Saturday, June 5, 2010

Books – Daryle Lambert's Antiques and Collectibles Blog – Worth a Second Look

 Books  - Thanks to

I have purchased many books in the past but usually it was because they were thrown in with everything else I was buying. In fact, my wife Vickie recently put all my boxes of books in the garage and said it was time for me to get rid of them. I took that with a grain of salt and figured they would stay there for years to come. But that all changed with my purchase of the 130 or so boys’ adventure books last week.

Not being a book dealer, I sought out someone who would look over the collection that I purchased. It just so happened that Matt, a book dealer, was close to the appraising booth at the Randolph Street Market last week, so I asked if he would be interested in the collection. I will try to shorten this story by saying he visited my house yesterday and it looks as if the books are worth $25 and up, which for 130 or more comes to a pretty penny. This should encourage the members of our Club to be more observant of books when they treasure hunt. Most of you recognize the Hardy Boys series, but there were many more and most of them will bring over $20 if they are in good condition with the dust jacket. When most of these can be bought for under $1.00, that is a fairly substantial return.

But now for the rest of the story. Since Matt was at my house I figured it might be worthwhile for him to look at the books in the garage. After unpacking perhaps 10 boxes, he had only found a few that were over $20, but then he hit pay dirt. First came the Ozma of Oz that might bring $100 in its great condition. My interest was beginning to peak when out came the book Red Men and White. On, there is only one listed and it is $750. I told Vickie and she said “You sold it, didn't you?” One thing I learned from Matt was that many books are published by many publishing houses and these different editions can be a world apart in value. In books it is also condition, condition, condition.

I would like to end this blog with a little story that I have told before, but all of you may not have heard it. A gentleman who I met told me about purchasing a first edition Tarzan, but there is a little twist here. You see he found the book on the bargain table for $2.00 which was a steal. It didn't, however, have the dust jacket which disappointed him greatly. As he was leaving, he noticed another dealer looking at another book and, lo and behold, it had the wrong dust jacket, which happened to be the Tarzan cover. So he approached the dealer, and asked if he could purchase the cover. The dealer knew what had happened and said “Sure for $1000”. After a second or two, the deal was made and when the book and cover were put together, they sold for $18,000. Now that is quite a story and it is true.

Matt told me that fiction is all right but he prefers “real books” as he calls them, like ones on the Civil War or WWI and WWII. But needless to say, I will be giving greater attention to books in the future.

Here are three tips on books. First, those with leather bindings are always good. Second, it helps if the edges of the pages are gold gilded. And last is something really special. When you find a book with gold edges, put it between your fingers and fan it. If you do this and a painting appears across all the pages, the book may well be worth $1000 or much more.

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