Ex-libris-publica depreciation of rare/valuable books
October 25, 2012 2:26 PM Subscribe
I saved some interesting books from being thrown out by my public library. Apparently they were discarding part of their local historical collection. I grabbed a bunch that looked cool/interesting and it turns out one or two of them have sold online for decent sums. I'm not interested in selling any of them (they are cool!) but I am curious as to how their ex-libris-publica
condition affects their worth.
posted by saguaro to media & arts (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
They all have spine labels with call numbers and barcodes and stuff on the outside, writing (in pencil) on the title pages, and sometimes they're stamped with the name of the library (various places like on the edge of the book or on one of the blank pages in the front). They've all got WITHDRAWN stamped on them too, though sometimes it's only on a sticker or box.
Some of them have been repaired extensively, one even to the point of having a custom-built archival box. Inside that box the book is literally falling apart, though still totally readable. Some of them are in excellent like-new condition aside from the library markings. Several are on the spectrum between.
So, out of curiosity, in the rare & valuable book market what sort of standing would these books have compared to non-publica editions in similar condition?
Subquestion: I'm a total bibliophile and have a hard time wrapping my brain around actually selling any of these titles, even if they're not worth a tiny fraction of non-WITHDRAWN editions. But I am interested in learning bindery and book repair. If I were to practice on other throwaway books from the library (it seems a never-ending stream!) and get really good at repairing this sort of ex-libris-publica destruction would the value of my collection benefit from my efforts?