Antique Books - Are Yours Valuable?
By KJ Ross

The value of antique books (also known an 'antiquarian books') is no different than any other antique in one sense - how much something is worth depends on how much someone else is willing to pay for it. You have to consider things like the demand for a particular book, the condition that it's in, and also how rare it is. Here is some practical information that can help you determine whether or not your antique book is Goodwill material, or something special.

So you've been to a garage sale, an estate sale or an auction, and you've hit the mother lode. Boxes of very old books that are obviously antiques. Since they're so old they must be worth something, right? Even though collecting antique books can be very lucrative, the truth is that just because a book is old doesn't mean that it's valuable.

Relatively few books are actually still in demand, regardless of their age. There have been many books that were published that didn't even have a demand when they were new. We've all read books that we considered basically worthless, either because they were poorly written or edited, or because they really weren't very interesting. Well, the same is true of antique books. For a very old book to still be in demand, it usually has to have something special about it to begin with.

Just open up an antique book and start reading. What's inside the pages? Is it an interesting topic or story, or is it perhaps written by an author who might have some historical significance? Books by common, unknown authors about common, uninteresting topics are literally a dime a dozen. So just because a book is old doesn't mean that it's valuable.

But apart from the author and subject matter of a book, there might be some physical characteristics that a book has which would increase its value as an antique book. Does the book have an unusually beautiful leather binding? Leather bindings tend to be more in demand than cloth or paper bindings, as a rule. And even if an author or illustrator is unknown, if a book has exceptionally nice illustrations it can easily fetch more money as a collectible. But if a book has all the above characteristics and it's also by a significant author, then you've definitely struck gold in the antiquarian book world.

Many people have some old books around, gathering dust, that they continue to hang on to because they believe the books might be worth something. Understand the qualities that make a book valuable, and you will have an idea if the books you've been hanging on to are worth keeping.

KJ Ross is an Internet shopping enthusiast and avid reader. If you enjoyed this article, be sure to check out more of his work, available at many popular article directories.

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