written.  Harlequin definitely had a jem in Betty.

From one Betty fan to others

(Betty) Jennifer

While not my favorite Neels, Ring in a Teacup wins in the Adorable Cover Art category hands down.

Dear Betty Jennifer,

I adore the old covers - they have such fun details!  Congratulations on scoring a bunch for such a fabulously low price.

Love and lardy cakes,
Betty Debbie


  1. Nothing more exciting than a Betty-nanza! Welcome to the reader from the Show Me State.

    B von S

  2. I still remember my own Betty-bonanza. Fifteen or twenty Bettys that I hadn't read yet! Fifty cents each! I was very sorry when I completed my collection that that sort of elation would not happen again. The despair drove me to start this blog. ;0)

    Welcome Betty Jennifer!

  3. Betty Barbara here--
    Welcome Betty Jennifer!
    I am full of envy for all my fellow Bettys who have scored large at either the used book store or the thrift shop or the library sale.
    I must be living amongst a vast population of Betty hoarders! If I can find one(!!) Betty book on any of my forays I count myself lucky! I usually come up empty handed (sigh.....).

  4. Betty Jennifer, what a *wonderful* story! Thank you for sharing it with us. As much as I admire the soft-focus, watercolor-ish cover art of the Best of Betty Neels series, I agree the original covers are much more fun. If you have the wherewithal to photograph your Betty-find and send the pix to Betty Debbie, I suspect I'm not the only one who'd love to see them all laid out. And welcome to the blog -- I hope you'll chime in on the comments sections of postings new and old.

    1. I too would love to see a picture of Betty Jennifer's "Betty-find" and Betty Caroline's too.

  5. Wow, that's awesome! I found nine Bettys that I was missing when I went to the used bookstore on Monday. Replaced a few of my watercolor covers with older ones, but alas, no vintage covers this time.

    Betty Caroline

  6. I found 15 at by local UBS for in a deal of 20 for $5 (.25 each) just last week. And I found 5 regencies that I hadn't read to make the up the count. I can't help myself, I'm a Betty rescuer. If I see them, I buy them and either keep them or find them homes!
    BTW Does anyone have a extra copy of Heaven is Gentle. If you are on PBS or bookmooch, we could work it that way. Or if you need a Betty we could swap if I have an extra.
    I couldn't believe that I didn't have it, as I was sure I'd check them all off my master list years ago. But I got a preview on kindle and nope, I haven't read this one! And it's Betty Jo Dee favorite. I could buy the Kindle version, but that's no fun! I've got in on a few wish lists and if necessary I'll break down and buy one online. But that's no fun either. lol Thanks in advance.