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Valuable Modern Books

Updated on August 31, 2016

Modern Books To Look Out For

It can be great fun to hunt for valuable books at a yard sale, car boot sale or in charity stores. It can be surprising what prices some modern books can reach.

When hunting for books it is obviously best to do some research beforehand and give yourself an idea of what books to look for. It is very unlikely that the amateur collector will find a rare book worth in the region of tens of thousands however with just a little bit of knowledge and a willingness to hunt, some great finds can be made.

Listed below are some modern books that are not beyond the realms of possibility to pick up.

1st edition / 1st print hard back covers are what you are looking for but in some cases 2nd print or even later prints can be worth picking up.

Harry Potter and The Philosophers Stone

Printed in the USA as Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone. This is the first novel in the Harry Potter series written by J.K.Rowling and published in 1997. The original printings for the British market are the most valuable as there was only 300 printed, one of these was recently sold for £23,000,00, it is unlikely that you will find one of these first edition first prints but all the early editions even up to the ninth or tenth print are going for decent money.

How the original British printing looks.
How the original British printing looks.

James Bond Books

All of the original printings of Ian Fleming's James Bond spy novels have great value. The books to look out for are the ones printed by publisher Jonathon Cape. The Bond novels had differing print runs with just 4,728 first edition copies of Fleming's first Bond novel Casino Royale being printed to 82,000 of the last, The Man With The Golden Gun. Casino Royale is the most valuable Bond novel however all the Fleming collection can reach high prices on the auction sites if you are lucky enough to find one.

Casino Royale original cover.
Casino Royale original cover.

The Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy

There are many editions of this Douglas Adams book that fetch good money, the UK first edition published by Pan Books is the most valuable, the American first edition was published by Harmony Books in a hard cover with a dust jacket, this can reach prices of $300 - $ 650 dependent on condition.

Douglas Adams much loved space comedy.
Douglas Adams much loved space comedy.

The Cat in The Hat

This is a book that i believe may well be easier to find in the USA than it is in the UK. This was first printed in 1957 and the 2nd and 3rd printings are quite valuable as well. Some other books by Dr Suess are worth looking for for example Green Eggs And Ham can sell for around $300.

NB: There were copies of Green Eggs And Ham printed that had a 50 word vocabulary sticker on the front cover, not price clipped copies of this version can sell for a few thousand dollars or more.

Beloved American childrens story.
Beloved American childrens story.

1973 Rupert Bear Annual

Go to any car boot sale in the UK in the summer months and the chances are you can pick up a copy of this book, however it is highly likely the copy you buy will have Rupert on the cover with a white face, there were half a million printed like this, in the unlikely event the book features Rupert with a brown face then contact your local auctioneer! There were only 12 copies printed of this book featuring Rupert with a brown face. Traditionally this beloved Xmas favorite had Rupert on the front with a brown face but inside the book his face would be white, the editor of the book having been questioned by young readers confused as to why this was decided to make Ruperts face the same color on the cover and on the inside. Albert Bestall the long time respected artist of the book was so incensed by this that he resigned and was never to draw Rupert again.

The super rare brown faced 1973 Rupert Annual
The super rare brown faced 1973 Rupert Annual

Terry Pratchet Books

There are many books by this author to hunt for, remember we are looking for 1st edition hardback copies in these books, these are not at all impossible to find, i know because i have found two in the past myself! Look for The Colour of Magic, The Carpet People, Eric,Strata, Mort, in fact if you see a first edition hardback Pratchet, buy it!

The Colour of Magic
The Colour of Magic

The Hunt for Red October

This modern Tom Clancy classic now commands prices between $300 and $600, the first edition/ first print from 1984, there should be no price on the cover and 6 review blurbs on the rear cover.

1st Editions

If you get the opportunity to purchase a first edition by any well known author at a yard or boot sale then pick them up. J.D.Salinger, Stephen King, George. R. Martin and many many others are all well worth looking for and not impossible to find. Good hunting.


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    • nuffsaidstan profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      I have read a lot of Stephen King but have never actually read The Shining but like you Kathryn have seen the film.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image


      6 years ago from Windsor, Connecticut

      The first book caught my eye, although I admit I have never actually read it- I have only seen the movies. I love the Jack Nicholson one. And Stephen King is finally, after all of these years, writing the sequel to "The Shining". It might even be out.

    • nuffsaidstan profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Just come back from a street i know thats full of used book stores, never found anything worth buying today though unfortunately.

    • Geekdom profile image


      6 years ago

      This is one of the reasons I love going to used book stores. You never know what treasures you will find. Well, that and getting books cheap. :)


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