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How to Collect Antique Books

May 1, 2008
As in many facets of antique collecting, antique books is an immense field. For the collector, it may be as general or narrow as you'd like. You may choose to collect a certain historical period or a particular genre. Or you could collect books by a favored author or books from a specific year. You might even choose to collect books about a specific geographical area.

When you've decided the types of books you're interested in collecting, you should become familiar with the various factors that might affect the a given book's price. First you'll want to consider demand. As with other collectible items and antiques, the actual value is what another collector is willing to pay for it. If a book is in high demand, other collectors will be more likely to pay a higher price to acquire it. The more scarce a certain book is, the greater the demand for that book is apt to be. It's also critical to remember that demand can vary. The value of a book may fall and rise over time as demand varies for the book.

One element that greatly affects demand is the availability of existing copies of a book. If there are limited numbers of books on the market, the demand, and the price of the book will increase. If more copies of the book go up for sale, the price for a book is likely to fall. For this reason, limited edition and first edition copies of books are typically more valuable than later printings of the book.

Another thing that can affect the price of a book is the overall condition of the book. Books can be easily damaged if they are not handled with care. This becomes increasingly true as a book ages. Over time pages become more brittle and the threads in the binding become weaker. The older a book is, the more care must be taken when handling it.

You'll want to go through a reputable dealer when investing in antique books. Someone who is experienced and knows the book business is a great deal more likely to be able to verify the authenticity of a book. Their offerings will often be less likely to include repaired or damaged books.

When you have determined the book that you'd be interested in purchasing you should comparison shop to make sure you are getting a fair price. The cost of a book is apt to be different depending on the dealer, and that price difference could be significant, so a bit of homework could save you a substantial sum of money.

When you have decided on your antique book, make certain you make the effort to carefully analyze the condition. Look for broken or damaged bindings and stains on the cover, as well as torn or missing pages. You must also check the title page to make certain that the book was labeled properly, and that a book that is being marketed as a first edition is in actuality, a first edition.

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About the Author
Victor Thomas is an expert on antique books . If you are interested in antiques please see http://antiques7.com/.
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