Books & Magazines

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Harry Potter and the Philospher’s StoneWith books and magazines, condition is everything when it comes to value. The quality of preservation bears greatly on the worth of the item.

Pictured right: A rare first edition of the very first Harry Potter book, written by the acclaimed British authoress J K Rowling, fetched a magical £9,000 on 26 June 2007 at Bonhams’ Books, Maps, Manuscripts and Photographs Sale in London.

Generally, magazines have nominal value on the secondary market, simply because the print-runs were vast and people tended to save their magazines. Those with famous events on the covers or with film or sports celebrities tend to be worth more. Even at that, a top-quality, rare magazine can still be had for under $50. Most sell for $3 – $5. Magazines can be a great collectible for those on a budget.

Pictured left: Marilyn Monroe Playboy Issue – her first appearance in the first ever issue of Playboy Magazine in 1953. The nude shot of Monroe lounging on a bright red sofa and coyly caressing a red wall covering had originally been taken for a calendar, not for Playboy.

Marilyn Monroe PlayboyCasino RoyaleHugh Hefner purchased the rights to the photo and ran it, as the line on the cover states, for the “first time in any magazine, full color, Marilyn Monroe Nude”. Recently in 2007 a described as Mint copy sold at auction for over $5,000. It can be noted that in the comic and magazine field that true mint copies of rare titles can fetch a significant premium.

Books, on the other hand, can have much higher values. Pristine first editions – particularly signed editions – can now sell for thousands of dollars, depending on the rarity and desirability of the book.

Pictured right: Ian Fleming’s early books are extremely sought after. In Bloomsbury Auctions March 2006 sale a first edition copy of Casino Royale, the author’s first book noted as a fine copy fetched £6500 ($11000).

An inscribed copy to Ian Fleming’s friend Percy Muir “To Percy who guided my early steps in literature – but not down those dark corridors! Affectionately Ian.” fetched an amazing £21,000 ($40,454 USD) in February 2005 also at Bloomsbury Auctions.

Specialist auction houses such as Bloomsbury deal in rare books, manuscripts, fine art run regular book and modern first edition auctions, as well as larger auction houses such as Sothebys who also run rare book auctions.


Tales of Beedle the Bard

Pictured left: One of just seven copies of a new work by JK Rowling – The Tales of Beedle the Bard – sold at Sotheby’s in December 2007 for an unprecedented £1,950,000. The work is hand-written and illustrated by JK Rowling. Proceeds from the sale went to The Children’s Voice Charity.

Book & Magazine Collecting Related

Antique & Rare Books at Auction
Rupert Bear Annuals
James Bond Collecting
Harry Potter Collectibles
Tintin Books & Collectibles
Children’s Books of the 1940s


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