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Rare Books At Auction


Rare and antique book collecting is a hobby that any person can easily learn, it is fascinating and can turn your hard earned pounds or dollars into hundreds (sometimes thousands) literally overnight. The skeptics out there will be thinking surely this is not the case. In a Pygmalion fashion let me tell you a true story:

I was with a work colleague who started talking about hobbies, he informed me of his passion for rare and antique books. During the discussion he told me how easy it was to spot first editions and that if you were fairly savvy you could actually make decent money from buying old books at charity shops, car boot sales, garage sales and jumble sales. Admittedly being an avid reader and wishing to earn extra money, putting the two together seemed like an ideal pastime. I was fascinated and wanted to know more, he took me to a local second hand bookstore, then on a web tour of the major book sites just to show the money being asked for some of the rarer first editions. I was taken aback by the difference in price from the second hand bookstores to the cheapest available on the web; I realized (as all collectors know) that a profit can be made relatively easily and quickly, given the right selling medium. So it would seem a protégé was in the making. Over the next few weeks I spent my time scouring the web and visiting charity shops in the local area. To my surprise and his, one of the first finds was a true first edition first impression by Mario Puzo for which I paid the princely sum of one pound (Yes £1.00) for. I listed the book on a niche auction site for rare and antique books and ten days later the book sold making a whopping seven hundred and fifty three pounds (Yes £753.00) profit. Needless to say I am now a convert to being a rare book auctioneer in my spare time.

Try it yourself, read the various articles out there on how to identify first edition books, go to your local charity shops and car boot sales and see what you can find. You never know what you will come across, or, how much you could sell it for.


Submitted by:

John Harvey

John Harvey has been an avid collector of rare and antique books for several years. In 2005 he started up his own antique and rare book auction site http://www.bid4abook.co.uk. The site is free for buyers and sellers of books.





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