The Best Books about Book Collecting

shelved under Hobbies

Collecting books is — or should be — the great American past-time: It is a hobby for people of any financial level, age, race, and gender. This list is for anyone who has ever wondered what book collecting is all about or how to get started building a collection.


Used and Rare: Travels in the Book World

by Nancy Goldstone, Lawrence Goldstone

Through the entertaining story of how they developed their book collecting habit, the Goldstones debunk the notion of bibliophiles as tweed-wearing snobs.


A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books

by Nicholas A. Basbanes

Nicholas Basbanes is a leading authority on books about books. In A Gentle Madness..., he takes the reader on a journey through the history of book collecting and explores the lives of several fascinating collectors.

This book also appears on Books about... Books!

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How to Buy Rare Books: A Practical Guide to the Antiquarian Book Market

by William Rees-Mogg

Rees-Mogg offers a thorough and organized overview of what book collecting is all about. This is the sort of volume you are likely to read more than once. You may even find yourself taking notes and highlighting key passages for future reference.


ABC for Book Collectors

by Nicolas Barker, John Carter

In their witty and informative lexicon of the terminology used by book collectors and dealers, Carter and Barker answer burning questions such as "what is the difference between a first edition and first printing" and offer insider tips on assessing the condition of books and buying at auction. ABC for Book Collectors is a must-read for anyone trying to decipher book descriptions in catalogs or online listings.


The Care and Feeding of Books Old and New: A Simple Repair Manual for Book Lovers

by Bern Marcowitz, Margot Rosenberg

This easy-to-read guidebook offers practical advice on how to repair, handle and store books so as to ensure their longevity.


Pocket Guide to the Identification of First Editions

by Bill McBride

Savvy collectors keep this handy reference tool at the ready whenever they're book hunting. It contains a remarkable amount of useful information for such a slim volume.