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News + Discussion Question: Rare Books For Sale



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?

Tags: abebooks, books, bookstores, discussion question, news
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