Posts Tagged first edition

Book Collection Valuation

Book Collection Valuation

We just acquired a book collection from some folks who were dealing with the estate of a family member.  The gentleman who contacted me shared the story of the passing of his wife’s brother, and how they came to have his collection of books.

The process of selling them was uncomfortable for many reasons, the least of which was parting with something so personal and reflective of the man and his passion for books.  They contacted many booksellers, most of whom were unknown to the family, and only identified by the receipts kept with the books.  Everyone seemed to want some of the books, but no one was interested in them all.  Well actually no one, except for VJ Books.

Of the nearly 200 books, many were common to us (and not what we would normally purchase), but we understood the need for a clean and final transaction, so made an offer for them all that proved equitable and acceptable.

As I worked through the several boxes I came to know something about the collector, and his collecting habits, and began to wonder how my heirs will process my books when the time comes. Book collecting is a very personal adventure. We collect for different reasons, and I’m not sure we share those reasons with our families.

As I have trimmed my collection from nearly 5000 titles to its current shape, my process has been personal and intentional. My collection, that once represented highly collectible authors and titles, is now more or less defined by those authors that I consider friends. You will find Clive Cussler, Michael Connelly, Jeffery Deaver, Stephen Hunter, Ridley Pearson, James Lee Burke, and other well known authors on my shelves, but also books by lesser known authors who are here just because I enjoyed their work and have come to know them over the years. So what is important to me cannot help determine the eventual value sitting here. My family has an advantage, as booksellers, in determining value, and finding someone to buy my collection.

So how do you protect your investment in collectible books? After all, you have spent a lot of time and money building your collection, and don’t want them to end up on Ebay, or sitting at your local Goodwill.

Keep a written record of what your books mean to you, and why. Keep a folder of receipts, reviews, comments – anything that may help whoever has the task of sorting through your “effects.”

Please do this. Make a spreadsheet (Excel works fine) on each title in your collection or consider using CollectorZ. Consider the following as headers: Author, Title, Publisher, ISBN, Cover Price, Year of Publication, Edition (use McBride’s Guide if you aren’t sure), Book Condition (this is tricky, but important, see below), Jacket Condition, Noted Defects (remainder mark, price clipped, inscriptions etc.), Author Signed (or not), Price Paid, Where Acquired, Current Value.

Conditions (some of our terms, we use a code shown as a numerical value; you might want to see our FAQ on book grading here):

01 – First edition, first printing, mint, new/unread in a flawless dust jacket, signed by the author.
11 – First edition, first printing, mint, new/unread in a flawless dust jacket.
02 – First edition, first printing, fine in a fine dust jacket, signed by the author.
12 – First edition, first printing, fine in a fine dust jacket.
04 – First edition, first printing, mint, new/unread in a flawless dust jacket, signed bookplate laid in.
05 – First U.K. edition, first printing, mint, new/unread in a flawless dust jacket, signed by the author.
15 – First U.K. edition, first printing, mint, new/unread in a flawless dust jacket
08 – PBO/Mass Market edition, first printing, mint, new/unread in pictorial wraps, signed by the author.
18 – PBO/Mass Market edition, first printing, mint, new/unread in pictorial wraps.

We are now offering Collection Valuation Services to assist collectors with this process. Prices start at $399 (depending on the size of your collection and the services you might need). Send an email if you’d like more information.

I hope that my children will want my books, and not seek to sell them, but that may not be what actually occurs. I’ll never know.

My advice is to protect yourself and your collection by keeping a concise record of what books you have, what they are worth, and why they are important to you.

Good reading,


Styxx by Sherrilyn Kenyon

John reviews Styxx by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Styxx by Sherrilyn Kenyon

I must admit that when I first picked up Styxx, Sherrilyn Kenyon’s newest title, I was a little bit apprehensive about Styxx as a main character and a hero, no less. As a huge fan of Acheron, I felt like I was picking up the enemy’s story. I couldn’t have been more wrong. While Styxx was portrayed as a villain in Acheron’s story, it was clear that he is actually as much a victim if not more. Styxx is every bit as tragic as Acheron.

This book does take quite the time commitment, at 836 pages, but it’s well worth the time spent.  Styxx is a great addition to the Dark Hunters series. Coming in at number 23 in the series, it was good placement for another Acheron-sized epic. I highly recommend reading Sherrilyn Kenyon’s “story behind the story” ( It provides a great explanation on her thoughts about having Styxx as a main character.

This is really a two part book. It covers his past into Didymos and then flashes forward eleven thousand years to present time. If you are an avid reader of the series then you will know a good amount of the characters in this story. If you haven’t read any others in the series I would still recommend it however, without the back story I’m not sure this novel would have as much of an impact.

Styxx is heartbreaking and tragic but thankfully Sherrilyn takes mercy on her readers and gives us an ending that leaves us smiling.

Library Journal Review for No Way Out by Alan Jacobson

No Way Out by Alan Jacobson – Library Journal Review

No Way Out by Alan JacobsonFBI profiler Karen Vail can’t catch a break. After her last case (detailed in Inmate 1577), she is needed in England to solve the bombing of a London art gallery. Scotland Yard doesn’t want her help, and Vail needs a success to get back in the good graces of her superiors. A cursory examination of the explosion site reveals the existence of a secret manuscript that could change the history of the written word forever. Then someone she knows and trusts appears to have become a traitor.

Verdict – Vail is a terrific character, and throwing her into a foreign environment without her usual allies invigorates the plot and the series. Alan Jacobson also knows how to throw in plot twists that are shocking but logical at the same time. Fans who have tired of James Patterson may enjoy discovering this author with this outstanding thriller.—Jeff Ayers, Seattle P.L.

“Vail is a terrific character and…Jacobson knows how to throw in plot twists that are shocking but logical…(in) this outstanding thriller.” – Library Journal

“Plot twists that are shocking but logical…Outstanding thriller.”– Library Journal

“Outstanding thriller.”– Library Journal

The Heist by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg

The Heist by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg

Bestselling Author Janet Evanovich offers fun, light and enjoyable read

The Heist is the beginning of a brand new series by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg (bestselling author and writer for Monk). I am a huge Janet Evanovich fan and have read all of her Stephanie Plum series. The Heist was a fun, light read that was simply enjoyable. Not intense or overly complicated, The Heist, is a perfect beach read. Or at least was the perfect read for my beach trip.

This novel features Kate O’Hare, a FBI special agent known for her dedication and discipline and Nicolas Fox, a con man that Kate has spent five years of her life hunting down. After being arrested Nicolas makes a deal with the FBI to help them catch criminals off the books that have thus far evaded them.

This unlikely pair teams up much to Kate’s disapproval but with Nicolas’ suaveness and Kate’s keenness they prove to be a perfect match. They recruit a team of misfits and begin their first assignment to catch a corrupt investment banker who’s hiding on his private island. From flamethrowers to pirates this first assignment is definitely not without unexpected challenges.