by M. Mitch Freeland
Starting a library of your own is an activity many successful people pursue. A library can consist of all types of books or it could be specific to a certain subject you are passionate about. For instance, if it is a business book library you are interested in building, then you have many options depending on your particular interest: there are books related to general business and business development; sales; investing in the securities markets; investing in real estate; and making money on the internet. There are thousands of business books available—and the place to start is in the area of your primary interest. If real estate investing is your primary interest, then begin with real estate investing books.
When you start a business book library, you in essence, start your family on a journey of knowledge that can be passed on from generation to generation. A well crafted, well cared for book will last several generations and could educate dozens of current and future family members.
The following are a few ideas you may be interested in pursuing once you’ve set your mind to building a lasting book library in your home.
Setting a Monthly Budget on Books
If your budget for learning from books is $100 per month, then you will be able acquire three to five books to your personal library each month. If your budget is $50, then you can acquire two to three books per month. What can you afford? It’s easier now than ever before to acquire books, review interesting titles, and purchase them online.
A Sampling for Your Library
Typically, when you begin the quest building your library, you will start with a sampling of educational books: Encyclopedia set, dictionaries, a selection of “how to” books, investing and investment related books, the classics in American literature and world literature, history and more specific books pertaining to your interests, your spouse’s interests and your children’s interests. These books could range from sporting or outdoor activity books like fishing or sailing to wild animal books for your child who loves animals.
Most people build libraries over time, and they read the books as they acquire them. You may even become addicted to books and make it your mission to increase your library at every opportunity. A good way to do this and do it inexpensively is by being aware of city library book sales. Libraries always have an excess of books, and occasionally (about two times per year) have book sales. Books range in price from 25 cents to $1 or sometimes $1 per bag. You pay $1 and get a grocery bag and fill it with all the books you want. Once the bad is filled you can get another bag for $1. Library book sales are a great way to build your personal library. Estate sales and garage sales are other ways to find books of interest and value.
Collecting Rare Books by a Specific Author, Genre or Subject
Many collectors who want to build a personal home library search for books by specific authors they like, a specific genre that interests them (spy thrillers, pulp fiction, international adventure or travel) or a specific subject (real estate investing books, investing in the securities markets, books about entrepreneurship, fishing or gardening), any subject that interests them. Remember, your collection is not only an interesting hobby, but can also be a long-term appreciating investment.
Specializing in Business or Investment Related Books
If you are an active investor or wish to be one, an excellent way to begin is to start a business or investment book library. Attaining knowledge is important in any endeavor you pursue, but if you are interested in investing, you need to acquire the right information and attain the right knowledge to make correct decisions in choosing investment vehicles such as securities and real estate. Building a business book library can be a lifetime undertaking, because each year, new and informative books are published that hold a world of useful information—information you can use and benefit from.
A well-balanced library with a selection of books covering diverse subjects is an amiable goal, and it is something you should strive to create for you and your family.
Collecting First Editions
To many, collecting first edition books in a specific genre has been a hobby that not only is fun and interesting, but also has the added benefits of creating value. Depending on the condition of the book, first editions are the most common form of collecting. Both new and experienced collectors seek first editions in fine or new condition.
A Reading Copy and a Collectors Copy
Collectors know the condition of a book is important and is directly related to the potential value to an investor. Therefore, many collectors buy a second or reading copy of the book. The reading copy is typically a used or recent paperback edition. The collector’s quality book is not used as your personal reading book. This is because you do not want to damage the book with heavy use or accidentally cause damage to it with stains, tears in a somewhat brittle jacket, or fingerprints from the oils on your hands and fingers.
Your collector’s copy should not be handled very often. The smallest damage could devalue its price by hundreds of dollars. So, make sure to have a less expensive reading copy at hand when you want to read the book.
Autographs Create Value
Personally autographed books by the author are more valuable than non-autographed books. First edition autographed books in fine or new condition are even more valuable to collectors. Whenever you have a chance, try for an autographed copy in fine condition. You can search for autographed books on Abebooks.com for price comparisons. This will help you to understand the value of fine autographed books.
If you haven’t already started building your personal home library, start today. It can be a very rewarding experience—an experience that you and your family will cherish for years. The great thing about a well developed library is that it allows you to access the information you need quickly and it is enjoyable and a worthwhile endeavor adding new books to your collection. This is an activity for the whole family. Reading can take you where you want to go, so share the adventure with your children. Remember, a person who knows how to read and does not read, is no better off than the person who does not know how to read.
To learn where to get books for your library at 80% below wholesale and where to get old and collectable books, get a copy of Mastering the Art of Sourcing for Online Booksellers & Collectors. Available at www.MitchFreeland.com, Amazon, eBay, Kobo and Fine stores everywhere.