Rare Book Values: The Most Expensive Rare Books

Rare book values increase every day. Rare book values are realised according to different aspects of scarcity.

Rare book values increase every day. Rare book values are realised according to different aspects of scarcity.

Image via Wikipedia

Image via Wikipedia

When the Allies entered Germany, some of them took art, rare books and other articles.

One soldier, who was a member of the U.S. Army, took an album containing pictures of paintings Hitler had wanted to display. He took the album from Hitler’s home near Berchtesgaden in Germany.

The former soldier, John Pistone, will formally return the rare book to Germany in January. When he took the rare book, he wasn’t aware of its value. There are many other rare books and other articles which may have been removed from their original place by persons like Mr. Pistone. However some persons know exactly what they are taking when they happen upon rare books, or deliberately place themselves in a position to remove rare books.

Rare book values are influenced by the demand for a particular genre of book or copies of that title.


Image via Wikipedia

Rare book values are also influenced by supply. If many copies of a rare book are available and persons who want those copies know where to get them, rare book values will be lower than when potential buyers are not certain of seeing more copies anywhere else. Rare book values are also influenced by different aspects of scarcity. For example, there may have been only a few copies of a particular rare book which featured a certain map, or drawing.

Image via Wikipedia

The Internet has helped collectors of rare books to find rare books. Collectors are also able to compare rare book values on the same rare books offered by different sellers. Examples of rare books are The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and The Marvelous Land of Oz-First edition.

A first edition copy of the Wonderful Land of Oz can retail for $1,250. J.D. Salinger’s ‘Catcher in the Rye’, in the dust cover, is worth $15,000 now.

Cover of The Catcher in the Rye

Rare books are sold on eBay and through rare booksellers online such as AbeBooks, Bauman Rare Books and Bromer Booksellers. The Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America is also a good source for finding rare books.

Book Finds: How to Find, Buy and Sell Used and Rare Books 

The following are the prices of some of the rare books which made it to the list of the top ten rare books sold on AbeBooks in December, 2009:

The Chronicles of Narnia-$8,132

Cinquante Dessins-$7,750

Frank Lloyd Wright Monograph-$5,850

A Time to Kill-$4,500

What do you think about it? If you had a rare book, woud you sell it? 

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  1. Posted December 12, 2009 at 6:52 am

    informative post..

  2. Posted December 15, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    Thanks to the internet, we can now access and easily buy hard to find books. Thanks for the informative writ up.

  3. Posted January 3, 2010 at 2:29 am

    The internet has cut prices as well, because sellers can’t control information about availibility and price the way they could before.

  4. Posted May 4, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    Lol It pays to keep old stuff..

  5. Posted May 30, 2010 at 5:58 pm

    It does sometimes Sharif ;-)

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