One thing you will hear when talking with an antiquarian book dealer quite often is the importance of the condition of the book.
When trying to determine the price of a book, condition is everything. Small stains, rips or missing parts can quickly bring the value of a book down pretty quickly.
Someone who is not familiar with antiquarian books may feel that their book, though full of flaws may be excluded because it is old in their opinion. Or because it was handed down in their family or other sentimental feelings.
Ones personal feeling towards a book does not change the rules or guidelines.
Generally for a book to have some flaws and not lose any or very little value, and I do stress the word “some”, a book would have to be printed before 1890. This is not set in stone but just a general guideline.
With more recent printings, price clipped dust jackets, remainder marks and more will hurt the value of a book.
Children’s books are given more lenience in condition more than any other genre but condition still is key. So if your first edition of Charlotte’s web has some wear etc on it, you’re doing ok. If you decided as a child to write on crayon on every page your out of luck.
As always if you have any questions about books feel free to write or email us.