Happening upon a tattered old treatise that very few collectors are aware of, or an inconspicuous corner full of several choice volumes is a book collector's dream. And, as the collector builds and expands his collection of difficult to find or rare books, he will find that not only has he built a treasury of history, and memories and stories of the victorious hunts, but also a collection of remarkable value. So, don't be too quick to just hand over that box of old books you found in granny's attic to the local charity or sell them for pennies at a garage sale. Take the time to do a little research, and you may find yourself loving granny's treasured old books as much as she did, as well as sitting on a nice little nest egg!
It doesn't take much to begin collecting old and collectible books. Perhaps the most difficult decision is determining with what subject or author to specialize your collecting. Many collectors begin by accumulating books by one particularly favored author, perhaps Hemingway, or Longfellow, while some select a favored subject matter, such as military stories, old science fiction books, English poems, Bibles, children's books or presidential autobiographies. Some of the more popular subject areas of book collecting are Early American books, medical books, old books by what many considered to be the great classic authors, and comic book collection. All book collectors will eventually experience the thrill of discovering that first edition book he or she has been whole-heartedly searching for, or that special volume of historical significance that gives the collector a peek into the past as if experiencing it himself.
Helpful hints on determining "first edition" in old books and antique books.......
Prior to 1800 ..........
As technology has advanced and the methods of book printing have changed, so have some uses of book terminology changed. Prior to 1800, in order to print old books the typesetter had to carefully arrange individual metal letters for a complete page, run it through the press, and then, disassemble the metal letters back into individual drawers. This process was costly, therefore, first and second editions prior to 1800 are valuable because it took so much time and effort to reprint the second edition. But, often mistakes or omissions occurred in second editions, making them less true of what the author intended to say.