These Edgar Allen Poe Illustrations are Nightmarish and Amazing

Illustrator Harry Clarke perfectly embodies the quiet terror and overwhelming claustrophobia of Edgar Allen Poe’s most loved stories. If you enjoy not sleeping and jumping at every noise your house makes, you should really check out Tales of Mystery and Imagination, a collection of stories by Edgar Allen Poe. First adopted in 1908 by Padraic Colum, the collection has been published and reproduced by many publishing houses, but the most memorable editions feature illustrations by famed stained glass artist and … Continued

“Booked to Die” Revisited

Booked to Die, first edition
Booked to Die, first edition

When I first started working in a used bookstore, the shop keeper assigned me two books to read before starting. The first, ABC for Book Collectors, was a thorough encyclopedia of the terminology of the trade.  It supplied me with a solid foundation on which to build my knowledge of used and rare books. The second book I was given was John Dunning’s Booked to Die.  That little page-turner mystery gave material to construct spires on that original foundation.

For those who haven’t read Dunning’s Bookman series, you should get a copy of Booked to Die as soon as possible. John Dunning managed to draw on his real life experience running a bookshop in Denver to create a detailed portrayal of the strange and sometimes seedy world of used and rare books. Booked to Die introduces police detective and book-collector Cliff Janeway working a murder case revolving around rare books. (more…)

The Most Expensive Book Sold at Auction – The Bay Psalm Book

N09039_385_2Bay Psalm Book Auctioned for 14 Million Dollars

Setting a world record for the most expensive book ever sold at auction, the Bay Psalm Book was sold for $14,165,000 to David M. Rubenstein from Sotheby’s auction house.  Rubenstein works for an investment firm in Washington, DC, and according to the New York Times, Rubenstein plans to lend it to libraries across the country.

There are only 11 known copies of the Bay Psalm Book, which makes it an incredibly rare find.  Printed in 1640, it is the first book printed in English in North America, just two decades after the Mayflower carried the Pilgrims to the New World.

This particular Bay Psalm Book contains numerous printing and spelling errors, typical of the very early printing presses.  The New Yorker explains that the preface of the first edition includes the disclaimer that the printers

“…respected rather a plaine translation, then to smooth our verses with the sweetnes of any paraphrase, and soe have attended Conscience rather then Elegance…” (more…)

What Classifies a Book as Rare?

by Shakespeare, William

Is This Book Rare?

We at Biblio receive lots of emails about the value and rarity of books. Often, a loved one recently passed and family members happen to find a very old or antique book and are curious about its worth. There are many variables that must be considered when assigning value, and how rare a book is certainly one of them.

A book is considered to be “out of print” when a publisher no longer prints copies of the book in question, but a book simply being out-of-print does not equal rarity. If out of print books can be easily found in the back of bookstores or in boxes hidden in the warehouses of publishers, they may be out of print, but they are not rare, and often not very valuable. It is important to understand that even if a book is scarce, if there is no demand for it, it is not considered rare.

Older books that may not have ISBN information attached to them are usually going to be considered more rare than others simply because they are not as easily tracked, so their availability on the market is more ambiguous. (more…)

What is Ephemera?

Biblio may specialize in used, rare, and out of print books, but you can also find maps, letters, official documents, cartoons, and art in our Ephemera page under Antiquarian and Rare Books. Biblio sellers are offering some truly rare and unique pieces for sale, and the delicacy of many of the items only adds to their value.

So if you are looking for a special gift or for something to truly set your book collection apart from the rest, be sure to browse some of the most amazing items offered on Biblio.


How Should I Begin My Book Collection?

One of my fondest memories of my grandparent’s old mountain house was the 25 foot floor-to-ceiling wall they dedicated to their vast book collection. They had everything from travel catalogs to anthropology textbooks to ancient and obscure mathematics books.  They had several rare and antique books, and they loved showing them off to their grandchildren. (more…)

Awesome Cover Art

To state the obvious: physical books are better than digital books. The smell, texture, and weight of accomplishment of physical books simply cannot be mimicked by E-readers. But perhaps the most obvious way a digital book pales in comparison to the physical book is in the artistry of book covers.  Part of what makes first editions and out of print books so valuable is their unique cover art, and they would undoubtedly enhance your book collection.

The care and creativity of book covers just cannot be replicated by pixels on a screen, and we have included a few of our favorite book covers from the “Make an Offer” pages on Biblio.  One particular seller, 1st Editions and Antiquarian Books, has some fantastic titles available that will absolutely add value to your rare and antique book collection.



What are "Deluxe Edition" Books?

There is a world of breathtaking books out there, and many of the most beautiful are deluxe editions of popular titles.

If you are looking for a special copy of your favorite book, you should consider purchasing a deluxe edition. Deluxe editions often come with illustrations, manuscripts, ornate bindings, or additional information from the author or publisher that are not available in other editions.  Many deluxe editions are also limited editions, which can make them extremely rare and valuable.

Deluxe editions make fantastic gifts and lovely display books for your bookshelf or coffee table.  But best of all, if you love to share books with friends and family members, you can pass around reading copies of old favorites and keep your special deluxe edition just for yourself.

Deluxe editions are sure to increase the value of your rare and out-of-print book collection, and you can find many of these titles on!

What are “Errata”?

Chances are you have encountered some “errata”, and perhaps even commented on it, but never knew quite what it was. Errata are mistakes in literature that made it through the editing process and were published. These mistakes can be spelling errors or logical inconsistencies, and for the more anal retentive of readers, they can provide a source of either deep amusement or deep irritation. These kinds of quirks can add value to your used and rare book collection, and while … Continued

2011 Edgar Award Nominees Announced

The Mystery Writers of America have revealed the list of nominees for the 2011 Edgar Awards. The award, named after Edgar Allan Poe, honors the best writers in the mystery genre each year. The full list of nominees is available as a press release download on their website, and publishing industry blog GalleyCat has pulled some of the top names in each category, including:

Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin
Laura Lippman I'd Know You Anywhere
Robert Goddard Long Time Coming
Rafael Alvarez The Wire: Truth Be Told