Books to Collect or Sell or Not

Everybody collects something, could be just about anything such as books, comics, coins, stamps, postcards, trophies, etc. There is a collector out there for just about everything, sometimes the stranger the item, the more it gets collected. Sometimes things have collectible value, others times it is kept for sentimental reasons, and it just could be junk while others find it to be treasures.

People collect things for many reasons:  to keep for themselves, pass down to the next generation, share with their friends, exchange for money years later, or sell to someone else.  My things to collect are surrounded around books, postcards and vintage ephemera (old advertising, magazines, and even a collection of Boyd Bears).  My husband likes to collect comics and coins. Focus of today’s post is books.

Sharing my experiences about what books to collect or sell or not buy at all.  I have found that if you want to resell books to look for specific nonfiction books about such topics as cars, collecting coins, gardening, animals, how to’s, etc.). Books about philosophies, life views and religions have been big sellers for me. The stranger the book seems, the better it is to resell.  I like coffee table books because they are usually big and beautifully illustrated, but I have found been hard to resell.

I avoid Bestsellers because there are usually too many people trying to sell them because the market has been flooded with them.  Ever check Amazon for the booksellers trying to sell the book for a penny. No profit for me there. Great for the buyer who wants to read the book, but not for the seller who wants to make a profit.  I donate those books to local thrift stores, sell or give away on Craiglist and on another online site called Listia. More details will come on that site in an upcoming post.  Fiction books usually fall into this same category. Although intriguing to read the mysteries, romances, classic books, the resell value hasn’t been there for me.

The resale value is usually always small on encyclopedias, reader’s digest, dictionaries, old textbooks and books in poor condition (having no dustcover, spines are broken, highlighting and writing throughout.)

I go to library book sales, but I stay away from the library books with the markings and bar codes. There are many good books at these sales, but it is better to buy the books that have been donated to the libraries from private citizens.  I have found many new or like new books this way because a person thought they where going to get a chance to read it, but never found the time, so they donated the book to the library for others to read.

I have found that books that are signed first edition depending upon the author seem to keep their value.  I have found success at collecting old books from the past to have regained its value. I like especially old books with the decorative covers before the dustcovers.  I have several of these books in my collection.

So the question is, will all books you buy even if they are carefully chosen sell or have collectible value? The quick answer is NO!   You will end up with some books that just don’t sell or are just very slow in selling.  Chances are it will sell, but it can take a very long time, or it just may be time to recycle it!

There is a book called Modern Guide to Book Collecting, that covers all aspects of book collecting:  What to Collect, Who to Buy From, How to Care and more.  I don’t currently have this book in stock, but if you want to purchase it in eBook format it can be from by clicking this Link or buy the paperback book at by clicking this Link or at other online sites.  Hope that helps with your book collecting needs!

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