With the popularity of e-books on the rise, many have lamented the decline in popularity of physical books. Many have turned to collecting as a way of holding on to the tradition of printed books and manuscripts. In building up a book collection, there are a few things to consider from the outset to make sure you are heading down the right track.
Start with what you love
Like any collection, a library built from a love of books will be far more rewarding than one motivated by financial gain. There is a possibility that your book collection will appreciate in value over time, but it just as well might not. Therefore, it is highly recommended that when you get into book collecting, you begin by finding the books you love rather than the ones you think are going to make you money. That way, even if your collection doesn't increase in value over the years, it will be made of books that have personal value to you.
Narrowing the focus
Of course, narrowing down what you love about books to a single focus may be a bit difficult. There are many routes you can take. You may choose to find all the books by a certain author, all the editions of a certain title, or the best examples of a certain time period, practice or literary style. Whatever you choose, know that building a collection will be easier the narrower your focus is.
Peruse local shops
One of the best ways to get acquainted with books is to visit the local shops. Even if you don't intend on buying anything, simply looking around at what is available and what looks good is a great way of exposing yourself to the book world. If you find something you like, take note of its title and price and see if you can find a better deal on an online auction. If not, at least you know where to go back to find it in the future.
Consider a book's art value
Many books are valued as being works of art in a physical, rather than literary, sense. Consider the visual appeal as well as the weight and feel of a book you are considering purchasing. This is another reason it is good to frequent brick-and-mortar stores, as you will be able to look at and handle these books before you commit to buying them. Though do keep in mind that they can often be found for less at an online auction.
Antiques and collectibles, from rare books and manuscripts to coins and jewelry, can always be found at iCollector.com.