Recommended Books for Book Collectors

To be candid, many of the best books for book collectors are no longer in print, or are available only in those awful "print-on-demand" editions that are, quite literally, not worth the paper they are printed upon.  The texts of some out of print books have been reprinted on our website, and are well worth reading, though for convenience sake we'd still want to have the actual book in hand, preferably in first or early edition.  We used to collect in the area of "books about books," and there are certainly worse areas to choose, in our humble opinion.  You'll often find decent books about books at book fairs, and occasionally in used book shops, and of course the hunt is half the fun.


The list below lists books that are currently in print (as of this writing):

  • Basbanes, Nicholas A. 
    • Among the Gently Mad: Strategies and Perspectives for the Book Hunter in the Twenty-First Century.
    • A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books
    • A Splendor of Letters : The Permanence of Books in an Impermanent World
  • Baxter, John.  A Pound of Paper: Confessions of a Book Addict.  Quite the opposite of Eugene Field's elegant Victorian work in many ways, but still enjoyable, this book proves that book collectors can be as wild and rambunctious as any other group - if not more so. 
  • Carter, John.  ABC for Book Collectors.  A deceptively simple title; every serious book collector has this volume close to his desk.
  • Collins, John.  The Two Forgers: A Biography of Harry Buxton Forman and Thomas James Wise.
  • Ellis, Estelle, et al.  At Home with Books : How Booklovers Live with and Care for Their Libraries
  • Ellis, Ian C.  Book Finds: How to Find, Buy, and Sell Used and Rare Books.  3rd edition.
  • Everitt, Charles P.  The Adventures of a Treasure Hunter: A Rare Bookman in Search of American History.  One of the first books I ever read on book collecting; a great treat, great to curl up with of an evening, preferably with a fire in the fireplace and a glass of brandy at one's side. 
  • Goldstone, Lawrence and Nancy
    • The Friar and the Cipher: Roger Bacon and the Unsolved Mystery of the Most Unusual Manuscript in the World
    • Out of the Flames: The Remarkable Story of a Fearless Scholar, a Fatal Heresy, and One of the Rarest Books in the World
    • Slightly Chipped: Footnotes in Booklore
    • Used and Rare: Travels in the Book World
    • Warmly Inscribed: The New England Forger and Other Book Tales
  • Field, Eugene. The Love Affairs of a Bibliomaniac
  • Matthews, Jack.  Memoirs of a Bookman
  • McBride, Bill.  Pocket Guide to the Identification of First Editions
  • Meador, Roy.  Book Row: An Anecdotal and Pictorial History of the Antiquarian Book Trade.
  • Russell, Richard.  Antique Trader Book Collector's Price Guide
  • Tedford, Marie.  The Official Price Guide to Collecting Books, 6th Edition.
  • Wilson, Robert A.  Modern Book Collecting.  Not so modern any longer, as this book is from 1992 - but it is considered a classic, and still contains a wealth of information.
  • -- Collectable Paperback Books: A New Vintage Paperback Price Reference

Magazines for Book Collectors

  •  Fine Books & Collections





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