Thursday, January 13, 2005
More Bang for Your Buck: Collecting Books
Think of it as a new chapter in your life. If you ever wanted to collect rare books, knowing what to look for requires a lot of reading. But in tonight's more bang for your buck, we suggest something a little more efficient - it's our cliff notes for how to start a very profitable hobby.
WSVN -- Hemingway, Shakespeare, Chaucer.
Literary classics inspire John De Groot.
John De Groot: "25 years later and probably about 1,000 books, im still hooked."
For this bookworm, finding rare editions is an addiction.
His collection is invaluable. Take for instance, this copy of tales of the South Pacific.
John: "I found it at a thrift shop. Almost a junk shop. I paid 25 cents for it. It's worth conservatively $4,000 dollars according to the Internet."
But John's discovery isn't as unusual. As you may think.
Robert Hittel of Hittel Books says the first step for new collectors is to select a certain category.
Robert Hittel: "It has to be something you really feel passionate about so when you see an important item, you recognize it."
Once you know your subject, condition is everything.
In this field, you want to "choose a book by it's cover."
Make sure the jacket or dust cover is in mint condition.
Rob: "Sometimes the jacket is worth 10, 20, 50 times what the book is without the jacket. You've got to have the jacket."
Of course for value, the crown of collecting is a signed first edition especially if there is a note from a deceased author.
Rob: "The more writing the better."
But rare books do not necessarily have to be old books.
Rob: "It's strictly supply and demand. The more people looking for it and the less books the higher the price."
Consider this - only eight years ago, J.K. Rowling published the very first Harry Potter story in England.
A signed copy today is worth over $35,000 dollars.
John: "Collecting things is an addiction."
John's always looking for new editions to his collection.
For him, finding rare books is a never-ending cliffhanger.
John: "Maybe they'll start a recovery program. A 12-step program for book collectors."
Now, we know it may look tacky. But it's always a good habit to leave the price tag on all old books. Many times the price is a very important clue in determining the age.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Hittel Books, Inc.
3020 North Federal Highway
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33306
Monday through Saturday 10 a.m-6 p.m.
Sunday 12-6 p.m.