FAQ about Antique Books
What antique books are worth money?
Perhaps you have only recently started your vintage book collection, you have discovered a box of old books in a dusty attic, or you have collected antique books all your life; the process is always the same: When you hold an old book in your hands, you immediately ask yourself “Could this be worth a lot of money?”. There are some amazing antique books out there that can be worth an absolute fortune. Books such as a first edition of Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of Peter Rabbit (may be worth up to £50000), Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland (up to £1 million), Charles Dickens Great Expectations (perhaps more than £100000), J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit (with around £40000) and (of course) Harry Potter’s A Philosopher’s Stone (around £40000) are very sought after. But what makes these books so incredibly valuable? Let’s take a closer look at a first edition of The Tale of Peter Rabbit, for example. It was privately published by Potter in 1901 and only 250 copies were printed. Similarly, it is believed that there are only 22 true first editions of Alice in Wonderland. This shows that, when it comes to the value of books, their rarity and popularity play an enormous part.
How do I find out what a book is worth?
There are three elements that are incredibly important when you try to determine the value of your antique book. The age isn’t necessarily one of them. As previously discussed, rarity has a very significant influence on a book’s value. A true first edition of Alice in Wonderland is worth up to £1 million or even more as there are (most likely) only 22 copies left. This means that finding a first edition of Lewis Carroll’s masterpiece is next to impossible! If you are searching online and you can’t find your book at all or only a few copies, then it is most like considered a rarity. The next important element is demand. Some rare books are very much sought after, which means that they are worth a lot more. However, bear in mind that there are also many rare books that antique book dealers and collectors don’t care for. Lastly, one of the most important factors is the condition of your vintage book. Damaged books are worth significantly less.