You can pretty much collect anything and as your collection grows, as does your knowledge. You will then start to narrow in on specific items of interest in search of your own, personal Holy Grail.
Book collecting is no different, in fact, the majority of collectors don’t realise they are book collectors until they get quite deep into it.
But what makes a collector? Is there a certain amount of books you have to have, a certain kind or value? The answer to that is simple and it is no. If you have an interest in a specific kind of book or even have a broader interest that you pursue you could be classed as a collector.
It goes without saying that certain collectors are in it for the fun and have no interest in the value of the book, more the content. Others will scour the globe in search of rare first editions in a condition that is acceptable for their collection.
If you have already started an ‘accidental’ collection or are looking for some collecting tips we have collated some advice that might help you.
First of all it’s important to enjoy what you are doing. By collecting books of personal interest you will take far more from the experience and if, after all your hard work, the collection isn’t worth a fortune at least you still have something you love.
Storage should also be of high importance to you. What is the point in going out of your way to search for the best condition of book if you keep it in a damp cellar? Dry, steady temperatures are ideal and keeping your books out of the sunlight will also be a big factor in preserving the condition of your book.
Expect the unexpected! Searching thrift stores and charity shops doesn’t really throw up the bargains and hidden treasure quite as often as we would like but there are still some amazing finds. Specific, rare book shops are likely to be priced much higher but you know you will find some excellent items there.
Online shopping can be a great way to find the missing piece of your puzzle but it is not without its own risks. Not being able to see the book in person before buying can be troublesome especially if you are buying from somewhere like eBay. Reputable online book dealers are available to help you though, you can even find deals on collectable books by searching about before buying so it can be a great way to find bargains.
Make use of other online resources like social media groups, as well as getting advice and inspiration you might also find people willing to trade or sell. It is worth noting that you should also approach this with caution as there are some people out there that might list the books wrong or even scammers trying to take advantage of collectors.
Whether you want to become a rare book collector, a collector of a certain author or any other kind of book collector remember to enjoy yourself and your hobby. If you happen to get your hands on a particularly valuable book that should be an added bonus, not your overall end goal.