Wondering how to find the best rare books to invest in, right now? Award-winning literary agent, David Headley, shares his guide on the top recommended rare books available at Goldsboro Books - the world’s largest collection of signed first editions.
From the serious collector to those just dipping their toe into book investing - here are 15 wonderful books you should consider adding to your collection today.
Top 5 rare first edition books to invest in
The following 5 books are for the serious collector - ranging from £3,000 to £11,000 in price due to their strong investment potential (not to mention they are beautiful books!).
1. Live And Let Die by Ian Flemming - £11,000
At the top of our list of rare books is Ian Fleming’s second installment of the bond series, Live and Let Die. This 007 classic features the brutal Mr Big, and is a first edition hardcover.
The book, released over 60 years ago on Jan 1st 1954, is presented in the publisher’s black cloth with striking gold lettering, and is in very good condition. A true collectors item.
2. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling - £5,000
It wouldn’t be a rare book list without a Harry Potter featured now would it? This J.K. Rowling classic is an extremely rare first edition, so rare in fact that it even has the author's name printed as ‘Joanne Rowling’ in the copyright section, rather than J.K. Rowling.
3. The Rolling Stones by Reuel Golden - £5,000
The first nonfiction to feature in our rare book collection, The Rolling Stones by Reuel Golden charts the Stones’ remarkable journey and outrageous lifestyle.
A special first edition copy, with over 500 pages of stunning images from the world’s greatest photographers, a foreword from Bill Clinton and signatures from all original band members - Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, and Ronnie Wood - it’s no wonder this is such a rare find.
4. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess - £3,800
This first edition print of Anthony Burgess’ dystopian cult classic is in near-fine condition.
Released on January 1st 1962, the book was later adapted into Stanley Kubrick’s controversial film, further increasing the popularity of this violent thriller.
5. Catch 22 & Closing Time by Joseph Heller - £3,000
A duo collection of World War II fiction from respected author, Joseph Heller.
Both books are first editions and also signed by Joseph himself on the title page, increasing their rarity.
Top 5 rare first editions for under £2,500
Our next selection of fantastic rare books are lower in price, but still have excellent investment potential for collectors and traders.
1. Brighton Rock by Graham Greene - £2,500
A special USA first edition, uncover the dark underworld of Brighton in this gripping novel by Graham Greene.
One of the oldest books featured in this list, the novel was released on Jan 1st 1938 and features the original dust jacket. An excellent copy and a truly rare find.
2. The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith - £1,500
Add Highsmith’s classic 1950’s novel to your collection. A near-fine first edition, a first print, and a story that never gets old - what more could you wish for?
3. Goldfinger by Ian Fleming - £1,500
Ian Fleming features again with another bond classic, Goldfinger. This first edition, released in October 1959, is in very good condition and is a gem in any collectors list.
4. Rip Van Winkle by Joseph Jefferson - £1,000
Now this is a special one. Not only is it a first edition, signed by the author Joseph Jefferson to his grandson, but there are currently no signed copies of this edition for sale, nor have any appeared at auction recently! A super rare find and certainly worth the investment.
5. Sweet Thursday by John Steinbeck - £1,000
A USA first edition, John Steinbeck’s post-war, high-spirited world is an entertaining read.
This near-fine first edition of Steinbeck’s national bestseller, released in 1954, comes with the original binding.
Top 5 Rare Books For First Time Investors
If it’s your first time investing in rare books then you may initially opt for the lower end of the price scale. The below are excellent choices for anyone looking to start their book investment collection.
1. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl - £500
This much-loved children’s classic, twice adapted for film, is a first edition and first print - making it an affordable but rare find.
The novel, published in 1967, is in very good condition complete with the original laminated pictorial boards.
2. Secret Water by Arthur Ransome - £450
A UK first edition of Randome’s 1930’s novel, the copy is in very good condition making it an affordable yet rare find, ideal for first time investors.
3. Requiem For A Nun by William Faulkner - £350
The haunting sequel to Faulknew’s earlier bestseller, Sanctuary, Requiem For a Nun is a unique read, interchanging between narrative prose and play script throughout.
This USA first edition is overall a very good copy and a great addition to any book collection.
4. Five on Kirrin Island Again by Enid Blyton - £260
Every childhood should include a novel or two from Enid Blyton, a sentiment for many who have grown up reading these charming books.
This first edition copy of the famous five’s adventure is in very good condition, a rare first print from 1947.
5. Men of Men by Wilbur Smith - £150
We end our rare book guide with an incredible thriller from Wilbur Smith, set in the age of empire, battle and conquest.
For a very modest price, you can own this collectable first edition which is in near-fine condition.
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