I spend a lot of my day initiating bibliophiles into the fundamentals of rare books. For those of you who don’t have the chance to visit in person, I realized it may be difficult for you to have the opportunity to get the basics. So here’s Part I of a Rare Books 101.
What is a rare book?
In a nutshell, it is a book that is collected. “Rare” in this case does not mean “scarce”—though that is generally part of it.
What books are most likely to be collected?
Basic supply and demand.
Supply: In most cases, the first edition of a book is the version that is printed in (and survives in) the fewest amount of copies. This is because the first time a book is printed, the publishers won’t have a certain idea of how well it…
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