The last step in this project is to figure out what to do with all the books. I've started to give some to relatives, and I've also put aside the books that I would like to keep (e.g. family Bibles, H. E.'s notebooks, and a photography book). It would be really helpful if some book experts stumbled onto this blog and helped me answer the following questions:
- Are any of these books valuable? My oldest books are the 1841 Cottage Bible, "Lady Huntington and Her Friends" from 1853 and a Bible from 1855. Some books in the collection have beautiful illustrations, including "A Child's Garden of Verses" and "The Conquest of Fire". The textbooks and encyclopedias from the late 1800s and early 1900s might be interesting from an academic point of view. There's a copy of "Elbert Hubbard From East Aurora" by Felix Shay that I think is really cool because it still has many uncut pages. I don't know what this is called in printing terms, but you'd have to cut the outside edge of the page with a knife in order to read the two interior pages. There's also an enormous Bible published by A. J. Holman & Co. in 1893 that includes gorgeous illustrations and very thorough glossaries. I have a first edition of Mark Twain's "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court," but it turns out it's not the first printing of the first edition. I may have other first editions, but I haven't done enough research to know.
- Which books would be worth rebinding, and how do I go about doing that? The old Cottage Bible is in pretty bad shape but contains family history information. Could someone restore it for me, and would that process be expensive?
- If I decide to sell some of these books, would I be able to sell them on my own? Should I use an online service such as eBay or Alibris? Would it be better to sell to a bookstore?
Thanks for reading my blog!