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Bookshelves of the Rich and Famous

AbeBooks released their list of  "Bookshelves of the Rich and Famous" today, a showcase of some of the most expensive tomes currently for sale on the website.  There are some pretty cool entries on the list this year, like the Cosmographia, the first atlas printed in Germany.  It is hand-colored with woodblock maps, and a real steal at only $1,800,000.00.  As you can see, the book is gorgeous.   

The newest book on the list is The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett.  A first-edition, first-printing copy of the book, complete with dustjacket, costs a cool $125,000.00.  So consider raiding your grandfather's bookshelf; if he has a copy of this book lying around you can make yourself some Christmas money this year!

If you don't mind ponying up a few thousand short of $4 million you can purchase the complete Natural History works of Jay Gould.  The books previously belonged to J. P. Morgan, famed financier, and have his bookplate inside.  Two great men in one purchase!  And truly, who would not be fascinated by fifty-one volumes detailing birds and mammals from around the world.

But by far the most interesting book - if it can really be called such - is a clay cylinder written for Nebuchadnezzar II, the Babylonian king who created the Hanging Gardens for his homesick queen Amytis, and appears in the Book of Daniel as the mad monarch who lives like an animal for seven years as punishment from God.  The cylinder is a royal proclamation concerning the restoration of a temple in Sippar, and comes complete with a translation and documentation.  This cool piece of ancient history can be yours for a mere $1,750,000.00.

Jane Austen and her unwavering popularity help push a first-edition of Emma (in three volumes) to a price tag of $529,130.46.  This particular copy is inscribed to Anne Sharp, a friend of Austen's.  A first edition of the gothic classic Jane Eyre will set the buyer back a cool $122,107.03.  

So check out the list and drool over Abe's selections. 

Which book would you pick if you could add any one of them to your library? 
And what is the most you've ever paid for a book - and what book was it?


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 4th, 2008 08:50 pm (UTC)
Which book would you pick if you could add any one of them to your library? And what is the most you've ever paid for a book - and what book was it?

I think I'd take the Nebuchadnezzar II clay cylinder, for it's uniqueness, although for readability, I'd probably go with Jane Eyre.

As for how much I've really spent, I'm cheap -- I doubt I've ever paid more than hardcover price for a book! :P
Nov. 4th, 2008 08:52 pm (UTC)
Oooh, for sure the cylinder for Nebuchadnezzar II. That's so awesome.

Apart from text books the most expensive book I've bought is an art book about Renaissance and Mannerist Decorative Arts. It was $80.
Nov. 5th, 2008 12:23 am (UTC)
I think I'd take the Maltese Falcon one because I'm related to the author =)

But the Nebuchadnezzer clay cylinder looks really awesome too.

As for how much I've spent, probably about $50 for an art book. This isn't counting text books for college, of course. Those are ridiculously overpriced.
Nov. 5th, 2008 05:09 pm (UTC)
That avatar is disturbing and hypnotic.
Nov. 5th, 2008 11:21 am (UTC)
Yeah, I'm totally gonna run out and but those books xD I think I would go for the Atlas, I mean it was published in like the 1500's, the land mass must of have been different! and it would be interesting to see ;D

I'd pay for anything when it comes to books! (ok, maybe not those ones...but yeah) I think the most are my movie companion books ;D
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 5th, 2008 05:12 pm (UTC)
Wow, I have to admit that that GWTW, autographed by the actors and MM, would be awesome. That is one of my favorite books of all time. I've never heard of King Baggott before. I was wracking my brains trying to remember what kingdom that would be, and it's the name of a movie star! Haha..

I think the most I ever paid for a book was $200 for a Business Law textbook...and that was the used price! That was HORRIBLE!

Outside of school, I've paid $60+ for fashion-related art books a few times.
Nov. 5th, 2008 05:12 pm (UTC)
Oh, and this is fashion_piranha, but I was too lazy to log out of my personal account and log back in.
Nov. 7th, 2008 03:07 pm (UTC)
I would go with the clay cylinder also, the other books really don't interest me all that much.

The most I spent on one book? Probably cookbooks, I spent $50-60 numerous times for Julia Childs and Rose Levy Beranbaums cookbooks. I live in Canada so most books are in the $40-50 range anyways.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )


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