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Newsletter - Christmas Special 2006

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Looking for rare, collectable or out-of-print books for Christmas?

Why Give Books?

Finding the right gift is always difficult and collectable books make great choices. How about a signed autobiography; a first edition of a much loved children's book; a book on a regiment, village, or football club; that missing volume by a favourite author, or simply a more attractive version of a favourite book, maybe illustrated or prettily bound?

How Do I Find Collectable Books?

If you have access to the internet then it is easy

To be sure it arrives in time buying in the UK and Ireland is best. There are three UK based websites of which the fastest growing is ibooknet - www.ibooknet.co.uk. Here you can search or browse the stock of a growing number of UK and Irish booksellers to find early editions of Beatrix Potter or A. A. Milne, Victorian histories of Yorkshire or other local areas with heavily decorated gilt bindings, boxed sets or leather bound classics, and hyper-modern signed first editions to grace the most contemporary coffee table, as well a huge range of other tempting items. Ibooknet is co-owned by the booksellers who list on there so there are no middle men, commissions or mark-ups. This makes it a bit like an online 'farmers’ market' for books. All ibooknet sellers are contactable by phone for those who don’t like using their credit card online, or simply if you want to ask more questions about a book. Ibooknet is also a trade organisation which means its sellers are vetted before joining and have to complete a probationary year. The other UK sites are Ukbookworld - www.ukbookworld.com and Biblion - www.biblion.co.uk . These sites are not trade organisations.  

Find Your Local Rare and Out-of-Print Bookseller

Pick up your Yellow Pages or other directory and look under Books: Rare & Secondhand. Many sellers will offer a Booksearch service. If you have a specific title in mind have as much detail as possible to hand before making your call. Alternatively many booksellers would be happy to make suggestions of likely titles if you give them an area of interest. As well as 'phoning try visiting some of your local bookshops. This will give you an idea of titles and typical prices and the seller can show you examples.

Booksearches are usually ‘no obligation’ but check the terms with the individual bookseller. Trade organisation membership shows that the bookseller has some expertise; ask if the seller is a member of ibooknet, the ABA or the PBFA. 

A Very Happy Christmas

A history of journalism for a retired reporter. A first edition of The House at Pooh Corner for your wife on your first Christmas together. A 1930s book on the early film industry for the film critic in your life. A glossy boxed set on the modern whisky industry for Dad.

 At least you can be fairly sure no-one else has bought them one this year.

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