On CollectingThe following pages seek to give a basic overview of collecting rare and valuable first editions. The information given is subjective; reasonable minds can and often do differ.
Everyone has personal reasons for why they collect and what books are valuable to them. A rare book, like most art, has very little intrinsic value. All value depends almost entirely upon the economic principles of supply and demand. For some books, demand is very high and the quantity of surviving copies is very low, leading to exceptionally high prices. While demand for a certain title may change, the number of surviving copies rarely (if ever) increases over time, giving the serious collector comfort that his or her investment will retain its value if properly maintained. See Rare Book Preservation.
Most collectors, while conscious of the value of their investment, do not collect solely for investment purposes. Many people feel a deep connection with the literature that they read and the authors that they collect. Collecting or reading first edition books links you to a novel or an author in a way that feels truly magical.
For those people who love reading and have been touched by literature, building a library is a very personal and rewarding experience. Each book secured in our library registers a piece of our own history: when we first read the work, how it influenced us, who recommended the book, and more. Little by little a library will come to represent the person creating it. As a result, a library could have The Giving Tree on the shelf next to Darwin’s Origin of Species. These books aren’t usually placed in the same category, but if they each influenced the collector, they both belong in the library. If you are interested in building a library and have specific book Wants which are not currently in the inventory, please follow the Wants link and we will be happy to help build your custom library, finding the highest quality copies at competitive prices.
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