First Edition books – Why buy them?JA Books
The main reasons for buying a first edition book – rather than any subsequent printing of the same book – are to own a piece of history, to possess a loved or particularly meaningful book in its original state, or to make an investment for the future.
There is a certain magic to acquiring a special book in the shape of the very first printing that brought it into our world.
Rather than stocks and shares, or premium bonds, a book is a tangible object that you can hold, handle, look at and enjoy. And, of course, you also have the pleasure of reading it!
It might be that a particular author has sparked your interest and you predict that their books will become more valuable in time, or that you know the popularity and scarcity of a book and want to invest in something satisfyingly solid and attractive.
The value of first edition books is dependent on their condition, their historical value, their rarity, their popularity or their personal significance to the individual who buys them.
Books are more valuable if they are signed or if the provenance (previous history of ownership) shows an important or interesting association. Its completeness, such as retaining the original dust jacket, and being in the best condition are always big factors in ensuring your book will hold its value.
We would advise you never to buy any book just as an investment. Choose those books and writers you enjoy, and want to have as friends on your shelves at home.