Various authors and themes are highly sought after

The modern collector always thinks about what to collect. What will be a good investment? What will stand the test of time? The same questions always arise when collecting books.

Of course, some book collectors try to collect what interests them, such as books on their favorite topic or by their favorite author. Modern collectors seem to be interested more in modern authors than those authors of long ago. Having said that, books by such stalwarts such as Faulkner, Fitzgerald, Hemingway and Steinbeck are always in demand.

Modern first editions are hot collectibles. Collectors of modern first editions hope that new authors will make their mark on the literary scene, such as Stephen King and John Grisham. To acquire a first edition by one of these authors is a book collector’s dream. If a book also has an accompanying dust jacket its value soars.

Childrens’ books have always been favorites among collectors. The “Harry Potter” books by J. K. Rowling are examples of current favorite childrens’ books. A person lucky enough to have a first edition of any of the Potter books must feel quite fortunate. Through the years various children series books have been real collectibles. Some of the most popular series have been The Hardy Boys, The Bobsey Twins, Nancy Drew, and Dick & Jane. However, despite a first edition being a prized catch, make sure that the books you collect are not falling apart or have torn or even scribbled pages.

Books on science and medicine are highly collectible. Most books in those fields have limited printing. A treasure would be to a science or medicine book that expounds some new breakthrough or theory that later would became a standard.

Sporting books have also become collector items. The most likely reason that books on sports are collectibles is because sporting heroes, and for that matter, sport record changes are broken, and therefore an older book would discuss people and things that are out of date.

Books with a Western theme are never out of style. People cannot seem to ever get their fill of cowboys and Indians books as well as books on outlaws and gold miners.

In addition, books that have color plate illustrations, as well as fine bindings and wood engravings, are always popular. Apparently when a person is attracted by the beauty and precision of a book, they seem to hold on to the book, and it becomes a collectible.

However, do keep in mind that a book is really only as valuable as it is to the owner. If you do not care for a book it is better to pass on it until a book more to your liking is made available.

If you are wondering about where to find good books, consider a collectible book dealer, and even used book stores. Likewise, many people have found many a rare book on the internet.  Joining a vintage book club can be enlightening as well.

In the meantime, enjoy your reading.

Jeff Figler has authored more than 700 published articles about collecting. He is a certified professional appraiser and one of the world’s leading experts on collectibles. His latest book, “The Picker’s Pocket Guide to Baseball Memorabilia” has been #1 on Amazon. He can be reached at