Perhaps your grandmother found a box of old books in her basement. Maybe you picked up some interesting titles at a garage sale. For one reason or another, droves of bibliophiles are tracking down the
origins, values, and preservation techniques for rare and antique books.
Even more are looking to buy and sell these works. As a result, the major players of the
antiquarian book industry are increasing their presence online. That's good news
to consumers, who can make great use of the resources, both educational and economic, that they
Many owners of antique books are looking for information on their
value and significance. The International Book Collector's Association
hosts a site that is incredibly useful for beginning and seasoned
collectors. From the site, you can learn how to grade and appraise your books, read
up on important preservation techniques and find out just what makes a
book "collectable." The site is easy to navigate, the articles are clear,
concise and interesting and the variety of resources is phenomenal.
Old Books is another helpful site for beginners. Set up in question-answer format, it addresses issues ranging from "What makes a book
rare?" to "How do I find a book seller or appraiser?" The site was
originally produced in pamphlet format by the Rare Books and Manuscripts
Section of the Association of College and Research Libraries.
If you're ready to make some purchases, the best place to go is
Bookfinder.com. Bookfinder offers all of the major used book
searches, including Bibliofind, the Advance Book Exchange, Alibris and
Antiqbook, in one spot. It also contains a catalog of new books from Amazon.com.
Overall, the site represents more than 10,000 booksellers
with more than 10,000,000 books in inventory. The search engine is easy to use and
information is returned in an easy-to-read table format. The site even
links to the glossary of the Advance Book Exchange, which can help with
interpreting all of the literary jargon.
Selling books online is also a possibility. If you're certain about the
edition and condition of your book, you might place an ad on eBay, a
popular online auction house. If you aren't sure about the value, try to locate a bookseller in your area who can help you assess it. The store may even buy or help you sell the book. The Antiquarian
Bookseller's Association of America lists more than 450 dealers around the
country who follow the strict ABAA code of ethics. Listings are sorted by
region. All provide the name, city and state and many also link to a Web
page and e-mail address.
While the books may be rare, the information about antique books is abundant!