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The story of rising rare book values

Tuesday, December 29, 2015 - 01:53

Finding a safe investment that offers a good return isn't easy in these days of low interest rates. As Hayley Platt reports, rare first edition books are increasingly attracting investor interest.

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It cost a mere 2 dollars when it was first published in 1925. Today, a first edition Great Gatsby in mint condition is valued at almost a quarter of a million pounds. It's the most valuable in a new rare books index by Stanley Gibbons, for investors looking for punt on our literary heritage. Keith Heddle is MD of Stanley Gibbons Investments. (SOUNDBITE) (English) STANLEY GIBBONS INVESTMENTS, MANAGING DIRECTOR, KEITH HEDDLE, SAYING: "When Scott Fitzgerald went to the publishers, they had laid out a whole series of different dust jackets for him to choose and he saw this one which had been designed by an artist and fell in love with it. Because the eyes looked right through him." The index measures the value of 30 first edition 20th Century classics. (SOUNDBITE) (English) STANLEY GIBBONS INVESTMENTS, MANAGING DIRECTOR, KEITH HEDDLE, SAYING: "That's the sweet spot in terms of the investment demographic. You're not just investing in a source of capital growth, you're also investing in a cultural socio economic milestone." At one time bricks-and-mortar book stores may have worried about the growth of ebooks. But recent studies show that market is slowing. According to Deloitte's 80 percent of all book sales in 2015 will be print. Goldsboro sells only first editions. David Hedley is the founder and co-owner. SOUNDBITE (English) GOLDSBORO BOOKS, MD AND CO-OWNER, DAVID HEDLEY, SAYING: "JK Rowling wrote a book 'The Cookoo's Calling,' and there were only 1500 printed and she signed 250 copies for Goldsbro, we didn't know it was JK Rowling but as soon as the news hit those prices went from £16.99 to £3,500 immediately." The Stanley Gibbon's index has risen over 140 percent in the last decade. They suggest most rare books would need to be kept for between 5-10 years to see a return.

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The story of rising rare book values

Tuesday, December 29, 2015 - 01:53