Collectors Might Be Surprised That Rare Books Are Rare

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Rare books are harder to find than many amateur collectors think, and its more probable that buying old books leads to hoarding rather than a big payday. Its highly unlikely, for instance, for a library to accidentally sell off an expensive treasure, since most institutions check books against databases before selling off their stock. Most books just aren’t worth very much except as personal nostalgia. Ann Connery Frantz recommends readers interested in rare books stick with dealers instead of hoping for the best at thrift shops.


Ian MacAllen's fiction has appeared in 45th Parallel Magazine, Little Fiction, Vol 1. Brooklyn, Joyland Magazine, and elsewhere and nonfiction has appeared in Chicago Review of Books, The Negatives, Electric Literature, Fiction Advocate, and elsewhere. He is the Deputy Editor of The Rumpus, holds an MA in English from Rutgers University, tweets @IanMacAllen and is online at IanMacAllen.com. More from this author →