Before you toss out any old encyclopedia collections collecting dust in your attic or garage, read this through quickly. You might not think so but the longer you have kept this volume under one roof, the higher its value. It is quite possible. Let catalogs & appraisal work be the judge of that. In the meantime, how about a little history and inspiration to motivate you further. Collectors of books and the dealers that have supplied them have been dealing with this question for centuries. Just what is it that makes a book valuable? This takes you back to Greco and Roman times. You could even pay a visit to ancient Egypt.
What happened? A great library in Egypt was destroyed. It is still perhaps being regarded as one of the world’s great tragedies. In recent years, a similar tragedy occurred when militants marauded ancient rooms in Timbuctoo and destroyed valuable parchments and manuscripts. In this unnecessary destruction, so many manuscripts and books were lost forever. Book appraisers are not quick to place a monetary price on your collections. They evaluate books by taking into account a number of qualities, much like an art critic would when regarding high or fine art. Indeed, the manner in which a book is bound is art, to say nothing of its contents and the fonts used.
Modern book appraisals will look at full book collections and antique books. Just how old must a book be to qualify to be an antique. Leave that up to your book appraiser. In the same way you may be wondering what works qualify to be called classics. Again, you leave that up to the literary scholar. A full evaluation will include the pricing of a collection. Finding a suitable home for unwanted books is also part of the book appraiser’s duties.