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Who Might Be Interested in Those Antique Books?

Jun 7, 2008
If you're new to the antique business, you might wonder why the world anyone would be interested in these old antique books. If you glance through them, you'll see that they're totally inaccurate. Science and medical books are almost comical. Mere speculation on how the body works, or where the earth fit in the solar system and universe. The workings of the illness, and disease were totally misunderstood. The importance of hygiene was totally missing. Old history books sound more like fairytales. In fact, sometimes it's hard to tell the difference between real history and true fairy tales. But for true collectors, ancient books are truly valuable treasures. Things like old family Bibles, the writings of famous people, or if it's old enough the writings of anyone at all can fetch huge sums of auction.

Antique books are coveted by book collectors for many reasons. They give us a view into human learning and reasoning in the past. They make it easier for us to see how things that seem silly today gained their roots in the past. I remembered the report that I did in college that really blew me away. The report was about how early Americans justified slavery. It was astonishing to see how these writers justified slavery based on assumptions that slaves were not really human. In fact, they were considered animals, just like farm animals. There was a lot of detail, I don't remember now 40 years later, but to this day the report makes an impression on me because of the antique text I read for my research. The slave owners thought the bodies and brains of their slaves were so different from their own that it's pretty obvious they didn't have a clue about either. This really helps us to see how much we progressed in a hundred years. Today we have an African-American, a descendant from those very slaves, as the Democratic candidate for president of the United States. This is huge progress and I'm happy to be around to see it. Without the antique books I read in college, I would not understand the amount of progress we've all made.

But for others, it may be the timelessness of antique books that appeal to them. When you read the writings of ancient poets and philosophers you realize that people really haven't changed much down through history.

And of course antique books can really tell a story about history that probably not many other items can. Older law books show how government and politics have shaped the history of some countries. Storybooks tell of what was important to people and how they would talk between themselves.

On top of all of this antique books are connected to real people who lived hundreds of years ago. Reading one can be like getting into a time machine and going back into the past. Knowing that a book is hundreds of years old, allows us to wonder about the person who wrote it, the people who've owned it, the meaning they got from it. Who touched it, who read it, what did it mean to them? Knowing the books people read is probably the best connection you'll ever have with them.

So who might be interested in antique books? Usually those with a love of history and reading itself appreciate these items more than anyone. Many auctions have a separate set of bidding just for books, as there is a particular crowd of collectors that will be especially interested. Some law libraries may also want older editions for their shelves even if they are no longer relevant. There are also many private collectors that specialize in bibles and other holy books and that are always on the lookout for something different and new to them. While some who are interested in the business shy away from antique books because they feel it's not quite as "exciting" as the world of antique furniture or jewelry or as fun as antique toys and collectibles, they have quite a bit of value to those who are interested.
About the Author
Trading Antiques can make an interesting hobby and a great business. Hordes of excited people are discovering the joys of the antique business ever year. Get started with Rob Gormly's exciting report " Ka~CHING How to Buy and Sell Trading Antiques ... Just Like They Do On TV!" or learn more about the antique business on our blog.
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