10 Most Expensive Books Sold
- The Hobbit
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
- Areopagitica: A Speech
for the Liberty of Unlicenc’d Printing
To the Parliament of England
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
- (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.
- Poems with
elegies on the authors death
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.
- 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.
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
- Historical and statistical
information respecting the history, condition
and prospects of the Indian tribes of the United
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.
- Harry Potter and the
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.
- 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.
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
- 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.
- The total value of all the books on the site is $3.4
- More than 1 million signed books are available on the
- Over 3 million searches for books are conducted each
- More orders and visitors come from California than
any other US state.
- More orders are received on a Monday than any other
day of the week.
- AbeBooks has sparked a vibrant transatlantic trade
in collectible and rare books – our UK booksellers receive
around 17% of their orders from the US.
- Macleans Magazine named AbeBooks one of Canada’s
top employers in 2004, 2005 and 2006.
- AbeBooks’ employees are drawn from around the globe,
including Canada, Germany, USA, Spain, Brazil, Columbia,
China, UK, Italy, Australia, and France.
- January, February, August and September are peak months
for textbook sales
10 Exotic AbeBooks Bookseller Locations
Books - Mauritius
Booksellers – Tasmania, Australia
Antiquarian Bookshop – Reykjavík,
- The Book
Gallery – Jerusalem, Israel
- Clarke's Africana & Rare
Books - Cape Town South Africa
- Booktown -
Bookshop - Nicosia, Cyprus
and O'Hare Book Emporium - Smiths, Bermuda
- Fustat Rare
Books - Giza, Egypt
Krisostomus -Tartu, Estonia