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Arbitrary question? I'm sure there are antiquarian book collectors who would say that the only book worth collecting is written before 1500, in mint condition, with hand tipped illustrations and so on ... well for most of us non- millionaire types, it's about collecting what you love. Do you like collecting books on a certain subject? Poetry? WWII? Victorian era? Share your interest with us! I love old cook books and even though I don't "collect" them I do buy and sell them. (feeds my addiction) I thought this one was really cool - The Mystery Chef Cook Book. This one is a 4th printing copy but the Mystery Chef goes back to1929.

Tags: antiquarian, baking, book, chef, cookbook, cookery, recipes, vintage

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Illustrations can definitely up the value of a book. Many famous modern artist's started in book illustration Andy Warhol is a fine example of that. I have a couple of cook books with drawings by him one even lists him as Andrew Warhol I'm guessing this was before he became too famous. If you find a book with beautiful illustrations it's always a good idea to look up info on the artist.
I just recently sold a Nancy Drew Mystery cookbook from the late 1960's. Written for young girls of course, great fun though! Big Little books are pretty popluar too. Photographic artist books I like, most 1960-1980. Most of the cookbooks I sell are the spiral bound "area" cookbooks put out by churches and civil groups. Many people seem to like these. I like old classics myself, especially Mystery books.
I guess this is a old topic but wanted to say somthing anyway. I also collect cookbooks but from different cultures of food, Spanish, French etc. Books by African American writers and books on Antiques
Go figure, I went to an estate sale in Spokane and bought a first edition, signed book written by the decedent at whose estate sale I was.

At another sale I bought a water-soaked dictionary (rained all night) written by Noah Webster's brother in about 1857. It was full of mistakes and was quickly taken off the market. Actually the owner gave it to me for free. In water stained condition it sold for almost $200.

I've said this before, I have a friend who used to teach college level. He retired early and now buys books at yard sales, etc. He confided that he earns over $100k per year. But he works hard at it. He sells in a bookstore and on eBay.

I inherited a bunch of old mining books. On the web they range in values to $250 each. I enjoy reading them. Some of them have notes written in the margins by my Dad. He was a mining engineer.
I am very attracted to books by their cover....I know that sounds really shallow but there is just something about that old look. I love old leather bound books, marbled hardback books, early school books from the 19th century, great old Bibles with embossed covers and sometimes metal latches, and children's victorian storybooks with great covers. (I have read some of the books I love-ha), but I must not be the only one that loves these books because I also sell them and they really sell fast. Since I decorate with antiques....there is hardly any setting that doesn't look a little better with an old book as part of your display.
In other words, "You CAN judge a book by its' cover!" LOL
I guess that is exactly what I am saying.....that IS the way I judge a book. In fact I just came from the shop in Hagerstown where I sell, and a nice old gentleman just bought a c.1900 children's book and told me it was because he liked the cover! Maybe that's the reason why the covers were so attractive?

You can view a few of the books for sale at the shop where I am located, on 'My Page'

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