How can we decide whether a book is rare or not? The decisive factors are supply, demand and the condition of the book. If it is kept in pristine conditions, a book is much more valuable. Collectors seek rare books that are associated with important historical events or books that are incredibly old. However, a book can become rare and valuable if it has been the property of a famous person. Discover three of the rarest books in the world, below.
1. The Gutenberg Bible
Johannes Gutenberg made several experiments throughout the years, before finally starting to work on the Bible. Nowadays it is believed 180 Bibles were printed by him: 135 on paper and 35 on vellum. Out of 180 printed, only 48 have been found. Most of them can be seen in museums. The Gutenberg Bible is rare and valuable not only because of its scarcity, but because of its exceptional quality.
2. Shakespeare’s First Folio
One of the most famous writers in the world, William Shakespeare has influenced Western Literature for hundreds of years. His works have been performed and read around the world since 1616. The works in the First Folio were complied by the author’s friends, John Heminge and Henry Condell who had access to the early drafts. The First Folio is the best representative of the Bard’s works, because it remained unadulterated by modern translation and editors.
Between 1622 and 1623, 750 copies of the Folio were printed, each containing 36 works of the Bard. It is one of the most valuable and rare books in the world. In 2008, a First Folio has been auctioned for $4.2 million.
3. Tamerlane and Other Poems by Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe was the first American author to achieve worldwide renown. His first volume, although not among his best works, is on our list of rare books. Only 50 copies were ever printed. What’s more, E.A.Poe printed this book anonymously, under the name “A Bostonian.” Not all copies are accounted for and it is very easy to fail to recognize its value. Who knows, you might just stumble across this book in a bookstore and become rich. A copy of “Tamerlane and Other Poems” was sold for $600.000.
Do you know other impressive, rare books?
( Source: How stuff works; Image source: photobucket )