How to Find Out What an Old Book is Worth

I adore books, especially old books.  They have a special smell and feel to them I described in this post.  The pages of old books are wonderful for craft too, and I use them in many projects (some listed below). However, if you pick up a cheap book from a thrift shop, it’s best to check it to see if you stumbled on a diamond in the rough.  Below is a series of steps you can take to give a general guide of what a book is worth.  It’s also a good way to find out of print books you are looking for.

1. Head over to Book Finder 4 U and do an advanced search.  This searches book listings, even out of print books, from all over the world.

2. Put as many details as you can in the search boxes. You will find these details on the inside of the book.

First edition:

First edition books are more valuable.  If the book only has one date on the book details page in the front of the book, this usually means it’s a first edition book by the particular publisher.  Books sometimes are published by many different publisher, so the date the book is published will give you the best indication of if the book is the very first edition.  Just google the date and the book to confirm this.


If I had a true first edition of Anne of Green Gables in front of me (I wish!), below are the details I would enter.  You can enter as little information as you like but the more detailed you are, the narrower the search will be.

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3. The search page will come up with various book titles. Browse through them (by clicking on the title) to see which matches your book best.  By doing this, you will already get a bit of an idea how much the book is worth.   The first entry is the one I’m looking for in this case.

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4. The next search screen will provide more details on what books are available. If I had a very first edition of Anne of Green Gables by L M Montgomery, it would be worth somewhere in excess of $12,900, so that is NOT one I would use for craft. HA! In fact, it would be rare to find this in a book shop but you never know! Click on the price or bookseller beside the respective book to enter the bookseller site if you want further information.

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5. The bookseller will provide more detailed descriptions (or you could buy it if you have a spare 12 grand).

how to find what a book is worth 4Researching old books can be fun. It gives you a general idea of how much books are worth and also provides a way to find beloved books from your childhood that may not readily be available.

Vintage Book Craft

{Click on the pictures for the tutorials}

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Paper Boat Garland

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Vintage Book Treasure Box

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Vintage Paper Hanging Lantern

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Vintage Butterfly String