A Brief History of the Dust Jacket

As most collectors are aware, a dust jacket in fine condition can greatly enhance the value of a book. Indeed, for modern first editions, a book without the dust jacket will sell for only a fraction of the price. Once intended to be temporary and disposable protection for beautifully bound books, dust jackets have become–in some ways–more valuable than the books they protect. How and when did this change occur? Prior to the 1820s, most books were issued as unbound … Continued


Varieties of Book Binding

Books appear in a wide variety of different bindings. The variety of book binding presentations has a rich heritage, from the first scrolls of the ancient world through contemporary mass-market paperbacks and unbound ebooks.

Bookbinding History

The earliest scribes engraved their records into wax tablets, palm-leaves and a variety of scrolls. The antiquity of scrolls as a method of preserving information now lends a sense of tradition and formality for many ceremonial documents and religious texts. Parchment pages sewn to wooden boards encased in leather comprised the first actual bound books. Clasps often held these books shut, because they tended to spread open over time as the pages swelled from moisture in the air.

Ornate decoration and embossing typified books during the middle ages. Animals, angels, and stories covered both the covers and interiors of books. Paper, introduced in Asia between the ninth and twelfth centuries dominated books by the end of the medieval period. Printed books standardized bookbinding in a way that was not possible for individually crafted volumes. (more…)


What Classifies a Book as Rare?

299335751.0
OTHELLO
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…)


FAQ: How do I find audiobooks on Biblio?

Searching Biblio for Audiobooks

Image: an example of how to search for audiobooks
An example search form entry to find audiobooks on Biblio

Do you enjoy audiobooks? If you like having your stories read aloud to you, we can help you find them on Biblio.

Since each bookseller on the Biblio marketplace uploads their own inventory, we do not have direct control over book descriptions and their details, so there are many ways to find what you are looking for.

When you are performing a search on Biblio, use the word “audio” in the keyword field along with the book title in the title field to see all audio selections. Here is an example with “Lord of the Rings” in the title and “audio” in the keyword field:

https://www.biblio.com/search.php?author=&title=lord+of+the+rings&isbn=&keyisbn=audio&pageper=20

Now, if you check those search results, you will notice that some listings are for cassettes, while others are on CD.  We may even have a seller or two with vinyl recordings, if you search hard enough!  Make sure that you click all the way from the search results into the book detail pages to read the full description before you make your purchase.

You could also search by author name in the appropriate field, and the word audio in the keyword field, if you want a broader search of an entire author’s works.

If you need more details about a listing, you can always contact the bookseller directly, or if you need help with a transaction or order status, you may submit a ticket to Biblio support.

Amber is the current marketing coordinator at Biblio. A lifelong love of the written word brought her to Biblio and she happily spends her days talking about books and delving into the wide world of antiquarian books.

You can also find her in the garden or writing about brewing and plant adventures at Pixie’s Pocket.


What Not to do to a Book: A Top Ten List

Water-damaged Book
Oh, this poor thing.

Books, especially old and antique books, can be finicky and temperamental. To keep your collection in pristine condition, be sure to avoid the following pitfalls of book ownership.

1. Do not expose to water or damp atmospheres

When wet or damp, pages quickly wrinkle and become brittle. In some cases, the ink can run and spill onto other pages.

 2. Do not place pressure on the binding

Age, quality, and use can all result in weakened binding, and undue pressure can cause pages to fall out and the binding to split.

 3. Do not subject to harsh or ultraviolet lights

Books with hand-drawn or fragile illustrations and platings can become dull when exposed too frequently to ultraviolet lights or camera flashes.
(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.

 


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


Alternatives to Amazon? They exist.

Massive changes to the publishing and bookselling industries now force us to look at which companies have merged, and which companies have gobbled up smaller stores, or simply destroyed any competition blocking their paths. We’ve been asking ourselves this question: What online book alternatives to Amazon remain?