Tuesday 27 January 2015

Do you write in books, do you stick bookplates in books, is it damaging, does it affect their value?

Obviously there is the association copy of the book and the book where the author has signed it.

This can be extended, how can I explain this? I guess an author that most people have heard of is Terry Pratchett, so if he signs one of his books it makes it more valuable, in this case particularly if your name is Jonathan.

There are really no easy rules of thumb here, an ordinary but desirable books like this which would probably sell off the shelf for about £5 with the signature is probably worth around £20, whereas a desirable first edition by Terry Pratchett that would normally sell for around £25, without being signed by the author, would be worth around £250 if signed by the man himself.

Of course if you just want to read a Terry Pratchett then we have most of them on the shelf in the bookshop in paperback for between £1.50 and £2.50 depending on condition and prices on the internet start at around £2 including postage.

With association copies I guess the best ones are where the author has signed it to the illustrator or someone else connected with the book or the author.

OK back to the desirable first edition by Terry Pratchett that would normally sell for around £25, now if Jonathan or anyone else not connected with the author writes their name in the book, then this knocks the value back to around half, £12.50. Bookplates are less intrusive and no problem at all if you can get them out without leaving any marks should you wish to sell the book.

So is there an area where an ordinary persons signs of ownership add to the the value or at least enhance the book somehow as to make no difference. I would say that when you get back in time a while and particularly with non-fiction there comes a point where it doesn't make much.

Taking as example this Charlotte Bronte first edition that we have on the shelf in the bookshop for £400, which has no bookplates or writing in it, I guess a neat contemporary signature on the endpaper (blank page at the front) would reduce its value to around £300. Of course if Charlotte Bronte had signed it would be a very valuable book indeed.

Of course a messy modern name in biro on the title page and the value of the book would be reduced to almost nothing.

Another example is the signature in this carpentry book published in 1862 which we have on the shelf in the bookshop for £200 I don't think the 1898 inscription makes much difference and a bit of research could reveal either the giver of the recipient to be a woodworker of some significance which would enhance it's value.  

In the case of this book about engineering

 Nothing special we have it on the shelf for £40, but it was the bookplate in the front that attracted me to it.

Often there is work to do with signatures in books, take this book on turners, on the shelf for £35
the signature doesn't mean anything much until you read the letter enclosed in the book.
A family of tuning Farmers?

Sunday 25 January 2015

New acquisitions for our bookshop today and one for me

The one for me is the book on the Margate Lifeboat station

Different picture different camera, both will expand if clicked on

Friday 23 January 2015

Books about working in wood

This includes books about carpentry, joinery, wood carving, wood turning, marquetry and so on. The craft books in our bookshop are arranged by material, we try to keep the subsections in order on the shelves within the limitation of different book sizes

The scarcer books we have about working in wood at the moment are these.

We don’t have any antiquarian (published before 1810) books on working in wood at the moment, the oldest we have was published in 1826

Thursday 22 January 2015

New acquisitions in our bookshop today

The bookshop is closed on Thursday’s and these are the books we bought out and about today.

 I dont usually buy Time Life books as most of them are a bit coffee tableish but their seafarers series is an exception, so I was pleased to find these.

Our stock of maritime books never seems to be enough I guess this is due to the demands from peole who use Ramsgate Harbour.

Wednesday 21 January 2015

Books About Tools

Below are pictures of our books about craft tools, mostly woodwork and metalwork tools, obviously a lot of books about crafts have sections about tools and these books are not included here.

 I am particularly interested in tools and especially interested in buying books about individual tools like the hammer or the plane or the needle

Tuesday 20 January 2015

Children’s books on the shelf in the bookshop in Ramsgate

Our children’s book section is a lively and busy place with a fast turnover, very few of the books are over £2 with the average price around 99p, the main exception to this being children’s books which are collected by adults like Rupert and Beano annuals where if the are in really nice condition the are priced a £2.99. I will put a bit more about this right at the bottom of this page. 

 O.K. there is a whole and partly unbelievable part of children’s books, which I will try to explain here. As I guess you will know if you use our children’s book section the prices are usually less than Amazon and Ebay. We get some of the children’s books from other bookshops when they go bust and we buy or exchange books with customers, so some are new and some secondhand. We then treat them all as though they were secondhand and pencil pretty low prices in the front. 

Well quite a few children’s books are collectable and sell on the internet for more than they would sell for new.
 The books in this photograph are of collectable Rupert Annuals priced between £10 and £15, which we have in the collectors part of the shop. Book collectors have a secret sign – like a funny handshake – and so they make secret sign and we let them look at the collectable books and the antiquarian books (very old books) and any incunabula (very very old books) if we have any.

O.K. a bit from a very old book about a lightning strike in Ramsgate, (tip, back in the early 1700s they used pens made from goose feathers which broke if you tried to make a joined up S, so the wrote some of their Ss’ like Fs’ and this got carried into printing) some of the letters S look like the letter F.       

 and here is the picture of where the lightning went 
You may also note that they didn't have to spell in those days and probably went around moaning about all the young people who went around spelling things and doing other nasty modern things. You wish.