Some older children's books can be worth quite a bit while others are
treaured only for the memories they bring you. The value of
collectibles in general depends on how rare the item is, what
condition it's in and how badly someone else wants it.
Children's books are generally collectible if they were written by a
prize winning author or illustrated by a well know artist and are an
early printing or are no longer in print. An original copy of "Where
The Wild Things Are" in pristine condition would be worth money. A
banged-up, crayoned copy of the same edition would be worth less - if
RareBooks.org has a good basic introduction to appraising the value of
Aleph-Bet.com sells collectible children's books and is a good
resource for first time collectors. Check the list of books on their
site - if your books are in the list you've got something special.
They also have a search of their inventory which may help you to match
up the items you own with books being collected.
Their registration form contains collectible authors and illustrators.
You can contact them for information about the books you hold, but
they cannot give prices on books "that are not in their possession" so
to get a real quote, you'd have to get the books to them. I'm sure
that if you have collectible items, they'd be happy to help you price
and sell them.
Children's Books Central
Lists of awards through the years and links to an over abundance of
information. They say they are a place to start...
I'd start with the Reference section, specifically
AWARDS past and present - http://www.eleanorsbooks.com/awards.htm
BEST 100 books of 100 years -
http://www.trussel.com/f_books.htm provides searches of many
bookstores. Enter the titles and see what you find.
On Page 2 (http://www.trussel.com/books2.htm) are are links to
associations, mailing lists, news groups and many other resources. The
news groups and mailing lists are where people who are interested in
collecting gather to swap prices, good sites, news and ideas. These
can be a very good resource for unbiased information.
The other resource you can use is ebay - http://www.ebay.com/
Type in the title of your book and see if anyone has one for sale.
This gives you an idea of what the market is, but remember... the
price of the book depends on many variables. The price asked for the
book for sale on ebay may be the top you can expect - or it may be
someone who is having an online garage sale and selling junk for a
quarter. There's no way to know without seeing the condition of the
book and knowing when it was printed, etc...
If, after checking the links here, you think you have some treaures,
have them appraised.
http://www.bookvaluation.com/ will evaluated your book for $35. My
guess is that you aren't in possesion of any books worth thousands of
dollars - a first edition Alice in Wonderland or something like that -
or you would have been aware of the value before now. $35 is a bit
steep for a book that may be worth $50.
You may find your best bet for appraisals is going to a couple of
local stores that deal in used books. Make it clear that you are
interested in appraisals - not in selling the book to them - at the
present time. That helps to keep them honest. You don't want a low
quote because they're hoping to get the book from you for as liitle as
possible! If several stores give you the same opinion, you have a good
idea of what you can ask for the book.
The question of how to sell old books is open. Some swear by auctions
and others would rather sell to a dealer and avoid the effort of
posting, answering and dealing with bids, lack of payment and refunds
if the customers are not happy with the purchases.
You can probably get a better price by selling your own books, but the
stress may not be worth it. That's a question that only you can
You may find that you want to use your own books as the seed of a
collection. It's a great hobby and there's always the lure of finding
a rare book at a local yard sale. It can be both fun and very
Search terms used: antiques appraisals children's books
Good luck with whatever you decide,