• Share
  • Email
  • Embed
  • Like
  • Save
  • Private Content
Finding Books Gems: Are My Books Worth Anything?
 

Finding Books Gems: Are My Books Worth Anything?

on

  • 2,738 views

"I have an old book from 1900. Is it worth anything?" Librarians are frequently asked this or similar questions. This presentation was designed to help both groups who hold book sales for fundraisers ...

"I have an old book from 1900. Is it worth anything?" Librarians are frequently asked this or similar questions. This presentation was designed to help both groups who hold book sales for fundraisers and individuals who wish to learn more about book collecting. Topics covered include determining first editions, importance of condition, sources for buying and selling books, and resources for determining value.

Statistics

Views

Total Views
2,738
Views on SlideShare
2,455
Embed Views
283

Actions

Likes
0
Downloads
5
Comments
0

2 Embeds 283

http://www.generation2librarians.com 282
http://ranksit.com 1

Accessibility

Upload Details

Uploaded via as Microsoft PowerPoint

Usage Rights

© All Rights Reserved

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Processing…
Post Comment
Edit your comment
  • I’ve been on the collecting, selling, and the volunteer sale sides of books. When I first became interested in collecting books, I purchased books that I particularly enjoyed reading as a child or a young adult – not an umcommon choice, as many collections begin when people try to acquire copies of books they enjoyed as children. My first foray into collecting was not very organized. I simply looked for books that I had enjoyed reading. My favorite author was Jane Austen, and I do have a Jane Austen collection. With my graduate degrees in English (with an emphasis in bibliographical description and history of books) and Library Science, it’s not surprising that my career path took a turn toward working in Rare Book shops. Besides working on freelance projects for Van Allen Bradley (author of Gold in Your Attic – one of the best pricing guides, and the beginning for many of the current books on pricing), I also worked for 6 years in two rare book stores in Chicago. While compiling catalogs (pre Internet) and working with customers, my knowledge of rare books increased as did my love for books. Today, I work in a public library, but I still read about books, collect books, and visit rare bookstores and book fairs.
  • Although he was right on 2 of the 3 (I think you can be too thin), I believe he speaks for many collectors, particularly those collectors who frequent bookstores and book sales such as Friends of the Library sponsor.
  • Many books have been written about book collecting and pricing. When I began serious book collecting in my 20’s, I found books by frequenting local book shops and stores in every place I visited, and I wrote to dealers to obtain their book catalogs. This method really depended on serendipity to build a collection. Other collectors were using this same method, and frequently we didn’t know how rare an item might be. With the advent of the Internet, this information became available to us. If we searched a title and found 15 copies of the book available, we knew it was easier to obtain than we thought after spending years randomly checking bookstores and dealers and not finding any copies. Of course, the Internet has also made it much easier to spend money on books – something spouses don’t always understand unless they too are addicted to books. Obviously, I can’t convey in this short time everything I know about books and collecting. Even after years of collecting, I don’t know everything – or even a small percentage of everything there is to know. What I would like to do is share with you some of my tips in recognizing the gems from the sludge.
  • Many books have been written about book collecting and pricing. When I began serious book collecting in my 20’s, I found books by frequenting local book shops and stores in every place I visited, and I wrote to dealers to obtain their book catalogs. This method really depended on serendipity to build a collection. Other collectors were using this same method, and frequently we didn’t know how rare an item might be. With the advent of the Internet, this information became available to us. If we searched a title and found 15 copies of the book available, we knew it was easier to obtain than we thought after spending years randomly checking bookstores and dealers and not finding any copies. Of course, the Internet has also made it much easier to spend money on books – something spouses don’t always understand unless they too are addicted to books. Obviously, I can’t convey in this short time everything I know about books and collecting. Even after years of collecting, I don’t know everything – or even a small percentage of everything there is to know. What I would like to do is share with you some of my tips in recognizing the gems from the sludge.

Finding Books Gems: Are My Books Worth Anything? Finding Books Gems: Are My Books Worth Anything? Presentation Transcript

  • Finding Book Gems January 11, 2010 Presenter: Mary G. Marshall
  • My Interest in Book Collecting I’ve been on the collecting, selling, and the volunteer sale sides of books.When I first became interested in collecting books, I purchased books that Iparticularly enjoyed reading as a child or a young adult – not an umcommonchoice, as many collections begin when people try to acquire copies of booksthey enjoyed as children. My first foray into collecting was not very organized. I simply looked for books that I had enjoyed reading. My favorite author wasJane Austen, and I do have a Jane Austen collection. With my graduatedegrees in English (with an emphasis in bibliographical description andhistory of books) and Library Science, it’s not surprising that my career pathtook a turn toward working in Rare Book shops. Besides working onfreelance projects for Van Allen Bradley (author of Gold in Your Attic – one ofthe best early pricing guides, and the beginning for many of the current bookson pricing), I also worked for 6 years in two rare book stores in Chicago.While compiling catalogs (pre Internet) and working with customers, myknowledge of rare books increased as did my love for books. Today, I work ina public library, but I still read about books, collect books, and visit rarebookstores and book fairs.
  • “You can never be too thin, too rich, or have too many books.” Carter Burden
  • Recognizing Gems from SludgeMany books have been written about book collecting and pricing. When I beganserious book collecting in my 20’s, I found books by frequenting local bookshops and stores in every place I visited, and I wrote to dealers to obtain theirbook catalogs. This method really depended on serendipity to build a collection. Other collectors were using this same method, and frequently we didn’t knowhow rare an item might be. With the advent of the Internet, this informationbecame available to us. If we searched a title and found 15 copies of the bookavailable, we knew it was easier to obtain than we thought after spending yearsrandomly checking bookstores and dealers and not finding any copies. Ofcourse, the Internet has also made it much easier to spend money on books –something spouses don’t always understand unless they too are addicted tobooks. Obviously, I can’t convey in this short time everything I know about booksand collecting. Even after years of collecting, I don’t know everything – or evena small percentage of everything there is to know. What I would like to do isshare with you some of my tips in recognizing the gems from the sludge.
  • Recognizing Gems from SludgeLearn as much as possible about thevalue of booksEliminate the “sludge”
  • Used Books vs. CollectibleMillions of books have been published, butonly a small percentage becomesrare/collectibleDifference between used/second handand rare/collectible booksSupply & demandEditionConditionSpecial (autographed and limited editions)
  • Examine BooksSubjectConditionEdition– Title Page (author, date)– Copyright Page (date & edition)Special– Autographed half title or title page– Limited edition– Binding– Illustrations
  • Starting with What Can Be Eliminated:
  • Books in Poor ConditionLack dust jacket andare dated 1930 or laterEx-library copiesBooks missing volumes,plates, etc.Binding loose – booklies flat when openedPages looseWater damagedSmell
  • Subjects of Little Interest“Old” Bibles (if printed before1700, moreresearch might be worth it)– most are justsentimental valueSermons/Religion books – many printed, cheapmaterialsCollected editions of authors (unless bindingsare particularly decorative and authors popular)Encyclopedias (Exceptions: 1st ed. (1768-1771)and 11th ed. (1911) of the EncyclopediaBritannica)
  • Textbooks (exceptions: primersbefore 1800, first six McGuffeyReaders (1836-1856), Dick andJane, or illustrated textbooksbefore 1850.Reprints/Facsimiles (exception:high quality, early printed books) New Our NewMagazines (certain ones might be Friends 1951of interest) $375
  • Book Club EditionsBlind stamp or mark onlower right hand cornerof back cover“Book Club Edition” or“Literary Guild” on dustjacket or in bookNo price on dust jacketLesser quality: lighterweight, paper thinner“W” on copyright page5 digit code in a box ondust jacket
  • Not first editionsOn copyright page: string of numbersstarting with “2” exception is RandomHouse (1st has “2”)Later printing: “2nd printing”Title page date doesn’t match copyrightdateReprint Publishers: A.L. Burt, Collier, Dial,Grosset & Dunlap, Tower, Triangle
  • “Best Sellers” printed in large numbers:Danielle Steel titles, Bridges of MadisonCounty“Hypermodern”: Books published in thelast 10 years (too many copies): HarryPotter and the Prisoner of Azkaban 6.8million copies; John Grisham, StephenKing, Amy Tan, Tom Clancy, etc. with theexception of their earliest work
  • “All too often, old is just old” (Ellis).If the books are dated before 1850, theyare worth researching; particularly thosewith the following1501 (any)1641 (English)1801 (American)1850 (West of Mississippi)
  • Identifying Possible Valuable BooksSubjectAuthor/IllustratorConditionEdition StatusAuthor’s first book or important titleAutographsLimited Editions, Materials, or Bindings
  • Subjects“Ask yourself honestly: If I were interested in this subject, would I be interested in this book?” (Ian Ellis, Book Finds)Unusual or Popular Subjects Unusual Subjects Art books with tipped in illustrations Old children’s books Genre fictions: science fiction, mysteries History Cookbooks
  • Samples of Rare Books &Prices in a Variety of Collection Areas
  • Literary textJane AustenMansfield Park 1stedition 18141250 copies printedContemporarybinding$25,000+
  • Important scientific discoveries, inventions, or explorationRachel Carson Silent Spring 1st edition (1962) $500+
  • Early historical worksHistory of the Expedition Under the Command of Captains Lewis and Clark(1814) $125,000+
  • Americana (particularly first-hand narratives; pioneer/westward expansion; journals)Francis ParkmanCalifornia and theOregon Trail(1849) $8,500+
  • Regional History (Chicago, Illinois, specific communities or counties)A.T. AndreasHistory of Chicago 3 vols.(1884-1886) $1,000
  • Modern LiteratureNorman MailerNaked and the Dead $2,000+
  • Ayn Rand’s AtlasShrugged. 1st edition, 1stprinting, signed by theauthor, earned $6,500 atauction two years ago forthe library.
  • History (early US before 1850/60s, Civil War, WWI, WWII)Personal Recollections ofPrivate John HenryCammack1920 $1,000+
  • Books about booksJacob BlanckPeter Parley to Penrod1st Edition, 1938 $150
  • Pop-up BooksRobert SabudaThe Wonderful Wizard of Oz1st Edition 2000 $75+
  • Children’s BooksE.B. WhiteCharlotte’s Web1st edition 1952 $2,000+
  • CookbooksIrma Rombauer Joy of CookingPrivately Printed 1st Edition 1931 3,000 copies published $4,000+ Irma Rombauer Joy of Cooking First Trade Edition 1936 $2,000+
  • Sports Books (especially: fishing, golf, hunting; Derrydale Press)Derrydale Press:Upland Game BirdShooting (1930)Ltd. 75 copies $9,500
  • Books with Hand Colored PlatesHand-colored Lithographplate by Daniel Giraud Elliotfrom Tetraoninae $1,750
  • Special BindingsFore-edge Paintings: Robinson Crusoe $2,000+Bayntun-Rivere Bindingof Alice’s Adventures inWonderland & Throughthe Looking Glass 1st Edition$12,000+
  • Fine Press Books/Limited Editions Club, Caxton Club, ShakespeareHead Press (Not Heritage Press)Moby Dick (Lakeside Press)Illustrated by Rockwell Kent.Limited to 1,000 copies,signed by Kent $10,000+
  • Paperback OriginalsPaperback originals (late1930s began generally)Some important writers were1st published in Paperbackex: Vonnegut’s Sirens of TitanPaperback Originals arefrequently found in thegenres. The cover designattracts collectors (ex: VirgilFinlay design) $150+
  • IllustratorsMaxfield ParrishThe Knave of Hearts1st Edition 1925 $2,500+
  • Condition:Mint (like new)Fine (“crisp”, excellent condition)Good (average)Fair (complete, but some defects)Reading Copy (complete, but only as areading copy)
  • Condition Example: 1st Edition: Old Man in the Sea by Ernest Hemingway No dust Jacket less than $100•Book with dust jacket (poorcondition) $200-$300•Book with dust jacket infine condition $3,000
  • First Books of Authors Sue Grafton “A” Is for Alibi $1,000+
  • Isaac Asimov—Pebble in the Sky $1,500+
  • Willa Cather- April Twilights $2,500+
  • John Fowles- The Collector $1,000+
  • Dashiell Hammett – Red Harvest $2,000+
  • Robert Heinlein-Rocket Ship Galileo $1,000+
  • Thomas Pynchon – V $5,000+
  • Jack Schaefer-Shane $5,000+
  • J. R.R. Tolkien-Middle English Vocabulary $500+
  • Gore Vidal-Williwaw $1,000+
  • “Genres are where the money is and where the trends go.” (Ellis)Particularly hot are mysteries & science fictionAgatha ChristieThe Body in The LibraryFirst Edition $2,500+
  • First edition – most books only have one editionExample: 1st edition ofStephen’s King’s Carrie10,000 copies; his laterbooks have 1st printings ofmore than one millioncopies $1,500+
  • Determining First EditionCompare date on title page & copyright page;they should matchFirst printing/impression—number of booksprinted initially.No additional printings should appear oncopyright pageStates—printing stopped to make corrections –First state is what most collectors mean whenthey talk about “first edition.”Points – difference between states
  • Before 1900, date on title page of majorityEarly 1900s, publisher identifies “firstEdition” on copyright page: “First Edition”“first printing” “First Impression” “Firstpublished [year or month & year]Since the 1970s, publishers have usednumber rows to indicate book’s printingand date row to indicate date. Begin with“1” except Random House begins with “2”Printer’s Code: 1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2 99 98Later printing: 5 7 9 10 8 6 4
  • SCARCITYBesides subject, edition, and condition,collectors also consider scarcityIf only a few copies survive or wereprinted, the book is considered scarceThe book must be important & in demandExample of Scarcity – Robert Frost’sTwilight (only 2 copies are known to exist)
  • Importance of Research“Check the Points” Example:Gone with the Wind has certain points that make it a first edition, first issue.Published May, 1936DJ with GWTW listed in 2nd column $10,000+
  • Values change Catcher in the Rye: (1975) $75 (2009) $20,000-$30,000
  • Determining Value of GemsReference Books– Books about Books– Dealer Catalogs– Auction CatalogsInternet– Book Dealers (www.qbbooks.com)– Multiple Dealer Site (http://www.abebooks.com/– Book Organizations (www.abaa.org)Book Fairs– Printers Row Book Fair
  • Books about Books Reference
  • Buying & Selling through Auction HousesLeslie Hindman Auction House (Chicago)www.lesliehindman.comChristieswww.christies.comSwann Auctionwww.swanngalleries.comSothebyswww.sothebys.com
  • Auction Catalogs Christie’s Masterpieces of Modern Literature: The Library of Roger Rechler October 11, 2002 $275
  • Book Seller’s Catalog Two & Sixty Books with Fore-edge Paintings Zeitlin & Ver Brugge Los Angeles, 1984 $140
  • Booksellers’ Websiteswww.baumanrarebooks.com www.qbbooks.com
  • Multiple Dealer Websitewww.amazon.comwww.abebooks.comwww.alibris.com
  • Book OrganizationsABAA (Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America).ABAA is an source of reputable dealers to buy from, sell to,and appraise your books.www.abba.org
  • Attending Book Fairs & ShowsPrinters Row Book Fair, Chicago
  • Understanding a Book DescriptionNote in the following descriptions: edition (& “points”that determine this), anything that makes this copyspecial (signed, former owner, etc.), condition. All ofthese help determine the value of the item.1. Adams, Douglas. THE HITCHHIKERS GUIDE TO THE GALAXY. New York:Harmony Books (1980). First U. S. edition of his first book. SIGNED by author.Small stain on front page edge which has bled through on a few pages, affectsabout 20 leaves, otherwise fine in dust jacket with very minor edgewear. $350 15. Brown, Dan. THE DA VINCI CODE. New York: Doubleday (2003). First edition. SIGNED by author. The run-away best seller. Fine in dustwrapper. $1750
  • 39. Dunning, John. BOOKED TO DIE. New York: Charles Scribners Sons(1992). First edition. SIGNED by the author on the title page. The first CliffJaneway mystery. A flawless copy. Fine in dustwrapper. $95025. Cather, Willa. THE TROLL GARDEN. New York: McClure, Phillips & Co.,1905. First edition, her second book. The second issue with "Doubleday, Page"at foot of spine. A nice bright copy with only the barest wear on corners andspine ends; unusual in this condition. $60050. Fitzgerald, F. Scott. THE GREAT GATSBY. New York: Modern Library (1934).First thus, so stated. With a new introduction by Fitzgerald. Near fine with giltlettering on spine and cover nice and bright. Previous owners name on frontendpaper. In a bright, very good dustwrapper with spine and flap edges tanned,rubbing, shallow chipping and nicks (including a small hole on spine edge). Thedustwrapper is #117 and priced 95 cents but does list 268 books on verso.Toledano indicates that the first-issue dustwrapper had 225 titles. Still, scarce.$400
  • 89. Lee, Harper. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Co.(1960). First edition. Her first and only book, a Pulitzer Prize winner that was madeinto an award-winning movie. INSCRIBED BY LEE on the front free endpaper, "ToJennie/ with my best wishes/ Nelle Lee." Nelle Harper Lee grew up in Monroeville,Alabama, next-door to writer Truman Capote, who was raised by his mothersMonroeville cousins, Sook, Callie, Bud and Jennie Faulk. Presumably a presentationcopy to Jennie Faulk, perhaps through another former Monroeville neighbor, with"From -/ Ellen Hoskins/ July 2 - 1960" above Lees inscription. Lower corners gentlybumped, still a bright, fine copy in unrestored dustwrapper. The dustwrapper is priceclipped and lightly rubbed, with rubbed creasing at spine ends and corners but nochipping and just one small, inconspicuous tear. A lovely copy of this classic ofAmerican literature. $30,000 114. McCourt, Frank. ANGELAS ASHES: (New York): Scribner (1996). First edition. His first book and an instant success, which has gone into many printings. On our last trip to Ireland, we found a number of people in a Limerick bar who werent real happy with Frank. Fine in dustwrapper. $300 176. Sinclair, Upton. THE JUNGLE. New York: Doubleday, Page & Co., 1906. First Doubleday edition, with Doubleday imprint on title page, but with "1" in date on copyright with broken type, which is considered a later state. Preceded by the Jungle Publishing edition. Minor cover wear, but still a very good or better copy of this classic. $250
  • Selling Your GemsAt some point in book collecting, you willwant or need to sell a book. How canyou do this? Consider the following: Dealers Contact dealers with a list of book Auction Online
  • RememberDealers will pay 40-50% of the price thatmight be listed in reference books or onthe Internet.Auctions charge fees.The more you visit shops and explorebooksellers’ websites, the more you willbecome familiar with “common books,”which will always be less valuable.Do your research! And Finally . . .
  • Condition! Condition! Condition! Contact Information email: mjausten1@comcast.net website:http://www.generation2librarians.com/ Linkedin: http://linkd.in/KFuzlh
  • Contact Informationemail: marshall@addisonlibrary.orgwebsite: www.addisonlibrary.orglinkedin: http://linkd.in/KFuzlh