Are you just getting started on your book collection or are you an avid collector that wants to make sure all the Ts are crossed? Having a collection of books on the topic of collecting books will add more than a couple layers of depth to your collection and to your peace of mind. I’ve gathered a some thoughts & links on some great resources for you to look into as well as a couple of my own. Happy trails on your treasure hunts.
A couple of my own recommendations:
- I collect golf books and often refer to The Golfer’s Library by Wexler
- To help my Modern Library collection along I use The Modern Library Price Guide
Here’s a well thought out list of great resources, including the bible of book collecting:
Collected Books: The Guide to Values by Allen and Patricia Ahearn
Written by ABAA members Allen and Patricia Ahearn of Quill and Brush, Collected Books: The Guide to Values contains information on some of the most widely collected books, provides notes on discerning one edition from another, and guidelines on typical prices for collectible copies. Noted book collector and rare book expert Nicholas Basbanes (about whom more below) declared “If any single item can be considered essential equipment for today’s book collector, it is Collected Books …this richly informative reference volume offers authoritative guidance for every manner of bibliophile, from beginning bookhunters to hard-core veterans…”
A Pocket Guide to the Identification of First Editions by Bill McBride
The great virtue of this book is its small size. You really can carry it around in a pocket and pull it out to confirm if the book you’ve stumbled across is a modern first edition or not. Great for exploring used book stores on vacation, yard sales, and other unexpected opportunities to acquire old books.
(Do you need more than one identification guide to modern first editions? Possibly not, but I’ve never met a book collector yet who said “one book is enough.”)
And now for a massive list by Biblio – with all the books mentioned linked.
- What is a professional bookseller, and how do I become one?
- The Importance of Dust Jackets
- A Brief Introduction to Book Collecting
- Book Collecting as an Investment
- Book Value
- What Makes a Book Rare?
- What is a First Edition?
- How to Identify First Editions
- How to get a book appraisal
- How to Read Bookseller Descriptions and Conditions
- What to do when you can’t remember the title of a long lost childrens’ book
- How to tell if a signature is real
- How to read rare book condition descriptions
- Collecting One Book
- A Brief History of the Dust Jacket
- Cosway Binding: Beautifully Bound Books
- Where can I get my book appraised?
- Signed vs Inscribed: What’s the difference?
- What is a Number line?
- Is My Family Bible Valuable?
And we’ll finish off with a little Ode to the Book