COLLECTING BOOKS FOR FUN.

Interested in collecting old and rare books but don’t know where to start?

The following points may be helpful. 

Collect an author whose books you enjoy reading.

Part of the pleasure of possessing a collection is being able to pick up a particular book at any time or just “dip in”. If the author’s books were published in the last seventy years or so it is possible to acquire first editions. Some writers have become very collectible so expense may be an issue but others are not and it is possible to build a collection with modest means.

Collect books about something you enjoy. 

If you have a hobby or interest it would make sense to collect in that subject area. No doubt there would be differing points of view about the subject that have been published over a number of years. By referring to such a collection expertise would grow. It is also possible such a collection will increase in value.

Collect books about a popular or trending topic.

If neither of the above apply consider areas in which enthusiasts already collect. Some collect different editions of the same title eg: Pride and Prejudice, Don Qixote and Alice in Wonderland; others by publisher eg; Adams and Black, Blackie and Son and still others by illustrator eg; Dulac or Rackham. Style of binding is popular too, perhaps leather with all edges gilt.

Popular subject areas include: natural history, shipping and railways, WWI, philosophy, arms and Armour, cricket, the American Civil War, children’s annuals and so on. Notable figures from the past also feature, particularly Winston Churchill and Napoleon.  Popular areas for Australian collectors include: James Cook, exploration, local history, the colonial period, bush-ranging and the gold rushes.

Also think about collecting

Mini Books

Still other collectors have a passion for miniature books (less than 7cm in height) or ephemera (printed items not in book form: pamphlets, letters  etc)

Every Title in a Series

Finally there is the satisfaction of collecting all the titles in a series eg: the first thousand Penguins or all the Saturday books.

Some recommended references are: The Book Collector’s Fact Book by Margaret Haller; A Primer of Book Collecting by John Winterich and; ABC For Book Collectors by John Carter. 

We also talk about collecting Australiana here and Cricket Books here and collecting the classics here.

 

Whatever you decide to collect, it is wise to buy only books in very good condition or better. This applies both to the dustwrapper and the book itself. Start by looking at the books in our online database. 

Happy Collecting!
Posted on March 29, 2017 and filed under Book Collecting Tips.

THIS WEEK IN THE BOOKSHOP - Vintage Books as Christmas Gifts

Christmas is fast approaching and those who plan ahead are already buying vintage books as presents. And they have the right idea as a well chosen vintage book makes a thoughtful and memorable gift for someone special.

All that is necessary is to determine the interest/passion of the recipient and then visit your nearest vintage or rare bookshop and ask the staff for recommendations. You are sure to find something unique in your price range. You could also shop online. For reputable Australian dealers visit www.anzaab.com or  search on a wider field by visiting www.booksandcollectibles.com.au. Browse our stock at www.somersethousebooks.com.au

Not sure of a subject?....Why not a book of old photographs of the recipient's home town, an illustrated edition of a literary classic or a specially signed edition?

Posted on November 18, 2014 and filed under Christmas Gifts.

POPULAR COLLECTING AREAS - Collecting Cricket Books

It is pleasing to note the increased media coverage being given to The Australian Women's Cricket Team. However I doubt the number of books written about women's cricket will ever equal the number about men's. The first to be published could well become very collectible.

In the meantime, vintage cricket books - those that describe first class matches before the age of widespread TV coverage - are still popular with collectors, as are Wisdens, ABC Cricket Books and signed biographies and autobiographies.

Example of Cricketing Ephemera Available At Love Vintage Books Willoughby

Example of Cricketing Ephemera Available At Love Vintage Books Willoughby

THIS WEEK IN THE BOOKSHOP - Sydney's Garage Sale Trail

Residents of Willoughby must be getting ready for Sydney's Garage Sale Trail this coming weekend.  I know this because I have been inundated with the question "Do you buy books?" usually asked in a sheepish but determined manner. I am doing my best not to scream back in a manner after "Black Books": "of course I do, the books don't drop from heaven onto the shelves"; but instead, to explain my book buying policy and what I am interested in purchasing.

For those trolling garage sales for resaleable books, a reliable indicator of value (for hardcover books) is dimension. Simply, the larger the book is in width and height, the less valuable it is. Naturally there are exceptions...rare book selling is not an exact science.

 

Posted on October 24, 2014 and filed under Book Collecting Tips.

FAQ 1: WHAT MAKES A RARE BOOK VALUABLE?

The value of a secondhand book (and most "rare" books are secondhand) is essentially determined by the interaction of the forces of supply and demand. If supply is small and demand is high, value will be more than if the reverse is the case. Naturally we can then ask "Well what determines the demand for a book and what determines the supply?"

The main factors influencing the demand for rare and collectible books are the tastes and preferences of readers and collectors, their numbers, their disposable incomes and their expectations of the future. A change in these factors will lead to a shift in demand upwards or downwards for a particular title, author or subject. Supply in turn is influenced by technology (eg; online listings have led to a shift upwards), the number of sellers and their expectations of the future.

In conclusion, just because a book is in very short supply (ie rare, scarce, uncommon) it does not follow that it will be valuable as the demand (ie want, desire, requirement) for it, may not exist at all.

 

 

 

Posted on October 9, 2014 .