Online Best Rare Books

Eliminate Your Fears and Doubts About Rare Books and Start Collecting Today

Rare book collecting is a pastime, a passion, and an art form all rolled into one. There are probably as many methods to assemble a collection as there are collectors, and the process is fraught with complexities. In the realm of book collecting, however, certain universal principles exist. We’ve put up a quick checklist to assist you in your collecting endeavors. We hope you find the information below useful, whether you’re just starting out or have been doing it for a while. We also hope you’ll share what you’ve learned and skills you’ve developed via your own personal collecting experience in the comments section below.

Collecting Rare Books

It’s only fair to point out that a book collection and a personal library are not the same thing. Both are lovely and nice, but they are not the same. Many of us have personal libraries in our homes: all those worn books from college classes, the stack of children’s books on the bottom shelf, how-to guides for first-time homebuyers, and so on. In summary, a personal library is made up of books we’ve collected in a variety of methods, with no apparent pattern. It’s exactly what it says it is: a library with a wide range of subjects. A collection, on the other hand, is a concerted effort to gather a certain sort of book, generally of a high standard.

Now that we’ve established the distinction between a personal library and a book collection, we must also acknowledge that book collections come in a variety of forms.

Organizing a Gathering Around a Theme

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Many collectors focus their collections on a particular subject that interests them. We’ve all heard of collectors that specialize on a certain sport, historical event, or region of the country.

When choosing a subject for your collection, keep in mind that certain themes are too vast to allow for a comprehensive and complete collection of literature. You could be particularly interested in World War II, for example. Collecting WWII literature without more specific search criteria, on the other hand, may put you in a bind. Instead, maybe focusing on a single WWII author, a specific battle, or literature published in a specific location during or about the war might be more appropriate.

Organizing a Group of People Around a Particular Author

Another strategy to concentrate one’s collection is to choose an inspirational author and pursue his or her works, as we indicated earlier. For example, we’ve discussed Rudyard Kipling’s challenge and reward. He is only one of many writers that provide book collectors a fantastic outlet. Start by thinking about who inspires you via their work.

Keep in mind that collecting as a ‘completist,’ that is, attempting to collect everything written by a single author (for example, all of Charles Dickens‘ writings), is a very ambitious, costly, and in some cases impossible task. Rather of being intimidated by the prospect of such a chore, we propose narrowing your emphasis to a certain category of your author of choice and proceeding from there. If you’re stuck for ideas, go through lists of award-winning books or writers (Pulitzer Prize winners, Nobel Prize winners, etc.).

Buying Books for the Purpose of Collecting

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When it comes to buying books, some collectors prioritize visual appeal. Some people love to amass a library of leather-bound tomes. Beautiful vintage leather-bound books, for example, are available in Franklin Library editions. Collectors have a structure to follow since the books are divided into series, which is enticing to those trying to build a comprehensive collection. The author has autographed a number of Franklin Library copies. They’re highly enticing collectibles in terms of aesthetics.

Working to amass fine press editions is another option for collecting books based on appearance. Fine press books are often the result of very unique tales, making them more than just decorative things on the shelf, but also inspiring works of art. Because a fine press book is generally produced by a small press in close cooperation with the author, only a limited number of copies are available. This adds a lot of variety to one’s collection while also being quite aesthetically pleasing.

A Note about Dust Jackets

When it comes to aesthetics, remember to include dust jackets in your collection. Finding books with their original dust covers is an interesting and difficult task. Dust jackets from before the twentieth century are very rare and valuable additions to any library. Purchasing a book with its original dust cover in fine or near-fine condition for contemporary first editions (much of the twentieth century) might make the difference between a very desirable collectable and a non-valuable one. Many early dust jackets were destroyed by original owners who preferred to show off the books’ genuine bindings, making dust jackets in excellent condition very uncommon and precious.

Focus on a single thing

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A distinct emphasis is critical to every book collection. A budget, objectives, and a realistic plan of attack must all be outlined. A tighter focus helps you to concentrate on what matters most to you and create a genuinely rich collection of works that you care about. You won’t waste money or shelf space on books that aren’t appropriate for your collection’s demands and purposes.

It’s time to start thinking about what sorts of books you’ll be wanting to add to your shelves after you’ve settled on a collection type (and you can have more than one!).

Final words

As you wade through the different pools of rare books, it’s critical to understand the rules of trade. Collectible books may be found through library book sales, rare book fairs, auctions, antique book shops, on the internet, or in your grandmother’s attic. The possibilities for establishing (and growing!) a rare book collection are almost limitless. Whatever path you choose, knowing what phrases signify when you’re confronted with a document that could be of interest is a good idea.

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