A Novel Idea Bookstore
Building & Buying Book Collections since 1991
Open Tuesday-Saturday 10 am-6 pm . Off hours-open by chance! 
118 North 14th Street, Lincoln, NE 68508 . (402) 475-8663


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New Arrivals
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Gifts for Book Lovers
Selling Books to Us

Staff Recommendations
One Book, One Lincoln
That's What She Wrote

Some Basic Info
Book Condition

Customer Spotlights
Books & Bottles
Schools & Libraries
Our Cats' Page

...& More!
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Collecting: Some Basic Info

We 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
In general, a book's value lies mainly in these things: demand, scarcity, edition, signature or inscription and condition.

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. You'll have better luck finding a nice copy at a used bookstore.

A 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.  

A 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 copy."

As much as all of these factors influence the value of a book, we cannot say enough about the importance of condition. Attempt 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 presents itself.

Our Gift Certificates are available for any amount, never expire and are good on all books & merchandise in our store. All Gift Certificates are written by hand. Gift Certificates of $25 or higher value come in a beautiful sleeve of handmade paper embedded with wildflower seeds, which can be planted in a sunny spot.

"If you have a library and a garden,
you have everything you need.
" ~ Cicero

We are happy to send Gift Certificates directly to all the people on your list. To order, please call (402) 475-8663, email us or visit our Gifts for Book Lovers page.