A Guide to Collecting Books

A Guide to Collecting Books
A Guide to Collecting Books

As an enthusiastic reader, I often stick to reading digital copies to save on space. However, I'm also a book collector, I collect folklore, fairytales, and mythology, vintage children’s books, and books by specific authors. I have a dedicated bookshelf I use to store my book collection. I’m not precious about them; I don’t hunt for first editions or rare copies although I do have an interest in them. I choose books based on their authors, covers, and content. I find book collecting fun and enjoyable and I primarily buy books for the pure joy of owning and reading them often.

If you’re interested in collecting books, here is a beginner’s guide to starting your own collection.

Collect What You Love
Book collecting can be financially rewarding (but it’s not guaranteed) and what’s the point in collecting books you don’t have any kind of connection with? Don’t feel like you have to collect first editions, old classics, or rare editions just because that’s traditionally what book collectors choose to collect. Focus on collecting books you know you will cherish and love to read and reread. The best book collections are those that reflect the personality and interests of the collector.

Start With A Very Specific Genre
Starting a book collection with a broad subject matter will quickly become overwhelming. By choosing a very specific genre of book such as “English folklore” instead of just “folklore” books - will help narrow down your focus and the field you consider buying from. Once you’ve built up a considerable collection you can expand your reach.

Buy Within Your Budget
A book collection isn’t something you acquire quickly; books in good condition, especially old editions, can be pricey but it’s far better to have a small collection of books in excellent condition than a large volume of books of poor quality. Pace yourself, buy within your budget, and focus on collecting worthwhile editions.

Pay Attention To Condition
Book collecting is not just about the joy it brings to the collector but it’s also about preserving them for the next generation; condition is one of the most important considerations when buying books. Make sure you buy a book in the best possible condition within your budget.

Look For Books Regularly
Get into the habit of looking for the specific editions you are after whether it’s in book shops or online. Learn to know what to look for and how to spot new editions for your collection. Reading about books can be useful specifically if you’re looking for rare books or first editions.

A Guide to Collecting Books

On a sidenote, I discovered Birch & Brook’s Library Candle* in the British Library a few weeks ago. I was browsing the bookshelves and I came across a candle that smelled so divine, I couldn’t stop dreaming about it. The fragrance is deep, smoky, and reminiscent of the pages of an old book. These natural wax candles are handcrafted by the independent brand Birch & Brook in England who aim to create quality natural candles with literary, historical and distinctly English scents. This candle sits amongst my book collection, adding that final pleasing touch to a well-loved home library.