Collecting rare books is an interesting activity to engage with. While you are working on it, it is worthy to know some of the surprising facts about rare books. That’s because you will come across many such surprising situations while you are engaged with the act of collecting rare books. In order to make sure that you remain on the safe side with those surprises, it is worthy to understand the differences in between the expectations you have and the reality of collecting rare books.
- Expectation – All the old books are rare books
- Reality – Not all the books are rare books
We often misunderstand the difference that exist in between the rare books and old books. In fact, we believe that all the old books available for purchase out there are rare books. This fact is not true at all. There are numerous factors, which can transform an old book into a rare book. You should be aware about those factors.
The main factor that transforms a book into a rare book is not the age. You can find a better relationship in between the supply of the book to the market and the demand that exists for it.
For example, assume that there is a book published during 1750. If nobody is interested in getting that book, you cannot call it a rare book. This example is more than enough to showcase that not all the old books are rare books. As a rare book collector or a rare book trader, you should keep this in your mind. Otherwise, you will spend your money unnecessarily to get the old books, which nobody would want to buy.
- Expectation – Rare books are also books
- Reality – Rare books are not just books
When you hear the word “book”, a picture would be created in your mind. Likewise, when you hear about rare books, you will think about a book that has old looking pages. It will still be a book. If you can take a look at a book collection of a rare book collector, you will figure out that the picture created in your mind is completely wrong. That’s because not all the books would look like rare books.
It is possible for you to categorize scrolls, manuscript, etchings and many other prints into rare books. You will be able to find a massive demand for them among the rare book collectors. At some of the instances, you can also call ventriloquist dummies as rare books as well. If you want to become a rare book collector, you should keep these things in your mind and make sure that you don’t miss out the opportunities that you come across.
- Expectation – Dust jackets are not important
- Reality – Dust jacket can boost the price of a book
When it comes to rare books, completeness is a key standard. All the rare book collectors should pay their special attention towards completeness. The main idea of completeness is that a book should contain all the parts, along with the items that were issued historically. This includes the dust jacket as well.
The price of a rare book can fall exponentially when the dust jacket is not available. Hence, you need to make sure that you think twice before you get a rare book that doesn’t come along with a dust jacket into your collection.
In order to get a better understanding about this fact, let’s take a look at the book “The Great Gatsby”. Without the dust jacket, the price of this rare book would be around $5,000. But when the dust jacket is present, the price of the book will increase up to $100,000. This clearly showcases the importance of the dust jacket and the potential that it has to create an impact on the overall price of the book.
- Expectation – Pages of the book are not important as nobody would read it
- Reality – Pages of the book ensure completeness
This fact is also related to the completeness of the book. The rare book collectors are usually interested in the process of collecting rare books. They don’t tend to pay a lot of attention towards reading the books. But it doesn’t mean that you should get a book with missing pages in it. That’s because it hinders the completeness of the book and you will never be able to get the best returns out of it.
According to recent studies, it has been identified that the blank pages that you can find in the front and the back of rare books are missing at most of the instances. It is true that these are blank pages and there is nothing included in them. However, they still contribute heavily towards the value of a rare book. A single missing blank page can make the value of a rare book go down for thousands of dollars. You should never allow that to happen.
- Expectation – You don’t need to have a lot of money to become a rare book collector
- Reality – Becoming a rare book collector would make you spend thousands of dollars
Some people believe that they don’t have to spend a lot of money in order to become a rare book collector. But if you can take a look at the prices where the rare books are being auctioned, you will change the way on how you take a look at them.
For example, the first Folio of Shakespeare was sold at an auction for a price of $6 million. It is also possible for you to find rare books that are priced at around $1,000. But still, that is a considerable amount of money. Therefore, any person who wants to become a rare book collector should be willing to spend money. Then you can end up with creating a decent rare book collection within a short period of time. This is applicable for the people who are interested in becoming rare book traders as well.