BOOKS ARE VALUABLE BLOG Monday, 6th August 2018



Here’s a good reason to sort through your bookshelves. In among all the well-worn copies of your favourites and new adventures you haven’t yet opened, there could be a fortune just sitting there.


Matthew Haley, the director and head of books and manuscripts at auction house Bonhams, has shared his list of the twenty most valuable books that could be hidden in homes.


There are some familiar favourites ranking fairly high. A first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, for example, has an estimated value of £50,000 – but only if it’s a hardback copy with the numbers 10 to 1 printed down the back of the title page.


In second place there’s a first edition of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, which could be worth up to £40,000. Again, it can’t just be your mum’s scruffy old copy. To earn that kind of money it needs to be in perfect condition and have a typo corrected by hand on the back.


If you’re lucky enough to have a first edition of The Tale of Peter Rabbit from 1901, you could rake in up to £35,000. So have a little rummage in your storage, yeah?


20 valuable books that could be sitting on your shelves – and how much they’re worth:


  1. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (1997), J.K. Rowling:

£50,000. Must be a hardback copy with the numbers 10 to 1 printed down the back of the title page.


  1. The Hobbit (1937), J.R.R. Tolkien: £40,000. The first version of the dust-jacket has a typo corrected by hand on the back. It’ll need to be in perfect condition.


  1. The Tale of Peter Rabbit (1901), Beatrix Potter: £35,000


  1. A Christmas Carol (1843), Charles Dickens: £15,000


  1. The four Winnie-the-Pooh books (1924-1928), A.A. Milne: Between £4,000 and £10,000


  1. Eleven Poems (1965), Seamus Heaney: £3,500


  1. Foundation trilogy (1951-1953), Isaac Asimov: £3,000+. Collectors will pay £3,000 or more for a set of the three volumes in good condition.


  1. Illustrated edition of Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens (1906), Arthur Rackham: £2,500


  1. The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1921), Agatha Christie: £2,000


  1. Verve, 1950s art magazine: £1,500. Certain volumes of this 1950s art magazine can be worth £1,500 or more as they have original lithographs by Matisse and others.


  1. Television: Seeing by Wire or Wireless (1926), Alfred Dinsdale: £1,000


  1. The Cat in the Hat (1957) Dr. Seuss: £1,000. It’ll need to have no mention of ‘Beginner Books’ on the dust jacket.


  1. High Street (1938), Eric Ravilious and J.M. Richards: £1,000


  1. A Clockwork Orange (1962), Anthony Burgess: £900


  1. Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack (1916): £600-£800


  1. The Ladies’ Flower-Garden (1840’s), Jane W. Loudon: £500-800


  1. The Hound of the Baskervilles (1902), Arthur Conan Doyle: £500+


  1. The Bible (1600 – 1630): £300. Must be in English.


  1. The Jungle Book and The Second Jungle Book (1894-1895) Rudyard Kipling: £200-£4,000


  1. A History of British Birds, (various editions), F.O. Morris – £150





You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have. —Maya Angelou


Happiness is…having lived in the JK Rowling, and Harry Potter era


I’ve been called too vague by you know who.


Love is…two hearts travelling one path


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©2018 Phil M Robinson




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