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into other languages should contact the current chair of the RBMS Publications Committee.
Your Old Books is also available as a compact PDF version → This guide addresses some frequently asked questions about rare and older books and their values.
Books considered rare by collectors and librarians may be found together with more common books.
Experience and specialized knowledge are often needed to discriminate among them.
Certain important editions of the Bible, however, are collectible: the earliest printed Bibles dating from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries; the 1611 printings of the first authorized English (King James) version; and a variety of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century oddities such as the “Breeches” Bible, the “Vinegar” Bible, and the “Wicked” Bible, which have some misprint or peculiar wording.
Most Bibles that contain handwritten genealogical or other family information do not have market value, unless the families or individuals were famous.
In simple terms, books achieve a degree of rarity only when demand exceeds supply.
Age by itself is not enough to make a book valuable.
The importance of the text, the condition of the book, and demand for it will determine the valuation of an old book.
Market prices for second-hand books are typically modest.
Condition refers to a book’s physical appearance and the completeness of its contents.