Collecting: Some Basic Info
are firm believers in reading for sheer pleasure and collecting
whatever you are passionate about. People are driven by love and
appreciation to collect a variety of things--everything
from 1940's pulp fiction to Children's books to Railroading Books. The world of books is vast and exciting.
Many people ask,
"What makes a book worth so much
money?" In general, a book's value lies mainly in these
things: demand, scarcity, edition, signature or inscription and
Demand and scarcity will influence any market, and
the book market is no exception. Books that are in demand will
sell for higher prices, especially if the book is no longer
available from the publisher. "Out-of-print"
books won't be found in bookstores that sell only new books.
have better luck finding a nice copy at a used bookstore.
First Edition, the common term used to mean "first
printing," is the first appearance of a book in print. Many
books were first published in small print runs and tracking down a
first edition can be like a treasure hunt. Some people also feel
that having a first edition brings them closer to the excitement of
the time when a book was first appearing. Identifying first editions can
be tricky, as each publisher marks its first editions differently.
We recommend First Editions: A Guide to Identification,
edited by Edward N. Zempel and
Linda A. Verkler, as a good source of clarity.
signature or inscription is also valued because of the
connection with the author. The author handled the book himself or
herself. It has a very personal feel to it--especially
if the inscription is friendly or intimate. A book inscribed by the
author as a gift is referred to as a "presentation copy." A book
that just bears the author's signature is simply called a "signed
As much as
all of these factors influence the value of a book, we cannot say
enough about the importance of
to purchase the best copy that you can happily afford. In the case
of out-of-print books, a reading copy is always better than no copy
and keep in mind that you can always upgrade if the opportunity