Investing in Books

Dear Book Lover,
A new index claims rare books have risen in value by an average of nearly 9% a year.
Stanley Gibbons Investments, which specialises in tangible assets like rare stamps and coins, used past auction data to compile the list of valuable books that includes first editions of George Orwell’s Animal Farm, William Golding‘s Lord of the Flies and Ulysses by James Joyce.
The most expensive title on the list was F.Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby which is valued at £246,636 in 2015. Its worth has increased over 13 times since 1996 when it was priced at £18,056.
The Hobbit by J R R Tolkien was the next most valuable book in the index at £65,420, double the price of two years ago.
We believe that books are worthwhile investments. If you are a book collector or investor, regularly buying from Goldsboro Books, and you are also a member of our Book of the Month club, you will have already realised that debut books are also worth investing in. Take our April Book of the Month (limited Edition) for example, The Shore, it has now been shortlisted for countless awards and its value is increasing daily. The Girl on the Train, published in January this year, has quadrupled in value. This is because these days publishers are cautious with new writers and only print limited quantities of the first edition.
First editions can also have quirks or mistakes, or have a different cover to the larger runs. This adds to the value. We regularly create, with the publisher, exclusive editions, first editions with added extras or different jackets. They are often highly sought after, increasing their value immediately.
As well as new books, nostalgia is also another contributing factor when collecting books. Books that you read as a child or at university often influence your taste when collecting or investing.
Notable recent publications that have dramatically increased in value include the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling. The first print run of Harry Potter and The Philosophers Stone consisted of 500 copies which retailed at £10.99 in 1997. A pristine copy can fetch between £15,000 to £20,000 at auction.
Keep an eye on upcoming films as the value of books can be affected by new adaptations. Copies of The Martian by Andy Wear went stratospheric when it was announced that the film was to be made by Ridley Scott.
Those of you who are serious about investing are advised to only buy the best from a trusted bookseller. Brand new first editions should be in pristine condition and also have the dust cover where applicable.
While there is a difference between book collectors and investors, there is no reason why you cannot be both.
Notable New Acquisitions
One Hundred Years of Solitude
First American Edition.  Mild bumping to tail of spine. Dust jacket is in beautiful, bright condition, with very minor edge wear and just a touch of toning to spine and rear panel. A very good book in near fine dustwrapper. A beautiful copy of this classic.
Equally tragic, joyful and comical, Gabriel García Márquez’s masterpiece of magical realism, One Hundred Years of Solitude is a seamless blend of fantasy and reality, translated from the Spanish by Gregory Rabassa.
Gabriel García Márquez’s great masterpiece is the story of seven generations of the Buendía family and of Macondo, the town they have built. Though little more than a settlement surrounded by mountains, Macondo has its wars and disasters, even its wonders and miracles. A microcosm of Columbian life, its secrets lie hidden, encoded in a book and only Aureliano Buendía can fathom its mysteries and reveal its shrouded destiny. Blending political reality with magic realism, fantasy with comic invention, One Hundred Years of Solitude is one of the most daringly original works of the twentieth century.
Gabriel García Márquez (b. 1928) was born in Aracataca, Colombia. He is the author of several novels, including Leaf Storm (1955), One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967), The Autumn of the Patriarch(1975),Chronicle of a Death Foretold (1981) and The General in His Labyrinth (1989). He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982.
East of Eden
First Edition, first printing. Slight edgewear to cloth, with very minor wear at spine ends. Minor dust staining to top edge. Dust jacket has a couple of small chips and closed tears at spine ends. Presents nicely. A very good copy.
An epic allegorical novel chronicling the fortunes of two families as they try to escape the sins of their forbears.’There is only one book to a man,’ Steinbeck wrote of East of Eden, his most ambitious novel. Set in the rich farmland of the Salinas Valley, California, this powerful, often brutal novel, follows the intertwined destinies of two families – the Trasks and the Hamiltons – whose generations hopelessly re-enact the fall of Adam and Eve and the poisonous rivalry of Cain and Abel. Here Steinbeck created some of his most memorable characters and explored his most enduring themes: the mystery of identity; the inexplicability of love, and the murderous consequences of love’s absence.

The Old Man and the Sea
Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1952. Hardcover. Book Condition: Near Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine. First Edition. No mention of the Nobel Prize. A near fine example of the book which won its author a Pulitzer Prize. Near fine in like jacket with some wear to head and tail of the spine. A lovely copy.
A short novel, it was the last major work published during Hemingway’s lifetime and is widely considered one of his masterpieces. Basis for the 1958 John Sturges film starring Spencer Tracy. Certainly, this book was a major contributing factor in Hemingway’s winning the Nobel Prize the following year. William Faulkner, in his review of the book, called it Hemingway’s best.
Set in the Gulf Stream off the coast of Havana, Hemingway’s magnificent fable is the story of an old man, a young boy and a giant fish. It was The Old Man and the Sea that won for Hemingway the Nobel Prize for Literature. Here, in a perfectly crafted story, is a unique and timeless vision of the beauty and grief of man’s challenge to the elements in which he lives. Not a single word is superflous in this widely admired masterpiece, which once and for all established his place as one of the giants of modern literature.
Nineteen Eighty-Four
Harcourt, Brace and Company, New York, 1949. Hardcover. First American edition with ‘First American Edition’ stated on the copyright page. Small octavo, 314 pp. The dust jacket is in good condition. Minor chipping to the perimeter edges of the panels and spine but with some long closed tears. Slight wear to the outer hinge. The spine is lightly sunned. The original price of $3.00 is present on the front flap. The book is in very good plus condition. The beige cloth boards are very well preserved with crisp edges. Minor soiling to the boards with sunned spine and edges. The contents are clean and bright with sound binding.
George Orwell’s dystopian masterpiece, Nineteen Eighty-Four is perhaps the most pervasively influential book of the twentieth century.
‘Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past’
Hidden away in the Record Department of the sprawling Ministry of Truth, Winston Smith skilfully rewrites the past to suit the needs of the Party. Yet he inwardly rebels against the totalitarian world he lives in, which demands absolute obedience and controls him through the all-seeing telescreens and the watchful eye of Big Brother, symbolic head of the Party. In his longing for truth and liberty, Smith begins a secret love affair with a fellow-worker Julia, but soon discovers the true price of freedom is betrayal.
‘His final masterpiece … enthralling and indispensible for understanding modern history’
Timothy Garton-Ash, New York Review of Books
‘The book of the twentieth century … haunts us with an ever-darker relevance’
They Do It With Mirrors
Collins 1952. Dedicated to her Grandson, Mathew Prichard. First Edition. A fine copy in a very good dust wrapper, which shows minor wear to the corners and the head and tail of the spine.
A Miss Marple story.
A man is shot at in a juvenile reform home – but someone else dies…
Miss Marple senses danger when she visits a friend living in a Victorian mansion which doubles as a rehabilitiation centre for delinquents. Her fears are confirmed when a youth fires a revolver at the administrator, Lewis Serrocold. Neither is injured. But a mysterious visitor, Mr Gilbrandsen, is less fortunate – shot dead simultaneously in another part of the building.
Pure coincidence? Miss Marple thinks not, and vows to discover the real reason for Mr Gilbrandsen’s visit.
Danny, Champion of the World
Roald Dahl
A very good copy with some slight shelf wear to bottom edge and spine. Dedication on inside of cover. Dust jacket very good with some slight wear to corners and edges. A lovely copy.
Danny the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl is the much-loved tale of how Danny and his father outwitted the mean Mr Victor Hazell.
Danny thinks his dad is the most marvellous and exciting father a boy could wish for. Life is happy and peaceful in their gipsy caravan, until one day Danny discovers his dad has been breaking the law. What’s more, soon Danny has to join his father as they attempt to pull off a daring and devilish plot against horrible, red-faced Mr Victor Hazell . . .
“A true genius . . . Roald Dahl is my hero” David Walliams
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
UK First Edition / First Printing. Published simultaneously with the trade edition. Lovely bright cloth boards and unread. A lovely copy and very rare to see signed copies of this edition.
Signed by J K Rowling and Dated Sept 1999, Edinburgh.
When the Knight Bus crashes through the darkness and screeches to a halt in front of him, it’s the start of another far from ordinary year at Hogwarts for Harry Potter. Sirius Black, escaped mass-murderer and follower of Lord Voldemort, is on the run – and they say he is coming after Harry. In his first ever Divination class, Professor Trelawney sees an omen of death in Harry’s tea leaves . But perhaps most terrifying of all are the Dementors patrolling the school grounds, with their soul-sucking kiss
This deluxe edition of the internationally bestselling, multi-award-winning series features gold ribbon, green cloth and gold edges. This copy is signed by J K Rowling ‘with very best wishes’ and dated Sept 1999 Edinburgh. It was donated to MarchAid’s Annual Charity Auction 2000. It comes with a letter from J K Rowling and auction catalogue.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
UK First Edition / First Printing. Fine book in fine dustwrapper. A lovely bright copy.
Harry Potter’s summer has included the worst birthday ever, doomy warnings from a house-elf called Dobby, and rescue from the Dursleys by his friend Ron Weasley in a magical flying car! Back at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for his second year, Harry hears strange whispers echo through empty corridors – and then the attacks start. Students are found as though turned to stone . Dobby’s sinister predictions seem to be coming true.