Why I Collect Rare Books

Zane Grey Pueblo Hotel Catalina Island FrontTwo of my passions are reading and collecting antiques. Though I tend to enjoy modern books for my reading pleasure, I have combined my two passions to start an impressive collection for books that are rare. I don’t need to read them to enjoy the significance of the collection. To me, a rare book is a first edition copy written by one of the many great authors to ever grace our bookshelves with their literary thoughts. The first time I held such a book in my hands was quite by accident, but it started me down a path that I truly treasure.

When family or friends ask me why I collect books that I don’t even read, I explain to them how first editions of certain books have their own stories. Some of them were thought to have little appeal only to sell out on the first day they were published. Some of the greatest first edition books printed less than 1,000 copies each. Times were different back then, and costs were very prohibitive without knowing how well a book would fare.

Though they all were printed many times over afterwards, there is only a certain number of first editions available for those classics. I started studying them on various websites so I could learn which ones are considered literary treasures. After compiling a list, I started my hunt to acquire as many as I could. Some were quite easy to get since they were titles that are not considered classic works, but others are near impossible to get. Trying to add to my collection is actually a lot of fun!

In addition to rare books, I have also started to collect books that are no longer in print. While these are somewhat easier to get, they are just as valuable to me. Some of my rare first editions continue to be updated in print even today, but these ones will never be printed again. Though completely different types of books, I treasure both kinds in my growing collection.