When it comes to rare books, condition is everything. Any kind of damage, discoloration, or flaw can significantly impact a book's value. One of the most common flaws we see in rare and antiquarian books is a condition called ghosting or shadowing. This condition occurs when a page fades unevenly, leaving a visible outline on the page.
Summer is in full swing, and along with all that sun comes the joy of summer reading! But the sun can cause irreversible damage to your skin—and your books. It's important to protect your rare and collectible books from heat, humidity, and sunning.
Bookworms, mildew, water. These are the most common culprits of rare book damage. But if you've invested in your personal library, you'll also want to prepare for a more serious threat: fire. Though fires are certainly more rare than other destructive forces, they can cause far more damage.
If you collect rare and antiquarian books, you're well aware that a book's binding can significantly impact its value. The craft of book binding has evolved over time, and modern book conservators often use both contemporary and ancient methods to restore and preserve antiquarian books. Those methods date back much further than you may have thought!
When you think of conservation and preservation, you may think of the environment. But for rare book collectors, conservation and preservation are the key to maintaining—and sometimes even increasing—the value of your prized investments. But what do the terms "conservation" and "preservation" actually mean in the world of rare books? Furthermore, what happens when you throw the idea of "restoration" into the mix?
Before taking to the skies, a pilot learns the inner workings of an airplane. Rare book collectors should do the same with books. It's important to understand how a book is put together so it is easier to recognize the signs of fine craftsmanship, to spot reproductions, and to assess the value of potential additions to your collection. Here are the basics of book assembly.
We receive many emails from book collectors and individuals who have purchased books from our inventory. We’re asked a lot of questions about book collecting, the history of a certain collectible or title, etc. We love hearing from you, and we try our best to answer your inquiries. Recently, many of you seem to be wondering about book care, particularly book storage, and how to store your books in a way that ensures the preservation of your collection. We thought we’d share some answers and some of our favorite resources.
For anyone interested in book collecting, understanding the terminology used in the book buying and selling industry is essential. When it comes to a book’s binding, there are many descriptors that are used. Do you know the difference between half bound and quarter bound? What does it mean if a book’s been shaken? Can you describe the difference between Octavo and Quarto? Let us help with this glossary of book binding terms.
So you’re a book collector. Perhaps you’re just starting out, or maybe you’ve amassed a sizable collection. You have researched the proper methods to protect your books from the elements—things like proper humidity control and winning the battle against bookworms. Your book collection is your pride and joy, and you’re looking forward to passing it down to your kids and grand-kids someday, or donating it to a favorite museum or institute. Excellent. Now, have you considered how you should insure your book collection? If not, you should. We've been asked recently about how to insure book collections. Here are several things to think about when it comes to protecting your investment.