Selling Books

The book selling business is going slowly. We’ve now sold three military history books to a collector in the US for US$150 – plus a whopping US$65 in postage. Oh, and a copy of the Australasian Girl’s Annual of 1917 to a friend in Wellington.

We’re getting the books from my father who runs “Ohope’s Famous Bookshop on the Lawn” as recently seen on TV’s Close-Up show. You can watch the video here, click on “Leaves on the Lawn”. He goes through many, many books each year and picks out stuff that he thinks is rare or otherwise interesting to collectors.

We’ve got a few auctions up at Ebay and Trademe. My favourite is the 1919 copy of the Treaty at Versailles.

The odd thing is that I don’t really understand the book collectors. I see the point of owning books you wish to read or refer to, but owning books just for the sake of it doesn’t make sense to me.

Even weirder is the whole idea of valuing first editions over a later edition. To me the value of a book is in the words and ideas recorded in it, not the thing itself, especially for mass-produced items like books. I’m looking forward to Google scanning all the books in the world and making them available over the internet.