The Art of Becoming a Book Collector

Collecting books is more of a hobby for most people who read. They end up with a number of books by certain authors because that’s what they like to read time and time again. But when you want to become a more serious book collector, you need to consider many more aspects of books and publishing. By thinking about what you love first, then about what is popular and the value of your collection, then you can begin to make your love of the written word into a valuable investment. Here’s what you need to do to help your library grow in value.

What Do You Love?

While it might seem to be a better idea to look at what’s valuable first and then begin to assemble a collection, this is not necessarily the best way to go. After all, you want to fill your library software catalog with books you would read too. Start off by choosing authors that you love and then building your collection around this author or genre. A book collector begins with what they know as any knowledge gained thereafter will only increase your ability to find and to choose books of value. As you get to know your genre or your author better, you will begin to understand the subtleties in collecting those particular books. And honestly, no one wants to collect things they do not understand and do not truly love.

What is Popular?

At the same time, there’s nothing wrong with trying to become a book collector of those authors who were more popular in their time and in the modern time. For example, if you want to collect Agatha Christie novels, you won’t be alone. And this makes it all the more fun. Since you will be vying for the same books along with other collectors, it’s all the more thrilling when you can purchase a certain edition. In addition, when you collect more popular books, you will be able to be more assured of their value in the long run. After all, more people know who authors like Agatha Christie are, even long after her death.

Appraising Your Collection

To make sure your novels are worthy, as a serious book collector, you will need to take them to an appraiser. This will help you to assess their condition and their value for insurance estimates or for your own personal knowledge. You can begin this process on your own as well by looking at book sellers to see how much they are asking for each book. Or you can go to auction sites to find out what kinds of bids are being offering for certain books and editions of books. When you find out the prices and the values of your books, then you can see just how valuable your collection is and what you might want to do with those books.

A book collector may not hold onto their books forever, choosing to sell them to the highest bidder in time. Or the book collector may enjoy holding onto rare books for generations that come after them. No matter what you choose to do, books are a treasure worth collecting.

Max Smirnov, a science fiction book collector and book inventory software author.
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