Astronomy books reveal the treasures of the cosmos, laying bare what may be hidden to the naked eye. Man has always looked up at the heavens, using the celestial bodies as a navigation tool and stellar events to provide meaning. Collectors who have an interest in nonfiction astronomy books have a broader array than ever offered before. Tools, like the Hubble space telescope, have increased our understanding of the universe, and a new generation of science writers, such as Carl Sagan, can translate difficult concepts into easy-to-understand language.
Those searching for vintage astronomy books should stock their shelves with classics like Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems by Galileo Galilei -- written in 1632, but available in a very readable form from the University of California Press. Galileo kicked-started trouble with his approach to explaining Copernicus' sun-centered solar system (scientists have been in trouble for new ideas ever since). The Exact Sciences in Antiquity by Otto Neugebauer, published in 1969, highlights the sophistication in both math and astronomy exhibited by ancient cultures.
Buy astronomy books to help yourself gain a powerful understanding of our universe. For example, astronomy books like Carl Sagan's Cosmos is a tour de force of the history and evolution of both the universe and our ideas about it. No collection is complete without a quirky look at misconceptions, and Phillip C. Plait highlights some of these in his book Bad Astronomy; Plait guides the reader through the moon walk 'hoax', the swirl in your toilet bowl, and the twinkle of stars. Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time reveals his insights on the origins and boundaries of the universe. Other astronomy books that deserve a look are those by theoretical physicists: Black Holes and Time Warps: Einstein's Outrageous Legacy by Kip Thorpe and Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the 10th Dimension from Michio Kaku.