What Old Books Do You Own?

  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Jun 15, 2009 7:54 PM GMT
    After reading this story, http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/31368875?gt1=43001, I was curious about how easy it is to find old books that could easily be worth good money.

    A friend of mine retrieved either a first or second edition of Vanity Fair from her aunt who was just going to throw it out.

    I recently bought two books on sex and relationships printed in 1937 and 1940 (they're so archaic). I also have a first run edition of a newpaper that covers the moon landing. I also have some old Boy Scout handbooks that go as far back as the 1930s. I overpaid for a nearly 100-year-old copy of Longfellow's Evangeline.

    So with all that said, what old books do you have, how much are they worth and how did you come about them?
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    Jun 15, 2009 10:16 PM GMT
    I still have the first two issues of Wired Magazine. I have no idea how much they're worth.
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    Jun 16, 2009 1:27 AM GMT
    A copy of MacBeth from - 1935
    Masterpieces of Latin Literature - 1903
    Henry V -1898
    The Tempest - 1927

    Those are just some of the older books I pulled off my shelf, have plenty of others. Most bought for under $5. Got most of them at a used book store in Somerville. Used to go there during lunch. I prefer going to used book store because you never know what you can find, and I regularly found interesting books I wasn't even looking for.
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    Jun 16, 2009 2:00 AM GMT
    The only two that may have some value are big bound conductor's scores to Wagner's Siegfried and Götterdammerung. Printed in the late 1880's.
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    Jun 16, 2009 2:06 AM GMT
    Hmm ? I have a children's encyclopedia from 1965.
    A relative gave it to me when I was born.
    I also have a LIFE magazine with MLK & Bayard Rustin
    on the cover. It's about the 1963 March on Washington.
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    Jun 16, 2009 2:19 AM GMT
    A Columbia Encyclopedia from around 1930.
    (Great to look up old knowledge.)

    "Days of our Years" by Pierre van Paassen from 1939.

    A book written by my great-great-grandfather in the late 19th century.

    And many of the early years of Unix/World and Unix Review.
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    Jun 16, 2009 2:54 AM GMT
    bgcat57 saidThe only two that may have some value are big bound conductor's scores to Wagner's Siegfried and Götterdammerung. Printed in the late 1880's.

    (Wagner devotee swoons with envy).
    My oldest book: Schiller's Abfall des Niederlandes von der Spanishen Regierung, It has an Ex Libris saying it was awarded to a student at St. Paul's School, Leatherhead UK in 1908 as the Wagner Prize.
  • Bunjamon

    Posts: 3161

    Jun 16, 2009 3:05 AM GMT
    I have a beautiful copy of Les fables de La Fontaine with all of the original lithographs. It's beautiful! The date hand-written in the front is from the 1920s but I think it was published quite a bit earlier than that. I would never want to sell it, though, it's so beautiful! I got it restored last year, actually, and it's looking great.
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    Jun 16, 2009 3:06 AM GMT

    The Life of Thomas Jefferson, by Henry S. Randall, 1858, 3 vols.

    I just found this on line.....

    The Life of Thomas Jefferson (3 volumes) Randall, Henry S.
    Book Price: US$ 1000.00

    About the Book
    Bibliographic Details

    Publisher: Derby & Jackson, New York
    Publication Date: 1858
    Binding: Hard Cover
    Book Condition: Very Good
    Dust Jacket Condition: No Jacket
    Edition: 1st Ed

    .....but I dont intend to sell them. When I am ready to relinquish them, it will be to the Special Collections of the Alexandria City Library.



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    Jun 16, 2009 3:13 AM GMT
    Um, you do know that Library got burned down, right....?
    (:
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    Jun 16, 2009 3:14 AM GMT
    My oldest book is a collection of the works of Horace published in Glasgow in 1777. The binding is original.

    I've got a collection of the letters of Felix Mendelssohn translated into English and published in 1874. That was rebound by a library.

    A complete run of Charles Dickens from c1900 (it's at my parents' house, so I don't know the exact date).

    A bunch of piano-vocal scores published in Milan around 1900.

    I put myself part-way through college by working nights as a janitor at a book depository. Once a month all of the libraries in the county sent us their discards. For three weeks, reps from the various libraries could pick through the discards and take whatever they wanted. During the fourth week, the staff could take anything they could carry. And I could carry a lot... At the end of the week, the remainders went into a dumpster, then off to a landfill.

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    Jun 16, 2009 3:14 AM GMT
    Caesarea4 said
    Um, you do know that Library got burned down, right....?
    (:
    [Is this a Hebrew smiley face read from right to left?]

    damn Christians!
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    Jun 16, 2009 3:36 AM GMT
    I have an affinity for (really) old books and so I've developed a bit of a collection. I have a 1st edition compilation of Poe's Unabridged Works from the '20s and an assortment of other fine treasures. My prized possession: a *VERY* old Bible written in a lost German dialect that has been in my family since it was first printed. I do not know the actual age (it was printed before stamping the publish date was common), but it is rumored to be from near the time of the earliest Lutheran translations of the Aramaic Bible into the German language. How cool would that be?!?
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    Jun 16, 2009 3:47 AM GMT
    When I lived in Syracuse, I went to a used book store near the house. Was thumbing thru and bought a used copy of Patricia Nell Warren's classic "The Front Runner". I'd never heard of the book before and decided to get it since I ran track in high school. The most interesting thing about the cover was it had the Olympic rings on it. I later learned that the Olympics had a major problem with this and had them take the rings off the cover asap, but a few of the original printings were still "out there".

    I have no idea how much the book would cost now.

    Others...

    My grandmother's bible and my first subscription to "Hero" magazine.
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    Jun 16, 2009 3:58 AM GMT
    ACowboy saidI have an affinity for (really) old books and so I've developed a bit of a collection. I have a 1st edition compilation of Poe's Unabridged Works from the '20s and an assortment of other fine treasures. My prized possession: a *VERY* old Bible written in a lost German dialect that has been in my family since it was first printed. I do not know the actual age (it was printed before stamping the publish date was common), but it is rumored to be from near the time of the earliest Lutheran translations of the Aramaic Bible into the German language. How cool would that be?!?

    If the books of James, Hebrews, and Revelation are at the end of the bible in a special appendix, then it is a very early Lutheran bible. Luther had problems with those books and put them at the very end.
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    Jun 16, 2009 4:39 AM GMT
    Hmm...let's see. I tend to buy books wherever I go, so here's a partial list:

    Several books I got from a friend who was going to throw them away (!) :

    The Poems of Bayard Taylor (published 1865, dedicated to a "Louise" in 1866)

    A partial collection of poetry books (A series called the Canterbury Poets) from England and Scotland, including:

    The Poems of Alexander Smith

    The Bothie and Other Poems

    The Painter Poets

    Contemporary Scottish Verse (same publisher, different collection)

    Night Thoughts on Life, Death, and Immortality. by Edward Young lld. (1820)

    The Idylls of the King: Tennyson (~1920s/30s)

    The Seven Pillars of Wisdom (1926)

    The Viking Book of Poetry of the English Speaking World (1940)

    1000 Years of Irish Poetry (1947)

    And a couple of sets of LOTR 1960s ed, some in better condition than others.

    Pitmans Shorthand Instructor Twentieth Century Edition (No date)

    As well as A Tale of Two Cities, David Copperfield, Martin Chuzzleworth, and Oliver Twist/Great Expectations, all circa 1930s.

  • Little_Spoon

    Posts: 1562

    Jun 16, 2009 5:23 AM GMT
    This National Geographic from....1950, I believe.

    I'd have to double check...
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    Jun 16, 2009 5:46 AM GMT
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    Jun 16, 2009 6:09 AM GMT
    ACowboy saidMy prized possession: a *VERY* old Bible written in a lost German dialect that has been in my family since it was first printed.
    I wish I had a copy of the adulterers bible .. you know the one that says "Thou shalt commit adultery." Just for shits and giggles.

    Here are some other famous misprint bibles that are probably worth something:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bible_errata

    "Wicked Bible", "Adulterous Bible" or "Sinner's Bible" 1631: Barker and Lucas: Omits an important "not" from Exodus 20:14, making the seventh commandment read "Thou shalt commit adultery." And also contains an error in Deuteronomy 5:24 that replaces the word "greatness" with "great arse" in a passage referring to God.[4]. rendering the passage “The Lord hath showed us his glory and his great arse.”[5]. The printers were fined £300 and most of the copies were recalled immediately. Only 11 copies are known to exist today.

    "Sin On Bible": 1716: John 8:11 reads "Go and sin on more" rather than "Go and sin no more".

    "The Fools Bible": 1763: Psalm 14:1 reads "the fool hath said in his heart there is a God", rather than "...there is no God". The printers were fined three thousand pounds and all copies ordered destroyed.

    "Owl Bible" 1944: "Owl" replaces "own", making 1 Peter 3:5 read, "For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted God, adorned themselves, being in subjection to their owl husbands." The error was caused by a printing plate with a damaged letter n.
  • CincyBOJ

    Posts: 306

    Jun 16, 2009 6:12 AM GMT
    My partner has collected some old books. One of which is a first publication of Little Orphan Annie. He also has an ole 1901 Polish Bible with a very ornate cover had of bone, jewel and hide. I have an old Boy Scout book which I believe to be the second version, olive green, which was my grandfather's.
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    Jun 18, 2009 7:14 AM GMT
    I love old books & I have a library/den with some old favorites, including:
    Mosaic - - by G.B. Stern from 1930;
    The Complete Poetical Works - - of Alfred Tennyson from 1883;
    Vampire And Other Verses - - by Rudyard Kipling;
    The Raven And Other Poems - - by Poe;
    Mumu - - by Turgenev;
    Pippa Passes - - by Robert Browning;
    Hiawatha, Volume II - - by Longfellow;
    A Message To Garcia - and other essays - - by Elbert Hubbard - 1921;
    A Tillyloss Scandal - - by James Barrie.
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    Jun 18, 2009 7:17 AM GMT
    I inherited the works of william shakespear. It is a collect of seven books and in the first book it says it was a christmas gift for a man in 1886
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    Jun 18, 2009 9:23 AM GMT
    I like old books, but I tend to go for amusing books rather than potential value. Like the OP I also have an early 20th century book on sexuality and relationships.
    But my favourite old book on my shelf is a (danish) book on "indigenous peoples of the world - popular ethnograpics", from 1898.
    The descriptions of the different native peoples are hilarious. It's everything we're taught to be bad academic practice today. It's based on lots of 2nd hand observations and the authors' coclusions are rather assumptions drawn from his own cultural platform. Not really attempting to understand "the savages" and their world, but pointing out how different and weird/amusing they are.

    ex: A South American tribe is deemed cannibalistic because they eat monkeys. The observer thinks, when the monkeys are skinned, that they look a bit like a small human baby, which must be the main reason for eating monkeys. next best thing to eating humans.
    He didn't see them eat a person, but that's probably only because human flesh is hard to come by icon_lol.gif