While our Book Collecting Guide is a useful resource for novice collectors who want to learn more, we would be hard pressed to include everything there is to know about rare books. The solution is to read more books.
Many great books have been dedicated to the topic of rare books and book collecting, and we have used a number of them to sources for the Rare Book School itself. We recommend the following books:
See our video review of ABC for Book Collectors by John Carter› Play Video
ABC for Book Collectors
by John Carter
If there was a single book that any would-be collector should own, it is this. More than 450 terms are alphabetically described and cross-referencing is easy. Highly recommended.
Rare Finds: A Guide to Book Collecting
by David & Natalie Bauman
A beginner’s introduction to book collecting that includes numerous beautiful full color photos. The Baumans are famous rare booksellers.
Modern Book Collecting
by Robert A. Wilson
A serviceable introduction to collecting of modern editions – the focus is on 20th century authors.
Living With Books
by Alan Powers
When looking for new and interesting ways to display your collection, basic do-it-yourself designs for building your own shelves, and some basic book care tips, this is a very useful book. Additionally the beautiful photos make this a great coffee table book.
by Ian C. Ellis
This book reveals the secrets of locating rare and valuable books including information on first editions, reader’s copies, auctions, catalogs and the strategies of book scouts.
First Editions: A Guide to Identification
by Edward N. Zempel
Many publishers do not readily display the edition of a book, and many that do use different systems. This book explains the intricacies of spotting first editions from as far back as 1928.
A Primer of Book-Collecting
by John Tracy Winterich
Winterich covers topics like books as an investment, the mechanics of collecting and answers the age old question: what makes a book rare?
Miller’s Collecting Modern Books
by Catherine Porter
This guide to pricing and quality focuses on basic categories such as English and American literature, children’s books, illustrated books and more.
The Care of Fine Books
by Jane Greenfield
Advice on book construction, storage, handling, cleaning, and repair, as well as essential expert advice on how to properly store and handle books of value in order to protect them.
The Book Collectors Fact Book
by Margaret Haller
A practical introduction to rare and valuable books, including the ‘new antiques’ - books on photography, the movies, comics - as well as modern first editions