FAQ Project: Need more feedback on "Toughest Titles"

Sharon Biederman sbiederm at nova.umuc.edu
Mon Nov 3 15:48:28 EST 2003


    I agree with John.  Scarce and valuable are not the same although
sometimes the two overlap.  Estimates of value can be derived from recent
sales whereas estimates of scarcity can be made from records of original
print runs, number of copies in known collections and sometimes the age of
the book.  I think Henry's Guide already indicates that certain authors
command premium prices prices based not on scarcity but on the value of
the book OUTSIDE the world of Modern Library collecting.

    Citing categories of hard to find books is probably more useful than
mentioning individual titles.  There are hundreds of MLs that are scarce
for one reason or another and the choice of a few is very subjective. 


On Mon, 3 Nov 2003, Scot Kamins wrote:

> In responding to the At 5:33 PM -0500 11/2/03, j b krygier wrote:
> >  >> What are the toughest titles to find?
> >
> >Your list is a bit peculiar!
> Well, I don't know about "peculiar."
> >
> >I might suggest differentiating scarcity from value here.  The
> >Great Gatsby is somewhat scarce, but there have been three copies
> >on eBay in recent months.  There is usually a copy to be had
> >on ABE also.  Same for Catcher in the Rye.  It can sell in the
> >hundreds, and there are usually a few copies on eBay at any given
> >time.  These are very valuable MLs, but not the scarcest.
> >
> >The scarcest are titles with one or two printings that (unlike
> >Gatsby) maybe no one (short of a fanatic ML collector) cares about.
> >Here Ye Sons or Jorn Uhl or In a Winter City or Imperial Orgy or
> >The Cabin or any short run ML with a now obscure author.  Another
> >indication of scarcity may be the lack of a DJ on your DJ pages.
> >Bottom line - there can be very scarce MLs that are not highly
> >valuable (eg., some of the titles that were phased out in the early
> >1940s after one or two HC printings).
> >
> >Printing errors (binding from one title on the text of another
> >or upside down binding) are quite scarce and not valuable.
> >
> >The early B&Ls are both scarce and valuable - after that, these
> >two aspects of MLs can diverge.
> What do others think? Remember that this is in the context of a FAQ item.
> -- 
> Scot Kamins, ABR
> Specializing in Brokerage Services for Home Buyers
> (with Scott Trahan Realty Brokerage, Portland OR)
> "I Listen."
> (503) 997-0199

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