Book Collecting Guide

2017: Uncommonly Good Books Sold This Year

Last year was the year of celebrity books and biographies, political memoirs, and modern firsts. It’s been interesting to see a few changes in the types of books that people were interested in in 2017.

Collectible copies of books and broadsides from modern poets and classic poets alike were quite popular. There were more poetry books than political books sold during 2017, which is a sharp change from last year during the election cycle. Even so, collectible books related to modern politicians and American presidential ephemera are still garnering interest. We noticed that books by Donald Trump were one of our largest targets for fraudulent order attempts, signed copies of What Happened by Hillary Clinton sold like hotcakes, and copies of Mein Kampf are still selling at a decent clip.

There has been a surge of interest in classical books on natural science and geography. Collections of botanical prints, map collections and travel journals from many different centuries found new homes. In fact, the most expensive book sold through Biblio this year was A monograph of the Capitonidae or Scansorial Barbets, a rare book on a family of birds from 1871.

Classic books for children remain a steadfast niche in the world of rare books, with Winnie the Pooh, The Little Prince, and the Wind in the Willows being the notable titles seen over and over again through the year. Collectible copies of Harry Potter (or anything ever touched) by J. K. Rowling continue to be best-sellers. The trend of dystopian young adult literature continues to dwindle in popularity, while poetry and banned books appear to be firing the flames of today’s youth.

A new trend that we’ve seen in 2017 is the increase in the sale of book collections arranged by aesthetics. Whether to decorate the walls in a new home or corner office or to arrange in interesting stacks for Instagram fame, more new book collectors are interested in matched sets.

The three most expensive sales on Biblio this year were:

A monograph of the Capitonidae or Scansorial Barbets by Charles Henry Tilson Marshall and George Frederick Leycester Marshall - 1st edition of a rare work on the Capitonidae family of birds - $17,500

PATROLOGIAE LATINAE CURSUS COMPLETUS: 207 volumes of the Patrologia Latina by J.P. Migne - $15,000

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury - Signed, 1st edition, rare asbestos binding - $12,000

Enjoy browsing the gallery of some of the most interesting books sold this year.

Thank you all for a wonderful year - best wishes from all of us here at Biblio to all of you as we look ahead to 2018!