Antique Book Prices – How We Determine Antique Book Prices

Antique Book Prices

Antique Book Prices

There are many factors involved in determining antique book prices. The obvious factors are the age and condition of the book, whether it looks torn and dirty or nice and clean. But there are others to consider also.

It can be said that any book older than one hundred years is an antique, but not all antique books are valuable unfortunately. It often depends on the author, the subject matter, and the popularity at the time when the book was first published.

In fact the three most important aspects when it comes to determining the value of any antique book are the rarity, the condition, and the popularity. The first of these, the rarity, depends on how any were printed at the time and how many are still in existence. Some books were printed in mass quantities, while others were printed in fewer numbers, and possibly reprinted at intervals.

The second factor, the condition, is fairly self-explanatory. Two copies of the same antique book can have completely different values depending on their condition.

The third factor in antique book prices, the popularity, usually depends on the author and the subject matter. Generally speaking, if the book was popular at the time it was printed, then it will still be a worthwhile antique. This is only a guideline however.

All three of these go hand in hand to give a rough idea of whether an antique book has any value or not. As an example, let us look at the Bible. There are probably millions of antique Bibles in existence today. Many family homes have one, where it has been passed down from each generation to the next. Are these antique Bibles valuable? Well unfortunately the answer is probably not.

Most antique Bibles do not have any significant monetary value. However if it is very old, if it was printed in the 1600’s or earlier, then that’s a completely different matter. In such a case you should consider getting it appraised and insured. For the vast majority of Bibles printed since the 1700’s, plain, old, regular-sized Bibles, these will rarely be worth more than one hundred dollars. Obviously there are exceptions to this, and specific editions are worth much more. If your Bible is adorned with precious metals or gemstones, or perhaps it was printed in America during the 1700s, or if it is a specific edition, then it could be worth thousands of dollars. But realistically for most, the only value will be sentimental value to the owner.

Regarding antique book prices, first editions are usually the most valuable, and also the hardest to find. It is not always easy to determine if a book is an actual first edition, because often this information is not printed. To determine if a book is a genuine first edition requires careful examination of the books copyright page and title page. Examine all dates carefully, and look for any identifying numbers from the printers. Often, if the publication date is the same as the copyright date, then you have a good clue that this may be indeed a first edition. However, sometimes there is not enough information printed there, and the best advice is to consult an expert.

If a book is signed by the author, this increases the value. Book signings today are very popular mainly as a result of this. If the book has been signed by some other famous person of that time, that helps also. In fact, famous people help to increase the value of a book in other ways also. Maybe the book was previously owned by somebody famous, or maybe the book has flyleaf notes made by some famous person, all these things can greatly enhance antique book prices.

Antique book are delicate, and great care must be taken to protect them. Always clean your hands before handling them, to avoid any stains from dirty fingerprints. The choice of bookshelf is important, ensure that the bookshelves are strong enough to hold the weight without buckling too much. Usually the furniture or surroundings in the room will govern the type of shelves. Try to ensure that the shelves are not touching any external walls, just in case of dampness caused by condensation. Wooden shelves need to be properly treated so as not to excrete any acids. Metal shelves need to free from any rust imperfections. Any of these faults can harm your books, and obviously reduce the antique book prices.

The air humidity is important, do not allow your books to get damp, as mould can grow. The ideal temperature for storing books is sixty to seventy degrees Fahrenheit. If books are stored in a place that is too hot, the pages can become brittle. Light is another factor, protect your books from sunlight, and from prolonged exposure to fluorescent lights, as ultraviolet radiation tends to fade the print and cause paper decay.

For best results overall in your antiquing book quests, try to find genuine first editions, in good or mint condition. Store them properly, and always handle them with great care. Following all of these steps will lead to a more valuable collection as time passes.

P.S. Remember I offer a free antiquing email mini-course. You can read some of the benefits and features in the home-page here antique book prices. Be sure to check it out, then just sign up by typing in your name and email address and clicking the button.

 

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