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Collected Books 2002 (Collected Books: The Guide to Values) Hardcover – 1 Dec 2001

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 832 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Publishing Group (Dec. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399147810
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399147814
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 5.3 x 24.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,552,432 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

788 pages with details of over 20,000 collected books


Customer Reviews

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By A Customer on 10 July 1998
Format: Hardcover
This is the standard reference book for anyone buying, selling, or collecting first editions. You won't find $20 or $30 books in here, this is definitely a guide for the high end of the market, with a good section on identifying first editions.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is a must for book collectors. Although it deals primarily with the high end of the market, it does have a really useful introduction to book collecting and to first editions. It is more comprehensive than most other price guides I have come across, and is well written.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x99ebe420) out of 5 stars 15 reviews
57 of 57 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x99a6f630) out of 5 stars Wonderful reference for the serious collector 13 Feb. 2002
By Daryl Anderson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
As Roget is to Thesaurus, so the Ahearns are to books. "Collected Books" is a massive listing of values for tens of thousands of books. Collectors will find the never-to-be-obtained rarities listed (entertaining to look up) but also the more attainable first editions in the $50-$500 range. This is a big book to lug along to a sale but, believe it or not, an enjoyable browse and a fine way for the aspiring collector to see which authors are more collectible.
This book is NOT three things - reminders that the serious collector must, inevitably, accept the need for a number of references which will have some overlap.
It is not a guide to identifying first editions - often a challenge for the large number of pubishers who do not clearly indicate 1st ed status. For this I'd highly recommend McBride's pocket guide. It also isn't really a guide to "modern" first editions, at least those that are in the $30-$100 value range. You may find Uris or Ludlum's first two books here but not their 3rd or 5th. It MAY make a difference to you whether such a title is really worth the $30 a dealer is charging. For these books I recommend Lee's "20th Century First Edition Fiction." It is not merely a listing of authors' first books, although it includes those... for that, and a wider range of midprice authors, their "Book Collecting 2000" is great. .....
Once you know what the book is not, you can determine if it is for you. The five-star rating applies to those buyers with a serious interest in collecting (or thinking about collecting) the roughly 20,000 most valued books. It includes all the good stuff. Where necessary it lists details of first-edition "points", the subtle details of identification that, for some books, distinguish earlier from later states. Alternate editions such as American and UK or limited or special editions are also priced separately. It is a useful, even entertaining, reference for the serious collector. Someday the online databases and search engines may supplant references like this (I do use them more often) but if you're a bibliophile your prime reference on books just has to be a book.
48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x99a6f0e4) out of 5 stars Expensive, but worth it. 10 July 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is the standard reference book for anyone buying, selling, or collecting first editions. You won't find $20 or $30 books in here, this is definitely a guide for the high end of the market, with a good section on identifying first editions.
31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x997f9698) out of 5 stars Useful, but problematic 2 Aug. 2004
By Ian Mccullough - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The Ahearns should first get credit for even attempting to compile this book in the Internet age of bookselling. Prices change quickly as books come on the market and dealers race to the bottom trying to get sales. Prices also skyrocket when something is actually scarce. To put a value on a book with the fluidity of the market is quite bold. Basically this is a very long list of rare, valuable and coveted books with "points" (I'll get to this below) and a price attached.

I will not even touch on the price accuracy. I am a book dealer and have strong opinions about pricing and valuation. For the collectors trying to evaluate their collection just know that a book is worth exactly and only what someone is willing to pay. This amount can go up or down but a book's value is determined at the time of sale.

So if prices are constantly in flux, and value is really determined by the particulars of a transaction, why should you buy this book? Mostly because very high end books are listed. For example, two of ten folios from James O. Lewis' Aboriginal Portfolio came up at a local auction house and there were none on the Internet at that time. The single source at my disposal that had information on this work was Collected Books. It was also useful in telling me that the American first edition of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in my possession preceded the British first - unusual for a work by a British author in 1885-6. This is tough information to come by for free on the Internet.

You see, book dealers are tight with their knowledge and that is the other main reason to purchase this book. With pricing information easily available on the Internet, the only advantage we have are bibliographic details and memorization of vast numbers of books. The Ahearns have given you a valuable tool if you wish to learn the nooks and crannies of the high end book trade. Specific "points" - oddities which identify various states of a print run - are faithfully listed in this book and these are impossible to know without reference material. But beyond the bibliographic tidbits and very high end price info, this book is of limited value. The honest truth is most people who buy this book could much more easily find values by comparing prices on the Internet, because the books they have are probably not as rare as they think.

In the back of Collected Books there is a selected bibliography of reference works. Specific bibliographies are often for first edition identification, and Collected Books is no replacement for your Zempel guide. So use this book for judging the price of very rare and expensive books which rarely make it to the market or for looking up bibliographic points if you do not have better resources. Read the author's introduction, and the "Using This Guide" chapter before you dare look at prices. Many customers have made a total and complete ass of themselves by not knowing the preeminent importance of condition in the rare book world. This book is of specific and limited value, just know what you are getting into.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a4038dc) out of 5 stars The Bible for Book Collecting 9 Jan. 2003
By Patricia Horton - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Year after year, the Ahearns have turned out the most comprehensive guide to values. I have been a serious collector for years and always look forward to the newest edition. If you collect paperbacks, book-club editions, or buy for content rather than edition, then you probably won't enjoy this book. However, if you are into book collecting or want to be, then purchase the Bible of book collecting. In the genre "books about books," the Ahearns are tops!
32 of 40 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x99a49048) out of 5 stars Buyer Beware...Not For the Novice 24 Dec. 2001
By D. Kaplan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Searching the Net, I recently discovered that many books in my collection are selling for two to four times what I paid for them. Although I have no present intention of selling any of my books, I thought it would be interesting to ascertain if the books are those valuable "true" first editions. I don't know about you, but I find trying to identify a first edition as complicated as calculus.
I purchased the most recent edition of "Collected Books" thinking that at last I would be able to unravel the mystery. I was so excited when I received the book before the long holiday weekend thinking I would pore over all my books and perhaps find some plums. Was I ever disappointed to find that my Christmas stocking was filled with coal.
Rather than help you identify a first edition, the book is a comprehensive list of those high end first edition books. This book is for those serious collectors rather than the novice who may have a book in their collection worth wrapping in Milar and storing in a safe place. In fact, the authors recommend other reference books if you are interested in more detailed information on identifying first editions.
My rating is really meaningless because I don't feel qualified to pass on the merits of this book. I assume it is a grand book for the serious collector. However, since this was a very expensive faux pas on my part, I wanted to let others know that this book is not helpful if you are only interested in cracking that allusive "code" publishers use to identify first editions.
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