This article is for you if you’ve ever found yourself at a bookshop or flea market deciding whether to purchase the rare or antique book you’re holding. Here are a few pointers from professionals in the rare and antique book business that explain what makes a book worthwhile to purchase. Therefore, if you ever find yourself wondering “how to determine the value of rare books” or even “to purchase or not to buy?,” consider using these advice.
The process of purchasing rare books is not something that you rush. The very first thing that you should do is to understand what could possibly go wrong as you spend your money to buy rare books. To make sure that you don’t do any mistakes, we created this guide. All you have to do is to follow the instructions we share, so that you will be able to end up with purchasing the best rare books that you can possibly buy.
Purchase what you like
The Antiquarian Booksellers Association states that the most crucial piece of advice for purchasing books is to base your decision on your own preferences rather than their worth in terms of money. The ABA recommends “collecting what is of interest to you, what your heart tells you, what you appreciate, what you love, what brings you pleasure and satisfaction, what is important or significant to you” when wanting to start a collection. Purchasing books, you like will never lead you astray, but purchasing books as investments may. The ABA continues, “We can tell what a book’s price was in the past, how that price has changed, and we can tell how much it will cost to possess a copy right now, but we cannot anticipate what its price will be in the future.” Instead of purchasing books because you believe they will increase in value, purchase them because you want them.
The process of collecting antiquarian books is something that should make you feel enjoyable. This is why you need to make sure that you are purchasing books that you like. Then you will be able to end up with getting the best possible returns out of what you get at the end of the day. It will also create interest and you will be able to stick to what you are doing.
Avoid purchasing outdated books
A book’s financial value is determined by its rarity and condition, not its age. Simply because a book is old doesn’t make it rare; rare books are books with more demand than supply. Old does not equal valuable, in the opinion of the National Library of Scotland. Many individuals own Bibles from the 18th or 19th centuries, but due to their widespread production, they seldom have any real worth. Stop spending a lot of money on a book that is hundreds of years old simply because it is ancient. It could or might not be priceless.
Check the Bookman’s Price Index
You may often locate the Bookman’s Price Index (BPI), which lists the published values of numerous books, in a public or university library. “Published twice a year, BPI is a reference to the pricing and availability of antique books in the United States, Canada, and the British Isles,” according to public service group ipl2. According to BPI, “antiquarian books” are significant and hard to find. Price and location details for 30,000–35,000 of these books may be found in each issue of BPI.
We often see people spending their money unnecessarily to purchase rare books that are not worth the amount. You should be extra careful not to spend your money unnecessarily like that. Make sure that you only spend your money on books that are really worth the amount you spend.
Talk to a Professional
Shapero noted that you may get professional advice on how much your book is worth by speaking with a book appraiser. Many bookstores do assessments as part of their business, according to the Association of College and Research Libraries’ Rare Books and Manuscripts Section. Similar to this, you may look for eligible booksellers by area or specialization using the membership directory on the website of the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America. In order to determine the worth of your copy, an appraiser will be able to consider both the general book values and the particular condition of your copy.
It’s important to note that searching internet databases for comparable copies is another method for determining a book’s value. Check Alibris and do a search for the book you’re considering comparing pricing. You may estimate the potential value of your book by looking at the pricing of like books.
Keep in Mind That Book Values Vary
A book’s worth is not a fixed sum of money. The demand for any given author or work, as the Smithsonian Institution Libraries note, “may swing up and down over time.” The worth of a book is influenced by a broad variety of factors, including supply and demand as well as the book’s condition, completeness, and edition. Because of this, any assessment or evaluation, in the words of the Smithsonian, “is an educated estimate, relevant only to a single copy at a certain point in time.” Even while it’s a good idea to do some study and have a professional appraise a book, bear in mind that all appraisals are estimates and that they are also flexible and prone to change over time.
Now you know what needs to be considered as you go ahead and invest your money in purchasing rare books. Make sure that you strictly adhere to these tips. Then you will be able to end up with getting impressive results in the long run.