A Beginner's Guide to Book Collecting

Strand has one of the largest public collections of rare books available in the country-- and its accessible every day for free! Dispelling the myth that rare books and book collecting in general are only of interest to the serious(ly wealthy), Darren Sutherland, our resident expert, gave us some advice on how to embrace the art and hobby.
  1. First, collect what you love.
    Start with the books that mean something to you and allow that curiosity to guide you (along with the help of a trusted bookseller).
  2. Buy the best available copy you can afford.
    But don’t buy things because you think it’s a good “investment.” You will certainly come across items that you acquire for less than they are worth, but this shouldn't be your foremost consideration.
  3. The internet has had the single largest impact on the world of rare and collectible books.
    For example, books once thought to be hard to find have been revealed to have many copies in the market, in many cases dropping prices across the board. But at the same time, the access to information has allowed buyers and sellers to recognize what are truly rare and important.
  4. Let a bookseller help you.
    A trusted ally can go a long way in discovering and securing books you are interested in. Spend time developing relationships with local bookshops or online sellers. You'd be surprised what we remember about our customers!
  5. Let your passions & interests guide you.
    Collecting books can be an interesting and exciting way to engage intellectually (and emotionally) with the world around you, offering a chance to explore your passions, to learn, and to expand relationships. Your collection can shift as your interests unfold, so run with it.