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Book Collection

This hobby is for everyone who appreciates books! The bottom line is that collecting books is both challenging and fun! You can collect in any field – this hobby has more variety within it than any other collecting field we can imagine.

You can collect your favorite author, an author you always wanted-to-read, but- never-had-the-time, a subject about which you wish to learn more. If you like the rock & roll music from the 50’s and 60’s you can collect books in that area. These may be of  Astrophysics, Genetics, Parapsychology, Calculus, French, Russian, Japanese, Tennis, Golf, Fishing, Swimming, Biking, Horticulture, Flower arranging . That is the truly great aspect of book collecting and your collection will reflect your personal interests and efforts and abilities as a collector.
Book collecting is not expensive. You can spend as little or as much as you are able to and willing to spend on your collection. Some collectors purchase only new in-print books, others buy only at  library book sales, others visit their neighborhood used book shop, and   many are now buying books on the world wide web.

Condition and its Importance

When considering addition of a book to your collection,  you must consider condition of the book.  If the copy is reasonably priced and if you cannot expect to find a better copy then you must decide whether to settle for a copy in lesser condition. If you decide to settle for a volume in less than desirable condition, it is normally with the hopes of upgrading when you have the opportunity to purchase a better copy.

Probably the best avenue to follow when describing the condition of a book is to list all of the obvious problems, defects and signs of wear and also to provide your impression of the overall condition. When reading book descriptions, one should pay attention to the listed detail of condition and regard an overall condition term such as “good”, “very good” or “fine” as the general impression of the bookseller, which may or may not coincide with your general impression of the same volume. Traditionally, book condition relates to the age of the book. Some books are difficult to find in a fine condition,  those that normally receive considerable usage,  as opposed to being read once or a few times are cookbooks and children’s books.

As a beginner you should strive to collect books of very good or fine condition. There may be some bargains among the very worn books, but you should probably avoid the worn bargains unless you know the book is very scarce or rare. In general do not purchase books or pamphlets which have  missing pages or portions of text, unless you have a personal reason for doing so. And in general it is a poor idea to purchase odd volumes and not complete set, thinking that you will be able to find the missing volumes at a later date, it seldom happens.

Starting Your Collection

A few “suggestions” for successful book collecting
  • Collect an author or a subject that you enjoy
  • Avoid collecting the most popular authors or subjects (unless favorites of yours)
  • Collect within your means – do not try to collect very expensive books if you are on a limited budget
  • Spend time early – learning which references pertain to your collecting area
  • Purchase the references tools appropriate to your collection and use them
  • Pay close attention to the condition of items for your collection
  • Experience various methods of purchasing books available to you – mail order catalogues,  local bookshops, on-line catalogues etc.
  • Develop expertise in your chosen collecting areas)
  • Share your collection and knowledge of the area with others with similar interests
  • Most important – enjoy your collecting pursuits
You could make a list of authors you consider important for various reasons and then attempt to collect the first appearance in print of each of the authors.

In summary, there are so many different subjects in which you can collect books, you should have no problem finding a niche to fit your interests. Collect books that interest you and enjoy the hunt or search for items to add to your collection. Don’t forget the importance of references – read as much as you can about your chosen collecting area.

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