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Old April 5 2012, 11:45 PM   #1
Miss Chicken
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The most you would spend on a book?

I received an email from Abebooks in which they listed some of the more expensive bokks they have sold. They listed 11, the first 6 were

1. Theatrum Fungorum by Franciscus van Sterbeeck - $13,916
A fine first edition of this 1675 study of mushrooms. The book depicts 349 varieties and was written in Dutch.
2. Moby-Dick or, The Whale by Herman Melville - $12,595
First edition, published in 1851, by Harper and Brothers, this copy contains no signatures, bookplates or markings of any kind. This true first edition did not sell well upon initial publication and became scarce after a fire destroyed many of Harper’s unsold copies in 1853.
3. Poèmes Saturniens by Paul Verlaine - $9,194
Published in 1866, this signed first edition is the first book Verlaine published and was limited to 500 copies. This French poet was associated with the Symbolist movement, and is known as a key figure in the Fin de Siècle (end of the century) era in poetry.
4. Mundus Subterraneus by Athanasius Kircher - $9,157
A first edition of Kircher’s famous work that attempts to explain the mysteries lying beneath the surface of the earth, produced in two volumes 1665.
5. Mountain Road Lottery of 1768 ticket #214 signed by George Washington - $9,000
This was an original ticket from the 1768 Mountain Road Lottery, a project conceived by Washington (among others) to help finance a road though the Allegheny Mountains in Virginia. The ticket, with detached numbered stub, was signed by Washington.
6. The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA by James D. Watson - $8,500
First edition, published 1968, of Watson’s autobiographical account of the discovery of the double helix structure. This copy was signed by Watson as well as Francis Crick (co-discoverer) on the title page.


I think most I have ever spent on a book is around $145 for the New Encyclopedia of Mammals which was published by the Oxford University Press in 2001. It is now selling for $83 used on Amazon and for $317 used on Abebooks. It is 930 pages and weighs 4.5kg so it is a huge book with hundreds of beautiful colour photos.

I would love to buy a copy of The Quiet Earth by Craig Harrison but the cheapest copy on Abebooks is $250 which is a lot for a novel I might not even end up liking (I loved the movie that was based on it). If I could get it for around the $100 mark I would consider it.
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Old April 6 2012, 12:09 AM   #2
horatio83
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Re: The most you would spend on a book?

Most I ever spent on a book was about 100€ on an 18th century Shakespeare edition and I doubt that I would ever be willing to pay much more.

This guy on the other hand would.

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Old April 6 2012, 12:12 AM   #3
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Re: The most you would spend on a book?

I think my most expensive book purchase was also an animal-related encyclopedia. I have far too many of those...
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Old April 6 2012, 12:26 AM   #4
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Re: The most you would spend on a book?

I'll let you know when my "Deep Space Nine Companion" arrives...don't know what the final tally is with toll and all.
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Old April 6 2012, 01:16 AM   #5
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Re: The most you would spend on a book?

$40 or so... and that's pricey to me. If money wasn't an issue, I'd probably be open to spending much more.

Just not thousands of dollars. I guess I don't really care about the history of a specific book, as long as I can read it.
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Old April 6 2012, 01:31 AM   #6
Knight Templar
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Re: The most you would spend on a book?

It seems to me that the really good books you can always find used in good condition anyway.
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Old April 6 2012, 01:40 AM   #7
J. Allen
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Re: The most you would spend on a book?

The most I've spent on a book was $35, and that was pushing the limit for me.
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Old April 6 2012, 01:45 AM   #8
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Re: The most you would spend on a book?

Probably around $50 at absolute most. Although I'm rarely willing to pay more than $15.
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Old April 6 2012, 01:47 AM   #9
Miss Chicken
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Re: The most you would spend on a book?

I just trawled through my Amazon, Amazon UK, Book Depository and Abe Books accounts and discovered that the most I have paid online for a book was for The Annotated Wizard of Oz which, with postage cost me $AUD39.24.

I dd however buy The Complete Calvin and Hobbes. It came postage free and cost me $AUD78.23 but it was a 3 volume set.
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Old April 6 2012, 01:51 AM   #10
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Re: The most you would spend on a book?

When I was still buying hardcovers, they were $23.00. I have no idea if that's still true.

My paperbacks typically average between $7.99 and $10.88. I miss the bygone days when those we're one size and $4.99.

Occasionally, I'll buy a used book from Amazon, but what I pay depends on the seller.
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Old April 6 2012, 02:33 AM   #11
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Re: The most you would spend on a book?

I've purchased two that I have considered extremely expensive for what I got. One was an out of print magazine like book that was issued by Columbia House and the Journal of Emergency Medicine when Emergency! first was made available through the Columbia House VHS mail order program. I paid $76 plus shipping for that on eBay.

The other is a large coffee table book about Walt Disney and all of his and his parks' trains. That book came in a totally separate, leather bound case. I paid $120 for it in 2001. It was something where a friend had had just the book by itself, and I told myself that if I ever found it I would buy it if the price wasn't completely outrageous. I ordered iut directly from the publisher.
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Old April 6 2012, 03:12 AM   #12
Itisnotlogical
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Re: The most you would spend on a book?

I haven't spend much more than $15 on a novel, which probably is a lot of the reason why most of what sits on my shelf is crap that I haven't touched since the first read-through. However, I'm aware that a year or two ago an anniversary edition of the Lord of the Rings trilogy was released with an absolutely gorgeous box, and some other fun stuff, and I'd love to find those somewhere as soon as I have the spare cash.
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Old April 6 2012, 04:42 AM   #13
sojourner
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Re: The most you would spend on a book?

I've always wanted to buy the big red leather bound edition of Lord of the Rings in a single volume. I think it's even subtitled The Red book of West March. Last time I checked it was around $45 U.S.
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Old April 6 2012, 05:28 AM   #14
Miss Chicken
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Re: The most you would spend on a book?

I dare one of you guys to buy this set of books or better still this book.
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Old April 6 2012, 06:02 AM   #15
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Re: The most you would spend on a book?

Ignoring text books the most I spent was the $40+ for new hardcover novels back before I knew how to use Amazon.
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