The Classic Price Guide for Book Collectors

To be a collector of books is to be a hobbyist, an artist and someone who is passionate about literature. There are so many ways to create a book collection and just as many ways to find the literature to start to fill up your rare library. If you’re an old school collector, then no doubt, you remember price guides. The market saw some disappearance of price guides with the popularity of the internet. While some collectors prefer the internet, price guides still exist.

In fact, at one time, a price guide was the easiest way to find out the relative value of a collectible book. Now, as with any guide for collectors, there is no one series that is best for everyone. One edition that stood out, however, was Van Allen Bradley’s Book Collector’s Handbook of Values.


A 1970s Classic

This price guide first helped people find books for their collection back in the 1970s. There were four editions over the course of 10 years. What made this print guide so important is that it really was more than just a price guide. Many collectors considered it to be a handbook. This is because it included bibliographical details and other points about the books in the listing. This book assisted newcomers with techniques for book collecting.


New Authors, Same Model

After Bradley’s death, the price guide didn’t disappear entirely. Instead, the owners of Quill & Brush, Inc. took over and kept the model alive. Their new edition, Collected Books: The Guide to Identification and Values held the standard that the first guide did. One of the most important aspects of this model is that it allows the writer to reveal his or her techniques to the audience. As said before, this is more than just a price guide. It is a book that helps beginners and even advanced collectors enhance their collection with tips and techniques. It focuses on condition, state and issues.


The Modern Edition

The internet seemed to be a threat to the series initially. Like many guides, it could have disappeared in the early 2000s when people became more proficient on the internet. However, this isn’t what happened. The book still offers more details than a person usually finds when surfing the internet for information. The book carried on after that, without slowing down for the internet age. In fact, there is now a 20th anniversary edition to help people with their collection.

The book contains a large range of collectible books with a listing of over 22,000. No matter the genre, all collectibles have value. What makes the modern edition stand out above internet research is that professional collectors in the business work on it. While you may find professional references on the internet, there is more valuable and solid information in the text.

Whether you love rare books and have a large collection or you’re only just beginning, to have this text copy of a classic price guide is the first step to a better library. The internet is a great research tool, but nothing quite replaces the value of in print material.