Rare Book Monthly

Articles - January - 2018 Issue

AbeBooks to Remove eBooks from Their Website

AbeBooks announces the elimination of eBooks from their site.

AbeBooks recently announced to their participating booksellers that they will discontinue listing eBooks on all of their websites. This will be welcome news to those who use their site to find collectible books. While AbeBooks' typical buyer is someone looking for an inexpensive (likely used) copy of a book, the site is also regularly used by the smaller group of customers who buy books for their collections. As the AbeBooks Top 10 prices list for 2017 reveals (elsewhere in this month's Rare Book Monthly), there are well-heeled collectors purchasing books from the site that are clearly not intended for use as reading copies.

 

The proliferation of electronic copies, which makes it more difficult to find the "real" books, has been a growing phenomenon over the years. They were no problem when "Abe" went live in the mid-1990s. Electronic books did not exist at the time. However, in the past decade, as they have grabbed a significant part of book sales, they have become a distraction for collectors, more listings to wade through to find what you want. No one collects eBooks. How could you do that? This is welcome news for the collector.

 

There are still other "fakes," notably the ubiquitous "print-on-demand" books. These may be physical books, but they are not collectible (at least not yet, if ever). A search for a rare or obscure title will often bring up dozens of print-on-demand copies, but only one or two, or often zero, early publisher copies. The problem is virtually anyone can offer print-on-demand or eBooks, but few if any dealers will hold a copy if the "real" book is old and rare. These later copies, like digit eBooks, can be a waste of time searching through, but there is a solution to this problem. Actually, there are two solutions available.

 

First option is when you go to the AbeBooks site, don't fill in the four-field search box that comes up when you go to the home page. Instead, click the "More search options" link to the right of the "Search" button. That will take you to the "Advanced Search" page. Scroll down to the ninth option listed, "Attributes." Then, go over to the last choice among the Attributes, "Not Print on Demand." Select that box. Then fill in the other fields you want to search, such as Author, Title, or Keywords, and click "Find Book" at the bottom. That will eliminate all print-on-demand copies from your results.

 

The other option is to go ahead and use the four-field search box that appears on the AbeBooks home page. That will give you results that include print-on-demand. However, you will then see a list of attributes by which you can refine your search in the left column. Those include "Product Type," "Condition," "Binding," and the fourth one is "Collectible Attributes." The last choice among "Collectible Attributes" is "Not Printed On Demand." Select that choice and it will remove the print-on-demand copies.

 

The elimination of eBooks from AbeBooks' websites will go into effect on February 6, 2018.

Rare Book Monthly

  • Bonhams, July 15-25: THE AUTOGRAPH COLLECTION OF ISRAEL WITKOWER. $8,000 - $12,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: GEORGE WASHINGTON SIGNED DISCHARGE. June 9, 1783. $8,000 - $12,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: "Shhhhh!" A DAVID SHANNON ILLUSTRATION FROM DAVID GETS IN TROUBLE. $2,500 - $3,500
    Bonhams, July 15-25: PICASSO, PABLO. Le Carmen des Carmen. Paris, 1964. $2,000 - $3,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: RARE AUTOGRAPH OF AMERICAN NAVAL HERO CAPTAIN JAMES MUGFORD. $2,000 - $3,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: KARA WALKER SILHOUETTES FOR TONI MORRISON'S FIVE POEMS. $2,000 - $3,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: FIRST APPEARANCE OF PINOCCHIO IN ENGLISH. COLLODI, CARLO.New York, 1892. $2,000 - $3,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: BONAPARTE, JOSEPHINE. Autograph Note (unsigned) in French. $1,000 - $1,500
    Bonhams, July 15-25: FROST ON MATTHEW ARNOLD.Autograph Letter Signed to Adams, July 27, 1934. $800 - $1,200
    Bonhams, July 15-25: ELIAS BOUDINOT'S COPY OF BARLOW'S COLUMBIAN EPIC. $800 - $1,200
    Bonhams, July 15-25: A SIGNED HART CRANE BROOKLYN BRIDGE POSTCARD TO EDWARD DAHLBERG. $600 - $800
    Bonhams, July 15-25: A STOCK CERTIFICATE SIGNED BY THE "QUEEN OF WALL STREET," HETTY GREEN. $700 - $900
  • Fonsie Mealy’s
    Summer Rare Book
    & Collectors’ Sale
    July 30-31, 2024
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: U.S. / European Shipping Archive 1800-1814. The Widow Bermingham & Sons Collection. €7,000 to €10,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Bunreacht na hÉireann. Constitution of Ireland. An important copy of the First Printing of De Valera’s new Constitution, approved in 1938. Signed by the Constitution Cabinet. €7,000 to €9,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: A Rare Complete Run of the Cuala Press Broadsides. €7,000 to €9,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s
    Summer Rare Book
    & Collectors’ Sale
    July 30-31, 2024
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Grose (Francis). The Antiquities of Ireland, 2vols. folio London (for S. Hooper) 1791. Magnificent Hand-Coloured Copy - Only 25 Copies. €3,000 to €5,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Cantillon (Richard). Essai sur la Nature du Commerce en General, Traduit de l'Anglois, Sm. 8vo London (Fletcher Gyles) 1756. €3,000 to €4,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Gregory, (Lady Augusta). Spreading the News: The Rising of the Moon: The Poorhouse (with Douglas Hyde). Being Vol. IX of the Abbey Theatre Series. €3,000 to €4,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s
    Summer Rare Book
    & Collectors’ Sale
    July 30-31, 2024
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Lavery (Lady Hazel). A moving series of three A.L.S. and a Telegram to Gen. Eoin O'Duffy, July-August 1927, expressing her grief at the death of Kevin O'Higgins. €3,000 to €4,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Dampier (Wm.) Nouveau Voyage Autour du Monde, ou l'on descrit en particulier l'Isthme de l'Amerique…, 2 vols. in one, Amsterdam, 1698. €800 to €1,200.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Howell (James). Instructions for Forreine Travel Shewing by what Cours, and in what Compasse of Time…, London, 1642. €800 to €1,200.
    Fonsie Mealy’s
    Summer Rare Book
    & Collectors’ Sale
    July 30-31, 2024
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Rowling (J.K.) Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, 8vo, L. (Bloomsbury) 1999, First Edn., First Printing of Deluxe Collectors Edn. Signed. €800 to €1,200.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: James (Wm.) A Full and Correct Account of the Military Occurrences of The Late War Between Great Britain and The United States of America. 2 vols. Lond. 1818. €650 to €900.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: The Laws of the United States, Published by Authority, 3 vols. Philadelphia (Richard Folwell) 1796. €600 to €800.
  • Sotheby’s, July 11: Galileo, Document annotated and signed by Galileo, dated Padua, 1595. £500,000 to £700,000.

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