Monday, July 21, 2008

Rare Books & Collectible Books

Have you noticed how the price of Antique and Collectible Books are increasing? If not, you should take another look. I have a theory to why this is happening, and I believe there is a trend forming.

As the price of gas increases, it’s only natural that people will be spending more time at home. When they tire of watching TV, there will likely be an increase in time spent reading. Books present a cheap form of entertainment, and an excellent source of knowledge.

Why is this important to us, and what do we need to know to take advantage of this opportunity?

Books are plentiful and there are treasures there to be found, so be sure not to pass them by without a look.

We can begin our research on sites like AbesBooks, Schiffer Collector Books, and Amazon’s book store. Here you will be able to find comparable prices for the books you locate in your hunt. It will also show you the different prices based on condition, which is the most important factor in pricing books. One copy of a rare book in used condition with a library stamp and writing on the pages might sell for $50, while the same book in mint or near mint condition could easily fetch $1000 or more. Quite a difference right?

What type of books are in high demand today?

This is a question I get quite often and it isn't an easy one to answer. Yes, signed first edition books will always top the list, but this is an ever- changing market. One year ago, you could have pick up Obama's books for a pittance, but today they will cost you a pretty penny. Perhaps a new author writes a huge winner like Harry Potter and continues to write numerous others as sequels. These, in the first editions, signed, by the author, can put serious money in your pocket. This is one area where the contemporary tag may not affect the price.

But let’s not forget the older books. As interest grows on certain subjects due to new movies or current events, the older books, again, take on the glamour of super stars. For example, a 1976 1st edition signed "Interview With The Vampire" by author Anne Rice, is offered at $1000 at C. Dickens Fine, Rare & Collectible Books.

Historical material will always be popular, if written by the right author and signed. I went into a family member’s home recently and was amazed when I was shown sets of Civil War books and was told that these sets were worth $25,000 to $75,000 dollars each. Who would have thought it? One area of interest this year might be the Olympics.

I still love the story about the person who bought a first edition of Tarzan for $2.00 without the dust cover, only to find himself standing next to the guy who had the dust cover wrapped around a completely different book. He asked the man with the dust cover if he could buy it, and they finally agreed to a price of $1,000. I personally know the gentleman who bought this book, and he later sold it for over $18,000. There's also a set of Tarzan Books for sale at C. Dickens.

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