How to Find Collectible Books

The title says it all.
The title says it all.

Why Search for Collectible Books?



I first became interested in the business of book collecting—as opposed to fervor or hobby—by reading two mystery novels in John Dunning’s Bookman series. These books feature Cliff Janeway, a tough, sometimes overzealous homicide detective whose true passion is buying and selling valuable first edition books.

Since Dunning himself is a long-time buyer and seller of collectible books, his Janeway mysteries are like a short course in the business. His tales are certainly enough to whet the appetite of a reader with the slightest inclination for investigating the lucrative aspects of book collecting. (Read the hub Discover John Dunning, the mystery book writer/bookscout, by jstankevickz, to learn more about Dunning and his works.)

My own interest was sharpened, especially since I already own a personal library of thousands of books that I’ve bought over the past half century. I decided to do some research in the field of the professional book dealer—the collector who buys and sells for profit.

One of the first books on the subject I bought and read was Book Finds: How to Find, Buy and Sell Used and Rare Books , the updated 3rd edition by Ian C. Ellis. In addition to the quantity of information he provides about those factors that make a book collectible and valuable (or worthless as a collectible), Ellis suggests two pocket-sized references for the fledgling collector.

A Pocket Guide to the Identification of First Editions and Points of Issue: A Compendium of Points of Issue of Books by 19th-20th Century Authors were both compiled by Bill McBride. These small guides will fit into your pocket or handbag when you’re scouting bookshops, estate sales and other places where "that book" might be found. They contain a lot of information that is too much to memorize, and can be very helpful when you’re out and about evaluating books. All three of the references I’ve mentioned so far were purchased from Amazon.com. Ellis’s book teaches the basics, and it should be the first one you acquire.

Ellis writes that anyone serious about buying and selling collectible books needs good price guides. He recommends American Book Prices Current and Bookman’s Price Index. Information about how to order them can be found on page 249 in Book Finds . The two guides will make a sizeable dent in your budget, but if you are really serious about breaking into the book dealing field, will provide answers to pricing questions that you won’t find anywhere else.

Ellis also devotes space to use of the Internet as a price guide, as well as a medium for selling your book finds, but with a number of caveats. Essentially, he warns against relying on any single guide, but suggests that you use several to increase your prospects.

Although the successful book collector will make regular rounds of book shops and other places where used books can be found, not to mention held and perused thoroughly, the Internet has changed the face of book collecting—in some ways for the better; in others, worse. Too many people who are amateurs are pricing books and selling them on eBay. There are eBay sellers who don’t even know book terminology or how to accurately describe a book.

Among the basic rules Ellis teaches the novice book collector, The Rule of Three is mentioned several times throughout his book. It is: a book has to be worth three times what you pay for it in order to make a profit when you sell it. He explains how this works whether you’re using the book to get trade credits in a used bookshop or whether you’re selling for cash. This rule is especially important when you start dealing in pricy books and is one you should definitely memorize. You will forget it at your own risk...and possible failure.

The major factors to consider when buying (or selling) a book are: edition, condition and scarcity. Learning how to identify a first edition is a complex and lengthy subject, so I’ll save it for a future hub in this series, How to Identify a First Edition.

Points are small differences in a book between the first and subsequent editions, including errors that are later corrected, differences in the color tones of the dust jacket on a first edition compared to that of a later one, etc. There are too many of these differences—points—for a person to learn them all, unless, of course, that person has the much-envied, but rare, true photographic memory. This is where reference books can savethe day, and Bill McBride’s pocket-size reference can follow you to the bookshop to help you as you seek to evaluate a particular book.

Condition

Now, let’s imagine a scenario: You already have a lot of true first edition books in your personal collection. However, let’s say those books have been moved numerous times over the years from one residence to another, crammed into packing boxes. They’ve been stacked flat, lying on their spines or packed too tightly into shelving or storage boxes. Some may have page wrinkling, the telltale result of dampness. The bindings may be loose, the dust jackets chipped or torn, pages with dog-ears or—horrors!—writing (not the author’s signature) in ink inside the book.

These books are worthless as collectibles unless you have a book so rare and in demand that it’s collectible even with many flaws. (Don’t hold your breath.) They’re still good reading copies, but most are not worth whatever price you paid for them, even if bought when hard covers sold for $12 rather than $32 or more at retail prices.

Book dealers know the proper way to describe the condition of a book, looking first at the dust jacket, which takes priority in when determining a book’s price, about 80%. The book can be in great condition, but if its jacket has flaws, the whole suffers in value.

The grades for condition are (from best to worst): Very Fine, Fine, Near Fine, Very Good, Good, Poor.

· Very Fine – perfect, mint condition, both dust jacket and book. No sign the book has ever been read, with tight pages and sharp corners. No defects at all.

· Fine – Slightly less than perfect. May have some sign that book has been read, such as less tightness of pages, but no obvious defects. Some dealers consider Fine the highest grade.

· Near Fine (also designated as “Else Fine”) – Almost perfect with one very small specific flaw, such as a tiny mark in the dust jacket or a page inside the book, or a tiny bump at a board’s corner.

· Very Good – Book is intact with its dust jacket on, but it may have easier-to-notice flaws. A dog-ear, or bent corner, small mark on pages, rubbing or fading from sun on the dust jacket. Clipping the price from the inside flap with scissors will automatically downgrade a book which is otherwise in near-perfect condition. Books that have been placed on sale and have a tell-tale remainder mark are, even if in otherwise excellent condition, graded Very Good. A lot of the books you’ll have in your personal library will fall into this category unless you’ve known from the beginning how to properly care for them. (How to Care for Books is the topic of a future hub in this series.)

· Good – This grade is only considered by serious collectors for books that are in demand but rarely found in better condition than Good. The dust jacket will have chips, tears…perhaps even stains. The book will have problems ranging from stains, tears and loose binding to extensive writing on the pages. A book graded Good may be just fine for a reading copy, but, unless it fits in the “rare” category, its selling price will be low.

· Poor – The Poor grade book is in worse condition than the Good, and will only be bought by someone who just wants a reading copy without regard to keeping it. It may have library markings, which render it worthless from a collectible point of view. Great for taking to the beach—if it gets wet, no great loss. Next stop: the recycling bin.

Scarcity

Identifying true first editions and being able to grade books for condition are only the first steps in gauging a book's value. Scarcity of an in-demand book creates a difference in pricing and may change the rules relative to condition if few or no other copies are available.

This is where you will need an authoritative price guide for rare collectible books. One of the most popular is Collected Books: The Guide to Values , by Allen and Patricia Ahearn.

Rarity is only one of the factors that will determine how much a book is worth, whether you're buying or selling. In addition to the price guide named above, there are several websites where booksellers who stock collectible books list them for sale. One example is ABEBooks.com. It’s a good place to learn about proper book descriptions and check on prices.

Searching an author’s name and “bibliography” online provides a list of what that author published--especially crucial for deceased authors. The Internet also lets you access authors’, publishers’ and dealers’ websites, repositories of information about which books are collectibles and how to get them for the best price.

Your goal, if you're a collector of books for profit, (and mine) should be to find a true first edition--in mint condition--of a rare book in high demand at the very lowest price possible. If extremely fortunate, we might run across a high-end book priced for practically nothing at a garage sale or an estate sale, where the owners don't know what they have, or even on the dollar shelf of a bookstore that specializes in another type of book. These are just a few of the places where it's possible to strike the Mother Lode of book collecting, with a large pinch of luck. It’s happened to others, and it could happen to you. It could happen to me. That’s one of the reasons why I look for collectible books. The other is the thrill of the hunt. When you know that special book might be just around the corner...in the next place you look...it is almost as exciting as finding it...almost!

Thanks for reading....JayeWisdom




Learn From the Expert

Book Finds: How to Find, Buy, and Sell Used and Rare Books
Book Finds: How to Find, Buy, and Sell Used and Rare Books

This book is a goldmine of information about how to find rare and valuable books.

 

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NOTE: I am the author of this article, and it is owned by me in entirety.It is not available for use by reproducing in any form without my express written permission. If you see all or any part of this article (as written) on another site, please notify me where it can be found. Theft of a writer's work is plagiarism, and stealing another's words is no less wrong than any other theft.


© 2010 Jaye Denman

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Comments 51 comments

JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 16 months ago from Deep South, USA Author

Glenis - First, I'm very sorry for your loss. Going through the material things left behind when a loved one passes on can sometimes be cathartic. At the very least, looking at items that were saved often sparks fond memories. I can't think of anything better to browse than old books.

Your approach to online pricing seems practical to me. Best wishes selling all of the books in your father's collection.

Regards,

Jaye


Glenis Rix profile image

Glenis Rix 16 months ago from UK

I have just started to sell a collection of children's books that was found in my father's attic after he recently passed away. So reading about your experiences has been helpful to me. Thank you. I check prices online before putting mine on either ebay (preferred) or Amazon but some sellers seem to vastly inflate prices, so my guiding principle at the end is what I myself would be prepared to pay.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 2 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Rdelan - Your comment just made my day! It's thrilling to learn that my article influenced you to begin collecting and selling books.

My own experiences with selling books on Amazon haven't been outstanding, but I think the 'fulfilled by Amazon' approach may work better. At any rate, I'm researching all of the 'how to' with an eye toward trying it. I've never tried ABE, but do sell books on eBay. I also keep collecting, which means I have to either sell or donate books I don't want to keep in order to make room for those I love having on my shelves. It's like a tightrope walk sometimes!

Thanks so much for stopping by with your lovely comments. Oh...I do look forward to reading the hub you write about your experiences in the world of book buying and selling.

Jaye


rdalan profile image

rdalan 2 years ago from Arkansas

Hi Jaye,

I just wanted to tell you that your post inspired me to start selling online a few years ago. I sell on ABE and Amazon. Occasionally I will sell on EBAY since my wife has a store and I can piggyback my listings on her account. But I don't like having to update my listings every 30 days. I have a full-time job and a part-time job, so it's not like I have a world of time to sit around updating my listings. I don't really sell enough on ABE to justify the $25/month charge, but I let them keep me around because I just love finding books, looking them up and presenting them to the public. I do find listing them to be very time consuming though. I tend to gravitate toward collectible books, though I get the sense that some real money is to be made by selling whatever is most popular--especially on Amazon. Speaking of Amazon, I find the folks at Amazon are not very seller friendly compared to ABE or even EBAY. Some people seem to really like selling there, but my experiences with Amazon have not been good. Anyway, I am glad I read your thread years ago. It really got me interested in this world of book selling. Lately, I have been starting to collect books too. I guess that's another whole post!


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 2 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

I'm glad you liked this hub, Peg. Thanks for your feedback. Aren't 'real' books wonderful? Jaye


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

Useful information for those of us who seek out hard cover books. I love holding them in my hand, although I have a Kindle, I still prefer the real book when reading. Your rundown on the categories will be helpful to those who collect, read or resell books. Thanks for the insight into where to find these valuable collectibles and how to evaluate them.


Jaye 2 years ago

Au fait - Thanks so much! I just got an email from Team Hubpages with an offer to send me a generic password. Of course, to change it to my own new password will put me through the same drill that got me locked out! LOL. I warned the HP team member he or she might be hearing from me again. I do appreciate your help. Hope you're having a good Memorial Day. JAYE


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas

Jaye, I sent a copy of your comment to TEAM about 45 minutes ago so that they could see the problem you are having. I hope they are working today so that they can help you get this issue resolved and back into your account.


Jaye 2 years ago

This may look strange, but I am replying to Au fait's comment as a 'guest' because I can't access my HP account! I changed browsers (from Chrome to Firefox) , so decided to change all my passwords. When I changed my HP password, I received a verification that it was, indeed, changed, but the site still won't let me sign in. You have to jump through hoops to send an email to the HP team (who are probably enjoying the holiday), so I'm locked out until one of them takes pity on me!

Anyway, I got to this hub by typing my user name into the search box. Your experiences selling books somewhat mirror my recent ones, Au fait, both on eBay and Amazon. Too many high-volume sellers charge only a penny, and most of them have 'stores' on the sites so they can afford to do that. I can't. I'm still on the lookout for that very special first edition, though. It could happen!

I hope I'm back on HP soon.....Jaye


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas

I used to have a pretty good business going on eBay with books, CDs, Videos, and records, but then people started starting their auctions off at a penny, and more often than you might think, things sold for that penny plus shipping. Since it cost more to list something than a penny I couldn't see taking the chance that it might sell for that price.

I did get a whole box of books (probably 60 some in the box) at a yard sale once and just one of them sold for $32 on eBay. Two more sold for $7 and $9. There were others that sold for near $10 but I can't remember how many. It was a good deal for me.

I always described every mark or flaw a book had so that there could be no complaint about its condition. I've sold autographed books picked up at yard sales, and just old books, and some old magazines falling apart, which I made clear in my description. A magazine from the 20s that was falling apart sold for $28.

Interesting article and one people who want to get into the vintage books business should read. Voting this up, UI, and sharing.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 2 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thanks for your comment, Neville. While there are still a number of second-hand book shops in my area, I've noticed that their inventories of hardcover books decrease while paperbacks increase. It's a sign of the times, I suppose, that people want lightweight, easily carried books that they don't consider a great loss if damaged. (I hate the term "throw-away book", but it's widely in use. I've even had people tell me that don't like to hold the weight of a hardcover book because they read in bed, so they only want softcovers.)

Estate sales, particularly in affluent areas of this city, are still good sources of quality hardcover books, including early printings and first editions. I watch for notices of estate sales and try not to miss any of them. One recent estate sale find was a signed first edition written by the surgeon who performed the world's first animal-to-human heart transplant. (Although the patient didn't survive long, this surgery paved the way to Dr. Barnard's first successful human heart transplant.) I enjoyed reading it (very, very carefully), then sold it. The joy, as I'm sure you'll agree, is in the searching and discovery, but it's also nice to make a profit.

Thanks for reading....Regards, Jaye


Colin Neville 2 years ago

I regularly search second-hand bookshops for first edition books of authors I admire, but second-hand bookshops are a disappearing breed here in Britain now unfortunately, so the Internet is becoming a first port of call. But it's not the same as physically searching for books through dusty shelves!


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 2 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Hi, Rachael - It's always nice to meet another book enthusiast! I, too, enjoy re-reading favorite books in my personal library. However, I'm always on the lookout for that "great find", too.

Thanks for reading and your comment.

Regards, Jaye


awordlover profile image

awordlover 2 years ago

I find treasures in yard sales, estate sales and flea markets. I don't go to book dealers or hard core collectors because I collect for fun. I like just "having them" and some which are already in undesirable condition I keep just to re-read them.

Great hub, voted up and shared

Rachael


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 4 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Audrey....You're a book-lover after my own heart! I've loved books for 65 years, so it's safe to say that I'll love them for the rest of my life. I rarely miss a day reading. On the infrequent occasion that I do--to paraphrase that orange juice commercial--it's like a day without sunshine!

Jaye


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 4 years ago from California

I love books. I love reading them and looking for them and touching them--your hub is so very informative! Thank you!


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 4 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thanks for stopping by to read and comment, robie2. Glad you enjoyed it.

I can't help but believe some of the younger generation will save paper-and-board editions of books when the all-electronic age of publishing takes over. There will still be collectors of first edition paper-and-board books, and those editions should become more valuable as time passes, particularly if they are the last of their kind.

Of course, old-timers such as I, who grew up with "real" books and became addicted to the way they feel, smell and look, as well as to their contents, may dig in our heels for the rest of our lives, re-reading our favorite paper books. (I do that anyway, although I read as many as seven or eight new ones nearly every week as well.)

My brother recently told me he now uses the Kindle reader almost exclusively, which amazed me, and many of my contemporaries find the e-book "convenient." I, on the other hand, will continue to be a holdout.

A Kindle "first edition?" It boggles the mind!

Jaye


robie2 profile image

robie2 4 years ago from Central New Jersey

absolutely fascinating and full of wonderful personal observations. I wonder what future generations will do when all books become electronic-- will there be first Kindle editions? IN the meantime thanks for a lovely read and a chance to get to know you a bit. Voting up and interessting


mrslagibb profile image

mrslagibb 4 years ago

Thank you I wont.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 4 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Don't stop looking for that rare book. You might be digging through a pile of books at a yard sale and come across a rare first edition. It's fun looking, anyway. Good luck!


mrslagibb profile image

mrslagibb 4 years ago

Thank you for your answer. But I will will follow your hub to keep an eye, With all the books I have had over the years I am quite sure I must have had that rare book somewhere, but now is lost.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 4 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thanks, mrslagibb, for reading my hub and for your comments. I, too, love all sorts of books, not just for collecting, but for reading (and re-reading my favorites).

If you should be lucky enough to own the UK-published paperback Harry Potter books, especially first paperback editions of the earlier books, they may be worth something to collectors if you hold onto them for a while. It's doubtful the U.S. mass-produced paperbacks will become collectible because so many were (and continue to be) printed there is no scarcity. It is rarity that creates demand and high prices.

Copies of the first printings of the first four hardcover books in excellent condition are worth so much money today, I'm sure I'd literally faint if I came across one--which isn't likely. The initial printings of those first four were limited. They were printed before the entire world got caught in the grip of Harry Potter fever. I think (but don't hold me to this) there is one exception: The Sorcerer's Stone, which had an initial smaller printing. Only that first printing is valuable.

After that, they were printed in huge quantities, especially the paperbacks, which were massed produced. Even if the paperback copies you own never become collectors' items, however, you can have the privilege of re-reading them, which has its own worth. JAYE


mrslagibb profile image

mrslagibb 4 years ago

A very useful, informative hub. I love books, new ones, old ones, any type of ones. Perhaps you could answer a question for me. I am a huge Harry Potter Fan, they are paper back books got all the series. Do you think perhaps one day these could be collectable.

Thank you for sharing your knowledge.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 4 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Hi, htodd...I'm so glad you found this article helpful.

I'm still "on the hunt" for collectible books and probably will be until I get too old to do it any more. There is so much joy in searching for a great book find.


htodd profile image

htodd 4 years ago from United States

Hi Jayewisdom

Thanks for the great post on "how to find collectible books "


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 5 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thank you, epi, for posting a link to my hub. I can use the traffic! I've been trying to add a new hub for days, but experiencing "technical difficulties" on the website. The HP technical people are trying to help me overcome the problem.

I will definitely check out MCKBIRDBKS and the 'cafe' series. If you're recommending him, I'm sure I'll enjoy his writing.

Take care....Jaye


epigramman profile image

epigramman 5 years ago

...I will post this most interesting and well researched hub to my FACEBOOK page with a direct link back here so more people will hopefully discover your wonderful assortment of hub subjects for all to enjoy - and please do me a favor if you're not familiar with MCKBIRDBKS - he just left a comment on my new one - please go and check him out - particularly his 'cafe' series and let me know about this hub - he's gonna love it - believe me and have a wonderful restful night my friend - and I'll see you soon ....

lake erie time 11:19pm ontario canada with some country 'n western music (the older stuff)


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 5 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Another place you can look for books (and sometimes discover a real winner) is at your local public library on the "Friends of the Library" sale table. Hardcovers usually go for $1, and I've bought (and sold) several that were in very good condition because I check the table at least once a week before newly-donated books get "pawed over." I just sold a "like new" book on Amazon Marketplace for $12, and only paid $1 for it at the library. This is the meat-and-potatoes of book scouting, though, not the truly collectible gems.

That said, you can never tell when you might find that scarce book in high demand someplace such as a library sale table or in an estate sale. Good luck, and don't get discouraged if you don't find a winner the first time or every time you look. Actually, looking is half the fun!


rdalan profile image

rdalan 5 years ago from Arkansas

Thanks Jaye. I did take a look at Abebooks. I went to a couple estate sales this morning, but unfortunately it was "slim pickings." I ended up with a first edition of The Nanny Diaries, only to find that it was mass produced. Fortunately I only paid a dollar. Hopefully I will have better luck next week.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 5 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

It isn't necessarily age that makes a book collectible as a first edition. The two major factors that make a true first edition collectible are (1) condition and (2) scarcity. Both the book and the dust jacket should be in very fine or fine condition. Actually, look at the dust jacket first, because if it has any flaws at all, the worth of the book generally goes downhill. It doesn't hurt if it's signed by the author, either. There should not be any other marks on it, though.

If the first printing of a book was relatively small (for example, the first book by a new author may be printed in a small quantity), a book from that printing may be collectible if either that book in particular goes on to become a big hit or the author's subsequent work is in demand, or both. (Think J.B. Rowling.) Even if the author is super-popular, printings of his or her books may be so large that there is a greater supply than demand. That's why scarcity is an important variable in book scouting.

You may want to check out collectible book prices for modern first editions online before you hit the estate sales so you will be familiar with which books are in demand and what prices are being paid for them. Abebooks.com is a good place to start.

Good hunting!

Jaye


rdalan profile image

rdalan 5 years ago from Arkansas

Very interesting. I love looking at old books at estate sales, and where I live (Bella Vista, Arkansas) there are quite a few estate sales. This used to be a retirement community, but it is changing somewhat. I'm curious to know if a book needs to be a certain age before it is collectible as a first edition? Can a book published ten years ago be collectible?


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 5 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

I agree with you that I'd prefer someone else pay full price and let me pay less for the "recycled" item.

Jaye


baygirl33 profile image

baygirl33 5 years ago from Hamilton On.

Yes ,I love second hand stores a lot. There's a great one in Toronto.

I like second hand clothes stores too,as long as the clothes look good on me ,I don't care who paid full price.LOL.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 5 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

I read LEGACY many years ago--that's the one Michener wrote that includes a lot of American history as well as history of the Constitution, isn't it? That is not one of the Michener books I owned at one time, so I must have read one from the public library. (Yes, in spite of all the books I own, I still use my library card to fill in the gaps!)

Don't you love second-hand book stores? I believe in recycled books, whether the buyer is a book scout or just looking for a good (and inexpensive) read.

Jaye


baygirl33 5 years ago

me again! wondered if you are familiar with a Mitchener book called Legacy? Picked it up in a second hand store at Meideira Beach in Florida.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 5 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thanks for stopping by and reading my hub. I appreciate your comment. Jaye


htodd profile image

htodd 5 years ago from United States

Great post..Thanks


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 5 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting, baygirl! Your mention of James Michener reminds me that years ago I had some of his best works, but gave them away! :-) Not to worry....I still have LOTS of books!

JAYE


baygirl33 profile image

baygirl33 5 years ago from Hamilton On.

Hi Jaye! Loved your answer to what to do in summer.Also

your hub about collectible books. I collect books because I like the authors.I like James Mitchener a lot.I have one that looks like it may someday become collectible;it called Legacy.I think it was copyright 1987.Myfavorit Mitchener book is The Source .I bought it in hard cover after I had read it twice,and I will read it again.

I like Robinson Davies also,and Dickens and Joseph Conrad.

Good hub.Voted you up and useful


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 5 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thanks, Suzanne...You should become friends with someone who works or volunteers there and ask to be called whenever some new donations of books arrive BEFORE any are thrown out. That way, you'll get a shot at some "old books" that might be collectible. The thought of someone throwing away books makes me break out in a cold sweat! Ha! Jaye


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 5 years ago from Texas

Good info! I used to be able to find all kinds of collectible books at my local GoodWill for fifty cents or so. I found several nice books over a hundred years old tossed into a cart! However, now they throw out everything that's not new. It's a crying shame!


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 5 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

So many bookstores (and other places to find books)...so little time! It's a wonderful hobby or business, especially since looking through books is like an obsession with me. I'll bet that 1800 medical book you found is very interesting....Thanks for stopping by and commenting. JAYE


Five One Cows profile image

Five One Cows 5 years ago from Moo Town

This is a great hub, I once stumbled upon a medical book from the early 1800's.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 6 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Wish I could help you, Ryan, but my expertise (such as it is) does not extend to collectible money. Actually, I've never been able to hold on to money long enough to peruse any of the marks on it--except the denominations of bills, that is. Thanks for visiting...JAYE


ryan@Texas  6 years ago

i have a 1928 red seel $2dollar bill and i just wanna know where to find the mint mark because i wanna know how much it is worth


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 6 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Hi, A.H. Don't get your hopes up about big money if the Steinback is a collection of five of his novels in one volume. It's the first edition of each one of those you want to find. And I wish you luck. You may find you have a little time to spend in bookshops again if you get bitten by the collecting bug. Have a wonderful holiday! JAYE


attemptedhumour profile image

attemptedhumour 6 years ago from Australia

Hi jaye, i've never thought to look for rare books and i've spent half my life perusing second hand book shops. Now that i'm addicted to hubpages i may never go into another book shop again, so you've got them to yourself. I do have a hardback of five John Steinbeck novels that i'll be giving the once over when i return from our holiday. The right forum for this hub. Cheers


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 6 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thanks for your comments, Patricia. Glad the hub is useful.

By the way, many of my favorite mystery writers are from the U.K. Fortunately, most of them also publish in the U.S., and I can still get their books even though the U.S. dollar is worth so much less than the British pound. Jaye


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 6 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Hi, J. (Jack?)....Thanks for your comments, and LOTS of gratitude for your suggestion to divvy up my lengthy material into several hubs, rather than one too-long article. As you can see, I'm taking your advice.

Jaye


jstankevicz profile image

jstankevicz 6 years ago from Cave Creek

One of the joys of book collecting is finding a gem among the stacks. Spotting a special first edition that is sitting there quietly, unnoticed and unappreciated on the used bookstore shelf is a great experience. A book scout turns that discovery into cash. A collector moves the gem from an obscure place to a prime location on a home shelf. Great article, with lots of information about what can make a book a collector’s item.


2patricias profile image

2patricias 6 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

This hub is useful to me (one of the 2 Patricias) because I frequently sell items as I often asked to help elderly friends and relatives clear their houses. (I put this down to my age and not having a job - people think I have nothing to do all day.) I always try to get the best price for anything that I sell, and the correct description for the condition of used books will be very helpful.

Here in England, I usually look at book prices on AbeBooks and Amazon to try to get an idea of the likely price for a book.

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