The Avid Reader April 2008
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In This Issue:

» Collecting Travel Guides

» Ask the Expert

» Travels with Charley

» Most expensive sales or March

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Welcome to your new Avid Collector. Those of you who also subscribe to our Avid Reader newsletter will be familiar with this new design. We're providing the same well-researched content from collecting experts that you've come to expect, in a more attractive and readable layout. We hope you like it.

Our focus this issue is collectible travel guides. Evocative and often very affordable, these precursors to Lonely Planet will have you plotting a course for your next Grand Tour of the Continent. We also have a fun article on the 100th anniversary of The Wind in the Willows, a feature on the most sought after authors and more expert answers to your collecting questions. Enjoy!

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Baedeker with a Biedermeier binding

A Baedeker guide with Biedermeier cover.

Collecting Travel Guides

Scott Brown of Fine Books & Collections Magazine brings us another article on the art of collecting.

When Karl Baedeker published his first guidebook in 1832, Europe was finally at peace after the Napoleonic Wars, steam power was revolutionizing travel and a new and prosperous middle-class had risen in both Europe and America. Travel quickly became their obsession.

Baedeker published four German-language titles, Rheinreise, Moselreise, Holland and Belgien, in the 1830s. In 1836, John Murray started his Handbook for Travellers series. Shortly after Baedeker and Murray guides appeared on the market, travel guides from other British and European publishing houses began to appear... Read the full article.

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Our Expert Booksellers answer your questions on rare and collectible books.
View the Q&A

This Issue's Questions

  1. I have a small Bible, also known as the Daniel's Miniature Bible, published in 1648. It is in its original binding, which is in fairly good condition. The leather is a bit rubbed on the corners, but this is to be expected with a book of this age. What can you tell me about this book? - Franz
  2. I ordered a recently published book from a fairly well known author. The shop asked if I wanted the book inscribed to me. Would an inscription like this increase the value of the book? Or should I just ask for the author's autograph? - BL
  3. I have the 30-volume set, The Bibliophile Library of Literature, Art and Rare Manuscripts, published in 1904 by the International Bibliophile Society. It was limited to 1000 sets, of which this set is copy No. 823. The books are in good condition. Can you tell me anything about them? - Laurel
  4. I have a New Testament printed in 1608 by Robert Barker, bound with The First Alphabet of Directions, The Second Alphabet of Directions, and The Whole Booke of Psalmes, dated 1609. Is it usual that these books would be bound together like this? I had the volume rebound about 30 years ago. How does that affect value? - Paul

See the Answers

Daniel's Miniature Bible

Daniel's Miniature Bible

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Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck

Travels with Charley: In Search of America
by John Steinbeck

With this month's travel theme, Joachin Koch of Books Tell You Why in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, U.S.A, recommends a great modern American travel book.

Publisher: New York: Viking
Publication Date: 1962
Binding: Hardcover, with the original dust jacket. A fine copy in a near fine jacket.
Edition: First edition

Read more about Travels with Charley

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Win a Bookseller for a day

Win a bookseller for a day.... and have your collection professionally appraised by an bookseller. We're looking for North America's most passionate book collector - is it you?

Learn more about the contest


The Most Collectible Authors

Collectible Authors

Who is most wanted in the book world? We analyzed sales data from 2007 and compiled an 'author collectibility index' based on sales of books priced more than $500. From the usual suspects to self-published authors, this list is a comprehensive survey of literary talent.

See the most wanted authors

100 Years of the Wind in the Willows

100 Years of The Wind in the Willows

The Wind in the Willows is much more than a story from a bygone age. It is, frankly, one of the finest children's books ever written. One hundred years after it was first published, Kenneth Grahame's masterpiece can be picked up and read to any young child, and it will have a mesmerizing effect.

Motor on. (Poop-poop!)

Collecting Early Baseball Books

Collecting Early Baseball Books

Turn your thoughts to the sharp crack of the bat, the feeling of sun on your face, the smell of oiled leather gloves and grandstand hotdogs, and lose yourself in the history of this beloved sport.

Play Ball!

Visit the Rare Book Room

The Rare Book Room is your window into a remarkable collection of books, regularly featuring a selection of our booksellers' most precious items.

Visit the Rare Book Room

Most Expensive Books Sold in March

An unusually pronounceable selection of authors made last month's list of most expensive sales - Orwell, Blyton, Eliot, Rushdie...

See last month's most expensive sales

Have Your Books Valued

Want to know how much your most prized book is worth? Find out from The Book Guys' Allan Stypeck.

Learn More

AbeBooks Appraisers

Looking for an appraiser to value your collection of books? Many of the world's finest and most knowledgeable booksellers sell through AbeBooks and also offer appraisal services. Use this list to find a AbeBooks bookseller near you who might be able to help.

View the full list of appraisers


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