Printed Page Bookshop
May 2024

Ten common misconceptions about antiquarian books
(and the people who sell them!)
1.Old books are valuable.  Some old books are valuable, but the majority of old books -- say 100 years old or older -- are simply old.  Those novels that great-grandmother Emma passed down to you most likely aren't the kind of books people today want to buy -- unless, say, Emma had a first edition of "Emma."
2.  Dust jackets aren't important.  Most modern books came with dust jackets.  Quite often, the dust jacket comprises 75% or so of the value of the book.  (That's one reason we routinely put archival protectors on all our books' dust jackets.)
3.  Books gain value with time.  Some do, no question.  A first edition of "The Catcher in the Rye" cost $3 when it came out in 1951.  You can pick up that same copy today for $25,000.  But buying a book today and hoping that it will be worth more tomorrow is foolhardy.  For one thing, you buy books at retail and sell them back to a dealer at wholesale.  Unless you're spectacularly lucky with your choices, you'll not find that books are good investment options.
4.  Booksellers have NOT read all the books in their stock.  Visitors to Printed Page sometimes ask us if we've read all the books in the store.  There are several we have yet to get to.
5.  Antiquarian booksellers sell only expensive books.  We think of "antiquarian" as a $2 word for "collectible."  Most of our books are priced in the low two digits.
6.  You can sell an incomplete set of books, or one where just one of the books in a set is damaged.  No, you can't. A set is only as good as its worst volume.
7.  Young people don't read.  Every generation seems to believe this.  Believe us:  Young people DO read!
8.  Someone will want this old Bible.  Maybe, but probably not.  There are exceptions here, but see #1.
9.  It must be nice to have a job where you can read books all day.  Most of our time is spent researching books, pricing books, cleaning books, hauling books, stocking books, cleaning, dusting, vacuuming, answering phone calls, responding to emails,  and helping customers.  In our spare time, we DO read!
10.  I have first editions, so they must be valuable.  Some first editions are valuable, most are not (see #3).  The cachet of a first edition resides primarily with fiction; first editions of non-fiction books often aren't as valuable as subsequent editions, which may contain corrections or additions.  Also, identifying first editions is tricky.  Publishers aren't the same when it comes to identifying firsts; some publishers even change their own practices.  


This Month's Puzzler
On May 11, 2001, this 49-year-old man died of a sudden heart attack while working out in a gym in Santa Barbara, California. He had recently move from England to California to complete a movie deal for "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," a series of five science-fiction parodies that began
publication in 1979 and went on to sell more than 15 million copies. He once wrote:

"Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so."
Who was this man?  Answer below.
We are number one!
"Westword" has named Printed Page "Best Used Bookstore" in its "Best of Denver 2024" issue.  From Westword's citation:  "Printed Page stocks interesting books, prices them affordably, and puts them in the hands of readers and collectors, always keeping in mind who might want what."  We're honored!  And we're greateful for customers like you who make it such a pleasure for us to do what we do.  Thank you!

There's a book fair in our future.  Make it part of yours, too.
Printed Page will again be exhibiting at the Rocky Mountain Book and Paper Fair August 17-18, at the Douglas County Fairgrounds in Castle Rock.  With so many exhibitors, this is not to be missed.  If you would like a free pass to the fair, just let us know by dropping a note to

Puzzler answer

Douglas Adams. If you like our Puzzler, find more on our Facebook page.  
Thanks to Dr. Mardy Grothe for the use of his puzzler.  Visit him at

© 2024 Printed Page Bookshop  

Check out Printed Page Bookshop on Yelp! Review Printed Page Bookshop on Google Follow Printed Page Bookshop on Facebook
powered by emma