Sunday, July 10, 2016

How Much Is That Book Worth? ABAA Has Answers!

How much is that old book worth?  How about a first edition copy of an award-winning book?  What would the manuscript of a known but deceased author fetch?

These questions can best be answered by members of the Antiquarian Bookseller Association of America, a group dedicated to ensuring  that our nation develops or maintains an interest in rare books and manuscripts.  It maintains the highest standards in the antiquarian book trade.

The organization, founded in 1949 - 67 years ago, has appraisers, stores, and other businesses among its members.  In its 2016 directory, the ABAA wrote this about itself:

“In support of these objectives the ABAA has, among its other activities, promoted exhibitions of books and related materials and lectures on subjects of interest to book collectors.  Members of the ABAA engage in the sale, purchase and appraisal of antiquarian books and manuscripts.  As sellers of rare books and manuscripts, ABAA members offer a broad choice of antiquarian material in all areas of the printed and written word.  They are able to describe, authenticate and guarantee the items they sell and to provide guidance and expertise to individuals and institutions building collections within their specialties.”

So just how much could a book or manuscript be worth?  The short answer is that it depends.  For some buyers, they will overpay because a book means more to them or their collection than the marketplace would otherwise assess for an item.  The ABAA says this:

“The value of a book is affected by a variety of factors, including the intrinsic importance of the work, its scarcity, and collectors’ interest in it.  In general, the books most sought after are great works in the humanities and the sciences, usually in their first editions.

“The value of a particular copy of any given book will be further affected by a variety of factors: its binding, its provenance, and the significance of any inscriptions it may contain.  The evaluation of manuscript material including letters and signatures of well-known people, involves still others considerations."

For more information about book valuation or if you want to head to the nearest ABAA member or bookstore, consult or contact:

President Thomas A. Goldwasser
20 West 44th Street
Suite 507
New York, NY  10036-6604, 

Upcoming ABAA book fairs include:

Oct. 28-30, 2016
Boston-Hyne’s Convention Center

Feb.10-12, 2017
Onland – Oakland Marriott City Center

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2016

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