Chapter 545 What Should New Book Collectors Know As They Begin To Build A Collection?

Part of the fun of book collecting is the thrill of discovery. Finding a “sleeper” book that is worth much more than what you paid for it, learning about a new subject or author, and meeting other collectors and booksellers are part and parcel of a book hunter’s education. Still, when one is new to book collecting, one can also make a lot of mistakes. We learn the most from our mistakes, but some of them we wish we could have avoided altogether. If only we knew which questions to ask when we began to build a meaningful book collection. . .

I wish I had had such a source of basic information when I began collecting and selling books. It seemed there were few places that provided information on how to get started. At the time, I didn’t know any antiquarian booksellers or rare book librarians or book collectors. One reason I started this blog was to keep a record of my education (and my mistakes) in the hope that it might be helpful to some other new collector or new bookseller. (At least one could learn which mistakes to avoid.) πŸ˜‰

You know how much I’ve been enjoying The Private Library over recent months. One reason I enjoy it is because it provides answers so many basic questions about book collecting terminology, book collecting genres, and how to get started building a collection. I’m happy to report that The Private Library and I are teaming up to write a print article aimed at helping beginning collectors. We’d like to ask for your input. Are you a collector? If so, what do you know now that you wish you knew as you began collecting books? As a bookseller, I’d also like the opinions of other booksellers. What questions do you wish beginning collectors would ask you when they get started? If you contribute an opinion, let us know whether or not we have permission to quote you. This should be a fun project and I’ll keep you posted as it progresses. You can leave your ideas in the comment box below or you can email me: chris AT bookhuntersholiday DOT com.

Click here to read more about the topic of our planned article.

See you in the stacks!

1 Comment

Filed under A Bookseller's Education, Internet Resources for Booksellers and Book Collectors, Uncategorized

One response to “Chapter 545 What Should New Book Collectors Know As They Begin To Build A Collection?

  1. Bill

    Hi Chris
    Good idea for an article.

    Off the cuff I would say, as an analogy to the real estate truism about location, the 3 most important things are: “Condition, Condition, Condition.” πŸ™‚ But knowing when to violate this advice is also important, or you may miss your only chance at a truly rare item.

    Next, you may be too modest to note that collectors can gain so much be having a good relationship with dealers in their collecting area. My collection would be a shadow of itself, and my life would have been less rich, if I had not been privileged to know many great book dealers.

    Finally, I would say to young collectors today, not every thing can be learned from the internet, as great as it is; you must invest in and learn from publications on your area of interest, including bibliographies, dealer catalogs, bookish memoirs, etc. You would not try to play golf without the proper tools, so it is with book collecting, you must properly equip yourself for “the best indoor sport,” as it has been called.

    Not much original I am afraid, but if any of this is of interest you have my permission to use it.


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