Book Buying Addicts Anonymous discussion

4 views
Most Expensive Book

Comments Showing 1-16 of 16 (16 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Jon (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:04PM) (new)

Jon | 1 comments I'm curious, what is the most you've ever paid for a single book? Was it a first edition that smelled like history and felt like yesterday? Was it something signed and limited? Was it a draft of a book you fell in love with?

What is the most expensive book you've ever purchased?


message 2: by Seth (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:04PM) (new)

Seth | 9 comments Excluding some >$100 textbooks? What about if I bought the textboooks when I wasn't in college and didn't take the subject anyway?

Well, aside, it's still under about $200, I think, for a beat-up, unsigned first edition of Paolo Soleri's Arcology: The City in the Image of Man. That's the big edition with the spiral binding, not the littler one in hardback that came out after. This was about two years before they brought it back into print (again in a smaller, hardbound edition). I bought several of those when they shipped and still have at least one in the bubble-wrap.

I've paid ~$100 for a moderate number of older books (1850-1920), but that's pretty common. I just really like these editions (and no one has Felicia Hemans in print in a good collection these days).

Most of the limited editions I see worth getting aren't that pricey, even when imported, if you get them when they come out. A good hardbound novella might list for $50 new but sell for $110 one year later online.

In terms of cost per word, I did pay almost $100 for a small hardbound Sheckley a few years ago, but it was limited run, signed, and #1 of the run. Not actually any more valuable, but it gave it more sentimental value to me. I picked it up at Powells and they hadn't even bothered to put it in the collectible cabinet.

Now that I think of it, a lot of us probably paid >$100 for the Far Side collection.

But you aren't talking real money for a book at any of these ranges. Some of my friends who collect signed first editions go a little nuts.


On the other hand, the most expensive board game I've ever bought was $250....


message 3: by Rindis (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:05PM) (new)

Rindis Okay Seth, I gotta know, what game did you pay $250 for? I've paid far more than that on some game systems with lots of expansions, but I think I've topped out around $60 for any particular product.

Um. On topic. I dunno? I don't worry about first or signed editions, so outside of college textbooks, I think the most I've ever spent is ~$60 on the Spaceship Handbook.


message 4: by Seizure Romero (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:05PM) (new)

Seizure Romero I paid $450 for a 1st edition of John Dunning's Booked to Die several years ago when it was a somewhat hot commodity (not the best time to invest, I know, and it was a month's rent). But it's a murder mystery set in the world of used and rare books, and I've had it signed by Dunning and now it sells for more than $700, so if I ever do decide to unload my books (yeah, RIGHT) it will be a little like getting paid to read. I pick up paperback copies at book sales to loan to friends I want to addict (first one's always free).

At the Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair one year a dealer HANDED me an original volume of Isaac Newton's Principia Mathematica. This was published in 1687. They were selling it for $275,000. Because I was about $274,934.28 shy of the asking price I backed off on the sale, but it was a unique experience to hold & peruse a piece of publishing & scientific history.

For those who care, the fair is this weekend: http://www.seattlebookfair.com/


message 5: by Christy (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:06PM) (new)

Christy Brannen (murdermostbritish) | 19 comments A few months ago I paid about $20 for a used paperback of a Mrs Jeffries book to fill in a gap in my collection. I'm not a book collector in the respect that I buy first editions or anything. Just usually used paperbacks as reading copies, but I like to get all of them in a series and this one was really hard to find.


message 6: by Rachael (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:06PM) (new)

Rachael | 23 comments In college, my book bill would be close to 400 dollars. For my enjoyable reading, I think the most I spent on a book was 30 dollars.


message 7: by Ashley (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:06PM) (new)

Ashley (readerandwriter) Usually the books I buy at Borders are 13-14 bucks.

college books are definitely expensive. im probably gonna spend about $200-300 bucks on textbooks next term.


message 8: by Lori (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:06PM) (new)

Lori (tnbbc) I think if I came across some signed copy of a book that was close to my heart I would pay a fairly substantial amount for it. However, im not in the habit of dropping alot for a novel I want to read. Ive actually been trying to buy more paperbacks now, just in the interest of my dwindling checkbook.... (which has actually been to my benefit, because I read some really great classic novels this summer, that I may not have otherwise read. )


message 9: by Laura (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:07PM) (new)

Laura $100 bucks for Samuel Johnson's unabridged Dictionary of the English Language and $75 for a Cambridge Companion to Victorian literature. (University Press editions, especially those bound for library use are ridiculously expensive!)

Plus, like many of you I typically drop a ton of cash on college textbooks - again, either for University Press titles or for anthologies, although now that I do most of my shopping on Barnes&Noble.com ,I save $40-100 (with membership discount)each semester, not to mention the refund when I sell my books back to them as well.

Family recently bought me a nearly complete 1870s set of the Waverley novels for only $150 at a local used-book shop - quite a steal!

My next hopeful "conquest" is a complete 1880s set of Dickens novels, which are in very bad shape but tempting nonetheless. The dealer offered it to me for $120 bucks in June (down from $200); I'm just hoping he'll remember that special deal this December!


message 10: by Jordan (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:07PM) (new)

Jordan (jordieheartsbooks) Textbooks would be the most I spent on a single book. But there's one that just came out I would love to read limited publishing (around 800 copies I think) about the Knights Templar. It costs approx. $8,500.00 however and I just don't have that kind of money. Hopefully a library will have it that I'll live by one day...


message 11: by Sarah (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:30PM) (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) I just paid $85 for a Star Wars collector's book for my husband's birthday.


message 12: by Brooke (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:30PM) (new)

Brooke I spent $40 on Dylan: A Man Called Alias. I was 11 and saved and saved to buy this book. It's in mint condition. I read it but always put it back in it's original plastic. I love it.


message 13: by Rebeca (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:31PM) (new)

Rebeca Schiller The most expensive book that I've bought to date is last year's Christmas present to myself, a signed 1939 first edition of Alvah Bessie's Men in Battle. I spent $140.00


message 14: by Judub (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:32PM) (new)

Judub | 11 comments The most expensive book I have ever purchased was a children's book called "Carlson on the roof". It was a first edition and it cost $150. The story was written by the Sweden author Astrid Lingdren, who is better known as author for the Pippi Longstocking series. Carlson on the roof is less well known, and therefore was never republished. I bought it as a birthday present for my sister since both of us enjoyed the Chinese translated version when we were kids.


message 15: by Lynn (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:32PM) (new)

Lynn (dwell_ondreams) The most I've ever spent on a single book is probably about $20ish. I did buy Empires of the Ancient Near East a 4 volume set by Folio for $50 at Half Price Books.


message 16: by Foxthyme (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:34PM) (new)

Foxthyme | 48 comments Seth, please tell me, how many bookshelves do you have in your home? My own dream has always been wall to wall, floor to ceiling. However, there're people who don't appreciate such decorating!

Okay the most expensive non-school book I bought was a $180 book called Therapeutic Exercise for Athletic Injuries. Course I use it for my work...


back to top