Tuesday, October 16, 2012

'BIGGLES' STORIES AT "www.dougfindsbooks.com"

The author,W E Johns,wrote many,many ,stories about the famed flyer and adventurer who captured the imagination of many young people (including me !) over the years so it is only natural that I should keep a collection of these sought after books in my bookshop "Doug's Books" and on my web site "www.dougfindsbooks.com".At the moment I have the following :-

Biggles in the Orient
Biggles and the Black Peril
Biggles Air Detective
The Cruise of the Condor
Biggles Breaks the Silence
The Boy Biggles
Biggles of 266
Biggles Pioneer Air Fighter
Biggles Flies to Work
Biggles Follows On
Biggles Fails to Return
Biggles Flies Again
Biggles  and the Pirate Treasure
Biggles in Africa
Biggles Hits the Trail
Biggles of the Camel Squadron
Biggles Learns to Fly
Biggles Flies West
Biggles Charter Pilot
Biggles Delivers the Goods
Biggles Hunts Big Game
The First Biggles Omnibus

For more information,if you cannot find on my web site, drop me an e mail to colnic@telkomsa.net.
All communications will be answered.


Sunday, October 14, 2012


Books by the noted Cape Town writer are available as follows :-

Wines of Constantia
Cape Trails and Wilderness Areas
Waters of the Western Cape
The False Bay Story
Where to Walk in the Cape Peninsula
A  Peak to Climb
Latest Walks in the Cape Peninsula
The Cape of Good Intent
Guide to the Garden Route
Rediscovering the Garden Route

For further information and/or to order...e mail to Doug's Books...colnic@telkomsa.net

Saturday, October 13, 2012


 The master author of  spy and espionage fiction and still writing in his 80's ! Available hardback titles from Doug's Books...Tinker,Tailor,Soldier Spy, The Secret Pilgrim, The Little Drummer Girl, A Small Town in Germany, The Honourable Schoolboy, The Russia House, Smiley's People, Tha Night Manager, The Looking Glass War, Absolute Friends, The Constant Gardener and The Perfect Spy,mainly first editions,details from :- colnic@telkomsa.net


One of the more collectable writers of the 20th Century and certainly one of the most travelled. His book titles tell all !Available in hardcover...Caravans,  Poland , Iberia, Texas, Legacy, Journey,  and Space, more details from Doug's Books,colnic@telkomsa.net

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


 For those of you who may have missed me I am back at last ! And on my own two feet as well.My new 'bionic' ankle is now behaving itself  and I am now able to get around and catch up on so many things.My thanks to my  surgeon Dr. Chris Graber and his great team at Faerie Glen Orthopaedic Hospital in Pretoria who have now fully restored me.
I have a million things to write about but let me first thank my customers who remained supportive over the past year and my apologies to those I may have disappointed.Nevertheless I have been impressed still, by the collectors among you who seek out the older writers and ask me to find their long 'out of print books'.I am used to Lawrence Green and T V Bulpin in particular with their Southern African scenarios and Wilbur Smith who, although still active at 79,has always been collectable.Now in recent months I have had Geoffrey Jenkins,Benjamin Bennett and A P Cartwright, and amazingly Sergeanne Golon of Angelique fame !And don't forget Ian Fleming !

If any of you would like information and assistance regarding the above or any other writers whether Southern African or  from overseas contact my e ....doug@dougfindsbooks.com or you can even telephone me,office hours at (27)12 361 5144 or leave an SMS on 082 831 2401.
I am going to list a few of these writers, in addition to those I have previously covered under individual headings by author for easier reference.By no means all of such books are listed on my web site...www.dougfindsbook.com

Here we go !

Saturday, April 28, 2012


Some of the most difficult South African books to locate are those that relate the origin and historical development of towns and families,largely because those that own the books are reluctant to part with them and tend to hand them down to their children.Also most of these books have been to commemorate either the 100th or 150th anniversary of the founding and were published in relatively small numbers.
For those who could be interested I do have the following available :
Sterkstroom 1875-1975
Wepener 1869-1969
Richmond Yesterdays by Alice Hope
Kerksoewenier van Riebeek-Wes Driekwarteeufees,1858-1933
Irene by Nigel Helme
Frontier Post,The Story of Grahamstown by Joy Collier
The Story of Hottentots Holland,Somerset West,The Strand, Gordon's Bay and Sir Lowry's Pass by Peggy Heap.
Not only do these books tell a  story but also are a good source of family history and information, particularly when they are indexed.
Also Afrikaans family histories are much sought after and needless to say hard to find !

I currently only have  "Die Retief-Familie in Sud Afrika" deur Dr.P J Retief

For more information either go to my web site www.dougfindsbooks.com or e mail me on colnic@telkomsa.net


The interest in W E Johns 's "Biggles" stories continues to amaze and delight me.The author's output ran for many years both before and after World War 2 and whilst there have been some modern reprints,mainly in paperback ,the original versions are those that I am so often asked for.It does help to have read these stories in one's youth !
A very nice copy of  "Biggles of 266",first edition,Dean, complete with good original cover has just arrived together with "Biggles Breaks the The Silence"(4th imp) and a nice paperback edition of "William and the Brains Trust" by Richmal Crompton.
Should anybody like a list of avaible Biggles or Just William titles available just send me an 'e' on colnic@telkomsa.net.

Friday, April 27, 2012


It would be hard for anybody today ,whatever their age, to be unaware of the tragic sinking on her maiden voyage ,in the North Atlantic,of the giant ocean liner "SS Titanic" with the terrible loss of life of over 1500 souls .
Whilst I cannot bring myself to watch the movie I have learnt a certain amount from the many publications,notably the various books by Robert Ballard who located , filmed and photographed the wreck at great depths.
What particularly caught my imagination was the heroic story of the 8 piece 'orchestra' who continued playing mainly 'rag time' throughout  the tragedy whilst others tried to find their way to safety.They all perished including their leader Wallace Hartley.I have for some time , as an amateur genealogist, been compiling an extensive family tree of my wife's family ,who are Hartley's, who originate from the Yorks/Lancs area of northern England.I discovered that Wallace who was born Walter Henry Hartley in Colne, Lancs was probably a second/third cousin of my wife's family dating back to the family in Chorlton just South of Manchester.There is in fact a museum dedicated to Wallace and his orchestra members in Liverpool.When Wallace's body was found some 200 miles away from the wreckage area he was still wearing his bandsman's uniform and a thick overcoat etc.Very brave and very sad !His body was returned to Colne and there is a monument on his grave site,complete with a violin his instrument.

Should any one like any asistance with finding books on this tragedy please do not hesitate to contact me on colnic@telkomsa.net.
Similarly if any Hartley's would like any information regarding the "family" I can be contacted as above


Just a few further words about the great man ! Now 79 years old and living in his London  home with his lovely fourth  wife.The old "Lion of Africa" apparently only writes a book about every 3 years,can't blame him for that.Seems he has moved further and further away from his African roots !
His books remain collectable, particularly the earlier Heinemann publications,mostly written with the assistance of his late wife, Danielle Thomas,and if you can find signed copies of these hang on to them.They are rarer and rarer.
I recently had occasion to write to Wilbur about a series of signed copies,supplying him with photographs, dating back to the 1970's ,just to verify their authenticity as a certain Welsh "gentleman" who boasts of a close friendship with the author, attempted firstly to buy them and then, when unsuccessful, cast aspersion that they were forgeries.Whilst he has not yet replied I have no doubt that he has already, knowing the straight forward guy that he is reputed to be,clarified the authencity to the Welsh "gentleman" concerned.
If you require any information or availability regarding Wilbur Smith first editions and /or signed copies drop me an e on 'colnic@telkomsa.net'.  Be glad to assist.


If perchance you happen to see an old guy with a grey beard shuffling along with a crutch in his right hand in a secondhand or charity bookshop in Pretoria clutching a pile of books in his free hand,think of me ! 8 long months after having a new steel and plastic ankle joint fitted by a top surgeon I am still suffering extreme pain ! and cannot walk as far as I could before the surgery ! And I wanted it ! I pursued my medical insurance scheme for a year before they would approve the scheme.Crazy aren't I ?
Anyway I can get around  and will not give up as I approach my 75th birthday,only a few week after my namesake Jack Nicholson has reached the same milestone ! Love you Jack just don't take too many Viagra at once !
That apart the lure of finding books is still as strong as ever.Just do me a favour ,don't ask me a to find you a book and the next day order it from someone else the following day ! No wonder booksellers wont try and find books for customers.
For me I love to look for books and my spirit for that remains undeminished.Not many people have had my early good fortune as a 16 year old starting his life in a major lending library in London and could walk to work every day up Charing Cross Road in Central London passing the then myriad of bookshops that then existed.Yes even passed No 84 of movie fame !
And a big thank you to all the people who offered me their seat or places in queues even if I politely(I hope) declined.
Well that's my excuse for not keeping my blog up to date !

So ,yes, times are hard ,money is in short supply ! There are always books for you. Many shops are closing in the face of falling sales and increasing rentals. (It is amazing how many landlords would rather have empty shops than lower rents to keep them occupied !).
Keep browsing that's the fun of it.
Talk to me if you have a book problem ! (27) 12 361 5144 or colnic@telkomsa.net as long as it is in working hours.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Did you know that there are other books in Joy Adamson's saga about the lioness Elsa,which she reared from a cub and eventually released into the wild and their frequent encounters over many years ?
Well I did not until I came across 3 books ,Born Free,Living Free and Forever Free.
This wonderful, wonderful set of stories,captured initially in the film 'Born Free' starring Virginia McKenna were published in the early 1960's.A true and often heart-rending saga and a terrific read.

Saturday, January 28, 2012


Nothing gives me greater pleasure than when am asked to find books that I enjoyed in my formative years ! and when a lovely clean copy, complete with dust jacket of a "Billy Bunter",and a first edition as well,appears before me I am really delighted.It will join my "Biggles" and "Just William" books to be found in my "Children and Just William' section on my web site, www.dougfindsbooks.com.
Just to complete my day a gorgeous copy, in great condition, of "Wind in the Willows" by Kenneth Grahame came into my possession.For me this is the most wonderful of children's books and the stories and their delightful illustrations of Toad, Badger, Rat and Mole take me back to the radio broadcasts of Uncle Mac.Oh Happy Days !


After many months of forced inactivity due to a major ankle operation I find myself back at my keyboard !Never again he says ! And I mean it !
So much has happened in the world but books are still books despite what is said about what the future offers for the good old book whether hard or soft cover.There is nothing like a book !
However despite the financial mess the world's economies are in I have no doubt that the book business will survive. Unfortunately many of my colleagues with increasing rents and falling sales may disappear but I shall with your  support continue to scour the remains of the trade to find those elusive books for you !
Yes, "Doug Finds Books !"