These are not books, lumps of lifeless paper, but minds alive on the shelves. - Gilbert Highet
I often hear, “I’d love to buy your book, but I simply can’t afford to spend the money now.” I certainly understand. I'm aware that many people have other priorities and commitments. Though I would like to, I know I can’t spend every cent on books either. That doesn’t, however, keep me from wondering how much it might cost to stock my dream library with diverse and interesting books—if money was not a consideration.
Pretending for a few minutes that I hit the lottery big time, I randomly selected a few titles that I’d like to see displayed on my personal bookshelves. My tab for seven selections is roughly $55 million. I’m glad I didn’t accidently hit any “Buy Now” buttons in the process of my search.
The Birds Of America – Published in the 1800s, this book contains descriptions and illustrations by John James Audubon. In 2000 a copy was bought by Sheikh Saud of Qatar for $8.8 million.
The Codex Leicester – This 72-page handwritten book by Leonardo Da Vinci dates back to the early 1500s. Bill Gates bought it in 1994 for a mere $30.8 million.
The First Folio – A 900-page book of Shakespeare’s plays was published seven years after his death. It sold at Christie’s in New York in 2001 for $6.16 million. According to Wikipedia, it originally sold for one Pound Sterling which is equivalent of about $220.00 today. Therefore, it was never an inexpensive book.
The Canterbury Tales - Geoffrey Chaucer’s 14th century collection of stories was sold in London in 1998 for $11 million.
Geographia – Described as the first atlas, this is Ptolemy's compilation of cartography as it was known during the days of the Roman Empire in the 2nd century. In 2006, one of the two known copies sold at auction for $3.9 million.
Tamerlane and Other Poems – This was the first book written by Edgar Allan Poe (supposedly at the age of 14), but it was published anonymously listing the author only as “a Bostonian.” It sold in 2009 for $662,500.
Where the Wild Things Are – The first edition (1963) of this book by Maurice Sendak is estimated to be worth over $10,000 if it’s in excellent condition with the original dust jacket, according to onlinecolleges.net.
Since the event of eBooks and POD publishing, I’m wondering if books by any of today’s authors will ever be worth a massive amount of money. What do you think?
A quick note for those who are unable or unwilling to spend big bucks for books, I’d like to mention that Amazon (last time I checked) was offering The Ride for only $15.75 (a savings of $11.24)! If this is the opportunity you've been waiting on in order to own your very own copy, click here to buy now.
Thanks for stopping by today. I hope to see you again next Monday.
Tags: Gilbert Highet, Codex Leicester, Audubon, First Folio, Canterbury Tales, Tamerlane, Where the Wild Things Are, expensive books, the Ride,