10 Most Expensive Books Sold

  1. The Hobbit
    JRR Tolkien
    Published in September 1937, this first edition first printing is in its original dust-jacket. Only 1,500 copies of the first edition were printed, and they were sold out by mid-December. Purchased by a buyer in Arizona from a New York bookseller.
  2. Areopagitica: A Speech for the Liberty of Unlicenc’d Printing To the Parliament of England
    John Milton
    Published in 1644, this pamphlet by the author of the epic poem Paradise Lost defended the freedom of the Press as the British government suppressed their opponents’ publications. Purchased by a UK buyer from an American bookseller.
  3. (Utopia) De optimo reip. statu, deque nova insula
    Sir Thomas More
    More became a Catholic martyr when Henry VIII beheaded him. This 1518 fourth edition outlines his ideal state, and pleads for religious tolerance and universal education. Purchased by a UK buyer from an American bookseller.
  4. Poems with elegies on the authors death
    John Donne
    Little written by Donne appeared in print in his lifetime but hundreds of manuscript copies were circulated by hand. This 1633 first edition was the first collection of his poems. Purchased by a buyer in Pakistan from an American bookseller.
  5. Historical, Military, and Picturesque Observations on Portugal
    Lt.-Col George Thomas Landmann
    This 1818 first edition is described as "the most beautiful illustrated English book on Portugal of the period." Landmann fought in the Peninsular War, and his book details sieges and battles. Purchased by a buyer in Hong Kong from an American bookseller.
  6. Koran
    This handwritten version of the Koran was published in the Arabic year of 1152 (1731 in the Western world). Purchased by a buyer in Pakistan from a bookseller in Germany.
  7. Historical and statistical information respecting the history, condition and prospects of the Indian tribes of the United States
    Henry Rowe Schoolcraft
    In 1847, Congress asked Schoolcraft to document the history, condition and future of the aboriginal inhabitants of the US. It is one of the most important works about the American Indian. Purchased by a buyer in California from a bookseller in Philadelphia.
  8. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
    JK Rowling
    The 1997 first edition of Rowling's debut book are hard to find. There was a hardcover print run of 500; most copies are now owned by collectors. This one is in mint condition and unread. Purchased by a buyer in California from a bookseller in France.
  9. Traité a'anatomie et de physiologie, avec des plan
    A very rare medical handbook, it was published in 1786 in Paris and bound in full leather. Purchased by a buyer in Pennsylvania from a bookseller in Germany.
  10. 1984
    George Orwell
    Orwell was hospitalized with Tuberculosis just after the book's publication. He never left alive, so signed copies are scarce. Some were given to hospital staff – this one is inscribed "For Elly with regards, Geo. Orwell." Purchased by a UK buyer from an American bookseller.

10 Things You Didn't Know About AbeBooks

  1. Insurance companies use the AbeBooks database of 80 million books to double check the validity of claims on rare or valuable books that have been damaged or stolen.
  2. The total value of all the books on the site is $3.4 billion.
  3. More than 1 million signed books are available on the site.
  4. Over 3 million searches for books are conducted each day.
  5. More orders and visitors come from California than any other US state.
  6. More orders are received on a Monday than any other day of the week.
  7. AbeBooks has sparked a vibrant transatlantic trade in collectible and rare books – our UK booksellers receive around 17% of their orders from the US.
  8. Macleans Magazine named AbeBooks one of Canada’s top employers in 2004, 2005 and 2006.
  9. AbeBooks’ employees are drawn from around the globe, including Canada, Germany, USA, Spain, Brazil, Columbia, China, UK, Italy, Australia, and France.
  10. January, February, August and September are peak months for textbook sales

10 Exotic AbeBooks Bookseller Locations

  1. Mauriciana Books - Mauritius
  2. Astrolabe Booksellers – Tasmania, Australia
  3. Bokavardan Antiquarian Bookshop – Reykjavík, Iceland
  4. The Book Gallery – Jerusalem, Israel
  5. Clarke's Africana & Rare Books - Cape Town South Africa
  6. Booktown - Guangzhou, China
  7. Moufflon Bookshop - Nicosia, Cyprus
  8. Mulligan and O'Hare Book Emporium - Smiths, Bermuda
  9. Fustat Rare Books - Giza, Egypt
  10. Bookshop Krisostomus -Tartu, Estonia

See Our New "Not-Books" Ad Campaign