Becoming More Spiritual

A Guide To Valuing Used Books

If you consider yourself to be a bibliophile, you've probably amassed quite a collection of books over the years. Whether you're an avid reader, collector, or reseller of books, it helps to know how to determine the worth of your books whether you plan to sell them or to find out for insurance purposes. Used books both old and even newer can hold varying degrees of value. This guide can help you determine an estimated worth of the used books you own.


As with any other collectible, condition holds a large leverage on how much your used books are worth. Pages that are free from creasing, writing and staining are important as well as the overall condition of the book's spine. If the book originally came with a dust jacket, this is also important for increasing its value. The original dust jacket not only keeps the book safe from damage, but it's also an important part of how the book was sold originally. Books that are in pristine condition are what's known as a "clean copy" and are typically worth more than similar or even the same books that are in less-than-stellar shape.


In almost every instance, owning the first printing or first edition of a book will undoubtedly boost the resale value. You can typically find out which edition your book is by looking inside on the first page for the publication date. Some books will indicate outright whether or not it's the first edition or first printing while others will simply show the original publication date. If your book shows just one publication date without any others following, it's most likely the first edition printing. If the book shows the first printing date followed by more subsequent dates, it is not the first edition.

Autographed Books

Used books that are signed by the author can have a significant impact on the value. If you have a book that is signed, be sure to get it validated by a professional to ensure that it's the real deal and not a counterfeit. Some books may be signed by the author with a personal note included. If you have a book like this, it helps to have some extra paperwork explaining the back story of the signature. This is what is known as provenance, and it will help bolster the total value of your book. Take a good look at some of your used books to see if you can find a few copies that could be worth a pretty penny in the marketplace. Visit a site like for more information.