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What Makes Antique Books Valuable?

Jul 8, 2008
Many people are surprised to know that collecting antique books can be an enjoyable and profitable past time. While you many think that the books are out dated or obsolete, many people are prepared to pay thousands of dollars for an antique book because of historical, sentimental and scarcity reasons.

Many people have old and antique books at their house and have no idea how much they are worth. Below you will find some helpful tips in trying to appraise how much an antique book is valued in the market place.

As with other types of antiques, there are no hard and fast rules about how much an antique book is worth. However, there are some guidelines that will help you in determining how much you may be able to get for it. The number one factor is rarity. It is simply about supply and demand - the more rare the book is the more it will worth to someone if there is a demand for it.

The most rare versions of books are the first editions and thus they are most often the most expensive ones to purchase.

Other rare versions are those that have typographical errors. More often than not the publisher will withdraw a book with an error and therefore they are in limited supply in the general antique market place. Other rare editions are those with autographs from famous or historical persons.

A second factor that determines the value of a book is its condition. Put simply, the more the book is in its original condition the higher its perceived value. Any stains or written remarks cause a drop in its value. Of course, if the written remarks are by famous people then the value of the book can actually increase and the more rare the books is the less affect condition has on its market cost.

Oftentimes, evaluating the value of an antique book can be very bewildering, so whether you're going to buy an antique book or sell one, it is recommended to consult an expert first to examine the antique book's real worth. But make sure that you do your own research, because trusting solely another's word can be deceiving.

As condition is a very significant factor in pricing antique books, learning how to properly store them is a must. Because books are made up of papers, they are fragile and needs extra care. Avoid storing them in an environment with extreme conditions. Do not leave them out on a direct sunlight, or in a very humid place, as extreme heat or humidity can cause the papers to undergo chemical reactions, and in turn become damaged.

Also, avoid storing books in places that release acidic vapors, such as unsealed woods. and placing them in your basement, under plumbing and water pipe. Flat, smooth shelves will do. But if you have enough budget, try storing them in high quality archival boxes. With proper care, you sure will find wealth in what you thought is already rubbish.
About the Author
Antique Wall Clocks can be purchased in Richard Neesal's antique web shop where hundreds of antique clocks are avialable for sale, including Seth Thomas, Gilbert, Sessions, Welch, Waterbury and Swiss.
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