Book collecting

From ArticleWorld

Book collecting is the serious collecting of book for personal reasons or interested in the books themselves. Many collectors prefer first editions of books, or prefer a specific author or subject.



Book collecting is quite easy, because of huge number of books in the world. Book collectors may purchase books for hundreds of dollars, or century-old books often cost fewer than ten dollars. Advanced collectors may search for the great rare books. More practical purchases may be to collect first editions of a favorite author.

Purpose and value

Book collecting is buying books that are prospectively rare, or of special interest. Rarity is less important than interest. The number of copies originally printed has a part in determining the book' s collectiblilty. Critics and antiquaries gradually pick out books which they find to be still of interest. In any case it is by the zeal of collectors that books which otherwise would have perished from neglect are discovered, cared for and preserved, and those who achieve these results certainly deserve well of the community.

Elements of book collecting

A book must be beautiful, and appeal, to the mind or imagination to be collectible. A book may be beautiful because of its binding, illustrations or the simple quality of its print and paper. A fine binding has always been important in France and may cause the high prices Illustrated books of certain periods are also in demand, and have increased inordinately in price. The primitive woodcuts in incunabula are now almost too highly appreciated.

All books of historical value, which have not been reprinted, are collectible value, as well as original editions that are more authentic than modern reprints. Books which appeal to a collectors' imagination are those which can be associated with some famous person or event.

Multiple editions of the same work can sometimes also be collectible. Studying the final text by comparing intermediate editions may be informational. Students of the Bible, liturgical work, and editions published during the author's lifetime may be may be collected and studied using multiple editions of the same work.

The financial side of book collecting needs to be considered. First, price is determined by the amount interest the book itself. Second, the rarity of the book in the marketplace, and the number of people willing to pay a competitive price for the book determine the worth of the book. Third, the condition of the copy offered determines the amount someone might be willing to pay for the book,

Book collecting

Condition of books is important. The dust jackets of books are delicate, and should be in good condition. Excessive acid from the papermaking process can cause pages to decay. Fire, water, excesses of moisture in the air, dry air, insects and sunlight can damage books.