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$5500 for a signed Barack Obama book

Demand for a piece of Barack Obama history is still generating huge interest in signed copies of his books. Since his triumph at the polls, AbeBooks.com has sold 20 books autographed by the President-elect priced at $500 or higher with one buyer shelling out $5,500 for a signed copy of Dreams From My Father.

Before the election, the most expensive Obama book sold by AbeBooks.com was a signed copy of Dreams From My Father for $1,798. Twelve of the 20 signed copies sold since Obama’s victory have been priced more than $1,000.

The most collectible Obama books are the signed 1995 first editions of Dreams From My Father. Originally published when he was still working as a run-of-the-mill lawyer and lecturer, the book went out-of-print in a hurry and had a small print run. Asking prices for these scarce editions stretch well past $10,000.

Even though Obama has yet to move his family (and puppy) into the White House, prices for his signed books are already comparable to previous presidents. In recent years, AbeBooks has sold a signed copy of Bill Clinton’s My Life for $3,450 and a signed copy of Ronald Reagan’s An American Life for $6,325.

One other interesting fact about this surge in demand for signed Obama books – the buyers are not what we would classify as our traditional rare book-buyers. For many of the customers spending four figures, these prices are the highest they have ever spent with us.

It’s interesting. On one hand, he hasn’t actually done anything yet. He’s spent four years working towards getting into the White House so he can start make changes. On the other hand, getting to the White House is a miracle in itself.

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