What’s It Worth Fact:
When the Pulitzer Prize-winning Magaret Mitchell’s novel, Gone With the Wind, gained unprecedented international popularity, thousands of foreign copies were being reproduced in various languages all over the world. The problem became so widespread that Mitchell had to hire her brother, who was a patent lawyer, to fix the problem. As a result, production halted, but these rare, unauthorized foreign copies can still be found and of course, have value!
Defining a rare book can be tricky because there are various determining factors. Specialists usually agree that a rare book, in general, should be “scarce” — in other words, books printed in editions of 25,000 or fewer. However, this is not always the case and there are other qualifiers to consider. The book’s content, if it is a first edition (though definitely not always required), if it is printed on rare paper or from a significant book printer are all considerations. These do not all have to come into play for one book, of course. You could have a common everyday copy of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, but if it has inscriptions by Mark Twain it would make it a special/rare book indeed. The condition is almost always a determining factor. Interestingly, you might have a common book with a perfect and unusual dust jacket (the book’s cover) that could make it rare, potentially giving it more value.
Tips on submitting rare book appraisals:
- There are various value markers on a rare book. Be sure to include detailed images of the binding, the dust jacket (if there – this is the book’s cover), images of any inscriptions, an image of the front cover, and the always-important title page.
- If you think that the book is rare, make it a point to not force the book open, potentially weakening/damaging the binding.
Meet our appraiser:
Click here to meet our rare book appraiser Harry!