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Rare and Valuable Books

Keep an eye out for these old books at yard sales

While trying to figure out if some old books I had were worth any money, I found some not-very-old books that are worth a surprising amount of cash.

Below I have listed a few that caught my eye, either because I have seen/owned/remember them from my childhood, or think it’s spiffy that they are worth so much.

Now I keep an eye out at garage sales and second hand stores for such books, perhaps you should too. Hope you get lucky and own (or find) one of the following:

Last update: February 2024

New! Also see: What’s My Old Book Worth?

The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy – Rare & Valuable Editions

Book: H2G2Author: Douglas Adams

original uk hardcover   h2g2 original paperback   original american hardcover edition

American First Edition: Harmony Books, 1979/1980. Hard Cover with dust jacket. In new condition is $300-600+.

UK First Edition: Pan Books, 1979. The original paperback and hardcover editions can fetch $2000+.

Many editions of H2G2 are worth are worth a fair sum of money. Good to look out for at book swaps and garage sales.

The Catcher in the Rye – Rare & Valuable Editions

cathcer in the rye

Book: The Catcher in the Rye Author: JD Salinger Description: 1st edition, 1st printing 1951. Published by Boston: Little, Brown.Estimated Value: $5000+ for excellent condition!

Description: Value is mostly determined by condition. One with the dust jacket in good condition will fetch a great price.

Similar Valuable Books: Same as above but 1st edition, 2nd and 3rd printings valued between $100 – $300.

The Hobbit – Rare & Valuable Editions

the hobbit first edition

Book: The HobbitAuthor: JRR TolkienDescription: 1937 (UK) 1st edition, first printing Estimated Value: $3500+

Similar Valuable Books:

A Northern Venture – 1923. 1st edition. – $3000+ (Almost all 1st edition books by Tolkien are fetching a good price in auctions).

Harry Potter – Rare & Valuable Editionsharry potter

Book: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (U.K.)Author: JR Rowling Description: 1st Edition, 1st Printing. Published by Bloomsbury, July 1997. ISBN: 0-7475-3269-9Estimated Value: $3500+ Signed = $10,000+ (An unsigned copy is listed on eBay for $25,000, at the time this article is published. Yikes!)

Notes: Numbers: 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 on the copyright page. Issued without a dustwrapper. Laminated pictorial boards (not bound in cloth )- shiny-ish illustrated covers by Thomas Taylor. Only 500 of these books were published, and mostly shipped to the U.K. Library system. Very rare find.

The Cat in the Hat – Rare & Valuable Editionscat in the hat

Book: The Cat In The HatAuthor: Dr. Suess Description: 1957, published by Random House. 1st Edition, 1st Printing (2nd and 3rd printings are valuable too). Estimated Value: $1900 – $6000+

Similar Valuable Books: Green Eggs And Ham by Dr Suess. 1960. First edition, first printing. Value: $300. Same, but with the rare 50 Word vocabulary sticker on the front of dust jacket, and not price clipped… up to $4000.

East of Eden – Rare & Valuable Editionseast of eden

Book: East of Eden Author: John Steinbeck Description: 1st. Edition, 1st Printing. Published by New York: Viking, 1952.

Estimated Value: $1500 – $2000

Similar Valuable Books: Cannery Row – John Steinbeck, 1st Edition, 1st Printing – $100-200

The Hunt for Red October Rare & Valuable Editionshunt for red october

Book: The Hunt for Red October Author: Tom Clancy

Description: 1st Edition, 1st Printing. 1984. Hardcover with jacket. Back cover has 6 review blurbs. No price on jacket.

Estimated Value: $300 – $1000

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I have some more rare books to write about when I have time, stay tuned.

What’s My Old Book Worth?

Update 2024 — woohoo! I finally found an expert guest author to write more about the subject of book values:

book value iconWhat’s My Book Worth? Think you might have a valuable book? How to figure out if your books are valuable. Information on how to get research prices and book appraisal resources.

Rare Book Resources

Suggested Books to help you value or sell books:

Links to Websites to help you value, sell or find rare books:

Amazon.com – Has every book imaginable, including many collectors / rare editions.

Valorebooks.com – Mostly specializes in used textbooks (if you are a student check them out).

You can also use the above links to check book values — remember condition is a huge factor for price. You might also be interested in our Coin Values and Money articles here on Blifaloo, as well.

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