Perhaps your grandmother found a box of old books in her basement. Maybe you picked up some interesting titles at a garage sale. For one reason or another, droves of bibliophiles are tracking down the origins, values, and preservation techniques for rare and antique books.
Even more are looking to buy and sell these works. As a result, the major players of the antiquarian book industry increased their presence online. That's good news to consumers, who can make great use of the resources, both educational and economic, that they provide.
Your Old Books is another helpful site for beginners. Set up in question-answer format, it addresses issues ranging from "What makes a book rare?" to "How do I find a book seller or appraiser?" The site was originally produced in pamphlet format by the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section of the Association of College and Research Libraries.
If you're ready to make some purchases, the best place to go is Bookfinder.com. Bookfinder offers all of the major used book searches, including Bibliofind, the Advance Book Exchange, Alibris and Antiqbook, in one spot. It also contains a catalog of new books from Amazon.com. Overall, the site represents more than 10,000 booksellers with more than 10,000,000 books in inventory. The search engine is easy to use and information is returned in an easy-to-read table format. The site even links to the glossary of the Advance Book Exchange, which can help with interpreting all of the literary jargon.
Selling books online is also a possibility. If you're certain about the edition and condition of your book, you might place an ad on eBay, a popular online auction house. If you aren't sure about the value, try to locate a bookseller in your area who can help you assess it. The store may even buy or help you sell the book. The Antiquarian Bookseller's Association of America lists more than 450 dealers around the country who follow the strict ABAA code of ethics. Search by business name, owner's name, town, state and/or specialization. All listings provide the name, city and state and many also link to a Web page and e-mail address.
While the books may be rare, the information about antique books is abundant!
*Blogger's note: I do not know if I can part with them, but I have some book that my grandmother left me and my mother and they were HER grandmothers. Plus I have some of Charles M. Schultz's early hardcover books and other books from the 70s and 80s. It is good to know this type of site exists so that I know that if I decide to sell a book, it will not be just to any old person. Or on the other hand does it have more than sentimental value.