Friday, June 19, 2009

Book collecting

Last week I went to a little used bookstore a couple miles from my house. I had been there years ago, but somehow forgot about it. I'm glad I remembered it because it's a great little store. Their stock of current/contemporary paperbacks is considerable. And though their hardcovers are few and far between, I did find two that I had been looking to add to my collection. I purchased Nicole Krauss's The History of Love, one of my favorite novels, and Geraldine Brooks's March. Both are first edition/first printings in Fine to Very Fine condition. The Brooks is a UK first edition though. I gauge that they are valued at $30-35 each and I paid $12 for the two. I'm proud to have added them to my library.

The other day I purchased a new hardcover book for the first time in a couple of years...and I'm not even going to read it. I bought Carlos Ruiz Zafon's The Angel's Game because I had to have it. I'm going to collect Ruiz Zafon and I recently purchased The Shadow of the Wind for a buck (worth about $65-70) and though The Angel's Game doesn't have much value as of yet, I'm hoping that it will appreciate while it sits peacefully on my library shelf.


Iliana said...

I bet it will. He's getting so much buzz for this new book already. I'm looking forward to reading it.

Do you also collect books that are signed by the authors? Are those worth more or does it depend on the author?

Mike B. said...

Books signed by authors are generally worth more. There has been debate about flat signed books (just author's signature) versus inscribed signatures (books signed by author with a special note to the buyer.) However, if the inscription is to someone famous, then that increases the value of the book considerably.

I have a few signatures and inscriptions, but my most prized are a couple John Dunning signatures and a couple inscriptions by Nicholas Basbanes.