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News Release: November 18, 2003


(VICTORIA, BC, Canada, November 18, 2003) - AbeBooks, the world's largest online marketplace for secondhand, rare, and out-of-print books, recently launched a new feature on that focuses on the books of J.R.R. Tolkien, including a rare first edition of "The Hobbit" that is listed for sale at $126,480.00 (US).

This new website feature, "The Lord of the Rings and the Books of Tolkien" provides links to copies of all books previously written by John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (1892-1973). It also includes an exclusive article written by British Tolkien expert Jonathan Kearns, in which he shares his secrets of collecting Tolkien books. Kearns writes:

"Collecting Tolkien is a bit like collecting snowflakes: you'll never be finished and there will always be something new on the way."

Kearns also mentions that a whole new generation of readers are eager to get their hands on "as much precious Tolkien as possible."

This trend is confirmed by AbeBooks. There has been a recent rise in the number of people collecting Tolkien and an increase in people searching for used and rare copies online. AbeBooks spokesperson Marci Crossan
explains: "Part of the renewed popularity relates to the upcoming release of the third Lord of the Rings movie in December, and part of it relates to fans of the original books reaching a certain age and income level, that they can now afford rare copies of the books they enjoyed reading as kids."

As of November 17 there were over 11,000 copies of Tolkien books listed on ranging from $1.00 paperback copies of "The Two Towers" to rare signed, first editions priced between $60,000 and $126,480 (US).

One of the rarest Tolkien books currently available is a 1937 first edition of "The Hobbit", inscribed on the first page: "To Aunt Jane from J. R. R. T. with love." It is currently listed for sale on
at $126,480.00 (US).

Jonathan Kearns is an antiquarian bookseller with Adrian Harrington Fine Books in London, England, and is a member of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association. He can be reached for an interview through AbeBooks.

About AbeBooks
AbeBooks is the world's largest online marketplace for secondhand, rare, and out-of-print books with over 45 million books listed by over 12,000 independent booksellers. AbeBooks is a global company based in Victoria, BC, with sites dedicated to bookbuyers in North America (, the UK (, France (, and Germany ( Through strategic partnerships with Amazon, Barnes &
Noble, and eBay AbeBooks has become the most important virtual supplier of used books while expanding sales avenues for booksellers.

Richard Davies, PR & Publicity Mgr.,
Ph: 250-412-3238

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