Buying Rare Books for a Gift

Books make great gifts, rare books make even better ones. Before we look at the various occasions that can be celebrated with a book, let's have a look at what makes a good gift book. Other than the title, perhaps the most important aspect is the condition. You're giving someone a gift, you want it to look nice. It's a simple as that. My gran never used to give me a battered, thread-bare jumper for Christmas, it was always brand new (and unlike rare books, never appreciated). We are talking about rare books though, so they're not always going to look like new, and this of course helps play into the appreciation of the gift. That vintage feel of a rare book gives it a sense of history and a sense of importance. For those wanting books that look nice, we offer (outside the regular fine first editions!) rebinds of well-known titles. These are generally in decent shape if it's a recent binding, some have only been rebound recently. The second thing to consider (or perhaps the only thing!) is the price. Our rebinds generally start from around £125 and head up into the low thousands. It depends on the title and edition, but also the quality of the binding. Similarly, the books that are both rare and in high demand will be more expensive. If a first edition or rebind doesn't quite work, then a limited / signed edition can go down really well. Particularly limited editions which often have higher production values, some are even referred to as gift editions

So, for what occasion? Well, weddings, christenings, birthdays, Christmas, you name it. We find a lot of our gift books are bought around the Christmas season, but there's also a certain romance in buying your partner a first edition of a book they loved as a child, or adult (look at me, talking about romance like I'm an expert). Christenings, Bar Mitzvahs, Graduations or any other milestone in young life can be marked by rare books too. And this is quite an interesting one because the recipient is usually quite young and more often than not you're giving them a valuable resource that more often than not increases value over the years (no guarantees though).

How to choose a title. If you're not quite lucky enough to know the recipients favourite book or author, then the best bet is to go for some generic title, that just fits the bill in most cases. Graduating with a physics degree? A nice rebind of Einstein's Theory of Relativity. A newborn with an infinite outlook? Wind in the Willows. Just finished her GSCEs? Lord of the Flies in blood, red leather. Just released from a 20 year stint at San Quentin? American Psycho. Sci-Fin fan? Brave New World. A wedding at Disneyworld? An early edition of Beauty and Beast (the most elegant of the Disneys).

Oh, and paper is the traditional gift for a first wedding anniversary. Books have paper, lots of it!

We can also send the books without invoices and nicely wrapped if desired.

If we don't have what you want, or you just want advise, drop us an email ( or call us 07557 652 609.

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