Saturday, February 26, 2022

Recent Posts


Places to shop online for Rare books

Book marketplaces make finding books easier. Member booksellers can upload their listings on multiple platforms. My bibliophile sensory senses overload. My most fave sources for Antiquarian or Rare and Collectible often offer images for that actual copy in their listing.. 

Don't underestimate the Biggie Megabookmarkets, etc. when in doubt, they usually have a variety of one copy or edition within their banks.


The Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America was founded in 1949 with a mission to promote interest in rare books, along with professionalism & ethical standards in the book trade. ABAA lists books from its member booksellers on its website.

2. A Book Search

A Book Search says they feature “old, rare, and out of print books. We are committed to providing a clean, fast, accurate and direct interface between the customer and the bookseller.” Small, but good quality. Based in California, with mostly US & UK booksellers.

3. Antiqbook

AntiqBook‘s slogan is “fine books, fair prices.” They hold booksellers to a high standard and won’t accept hyperbole, inaccurate book descriptions, or shoddy business practices. Based in the Netherlands with over 8 million books and hundreds of booksellers worldwide.

4. Antbo

Antbo offers antiquarian books. Their site is available in German or English, and booksellers are based in Europe and North America.

5. Antiquariat

Antiquariat is another German site, which is available in either the German or French language. Its 300 members offer 3.7 million books and ephemera there.

6. Antiquario

Antiquario is a German site listing the books of 650 booksellers. Site is only in German.

7. Biblio

Biblio was founded in 2003 and is independently owned. This company is dedicated giving customers and booksellers alike excellent service, and to charitable works. Over 5,600 booksellers sell on Biblio, so there’s a very large selection of books. (There’s also a UK site,

8. Bibliophile Bookbase

Bibliophile is based in Switzerland with a few hundred booksellers located around the globe, but mostly in the UK, US, Ireland, South Africa and Australia. The website has been online since 1999 and is available in English, French, German and Italian.

9. Bibliopoly

Bibliopoly is owned by Bernard Quaritch Ltd, a bookseller for over 150 years, and features the inventory of 25 high-end book dealers, located worldwide. The website is available in English, Spanish, Italian, German and French.

10. Book Lovers

Book Lovers is based in the UK and operated by a bookseller, who personally approves new book dealers to ensure quality. Currently includes over 50 (mostly UK) booksellers offering about 350,000 collectible books.

11. Books at PBFA

Books at PBFA lists books offered by members of The Provincial Booksellers Fairs Association. Booksellers adhere to a code of conduct and are mostly UK-based, with a handful from other countries.

12. BuchFreund

BuchFreund is a German book marketplace, with listings from many German antiquarian booksellers. Their site is available in either the German or English language.

13. Galaxidion

Galaxidion lists books from about 350 European booksellers. The site is in French only.

14. ILAB

The International League of Antiquarian Booksellers‘s slogan is “the world’s best books, the world’s best booksellers.” Their site lists books sold by almost 1,800 ILAB member booksellers, and must meet a high standard to join.

15. IOBA

the Independent Online Booksellers Association is a trade organization founded in 1999, for reputable booksellers who sell online. The site lists books from a portion of IOBA’s 300-plus members.

16. Livre Rare Book

Livre Rare Book searches 497 bookshops with over 3.4 million books. This French site is also available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Russian.

17. Maremagnum

Maremagnum is based in Italy, and lists over 8 million books and ephemera for sale. Its sellers are located worldwide, and the website is available in Italian, French, Spanish, and English. Shipping within 2 days is guaranteed.

18. Scribblemonger

Scribblemonger is US-based and includes about 300 booksellers.

19. Tom Folio

TomFolio is a co-op, founded in 1999, whose members must adhere to a code of ethics. They offer books from about 120 reputable independent booksellers from the United States and a handful of other countries, along with a small selection of antiques and collectibles.

20. UK Book World

UK Book World features two million books offered by 450 British booksellers.

21. Uniliber

Uniliber is a Spanish site but is available in seven languages, including English. It offers nearly 4 million books from 300 bookshops, most of them Spanish.


22. AbeBooks was established way back in 1996, making it one of the first sites of its type, and it is one of the biggest. Amazon now owns ABE, but it’s still run as a standalone operation with offices in Canada. Thousands of booksellers worldwide list their books on ABE.
You can search AbeBooks using the form below or by visiting this page.



24. Alibris

Alibris has been online since 1998 and offers many millions of books offered by thousands of booksellers. It is the largest independently-owned book marketplace and they are involved in several social responsibility campaigns. Offers DVDs, too. There’s also a UK site.

25. Amazon

Though Amazon started out as a seller of new books, it’s now becoming quite popular with booksellers who list used, out-of-print, and collectible books there. (Do read descriptions carefully, and email the seller with any questions, as anyone with an Amazon account can list there.) Check it out here.
There are Amazons in several other countries, too:,,,

Meta search sites

Want to search a bunch of these marketplaces at once? There are sites which will let you do just that.

  • Addall is independently owned and searches a few of the sites listed above, along with textbook sites and behemoths such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Walmart
  • Used Book Search searches books on the major bookselling sites, and has a nice feature where you can just see books located in particular countries.
  • BookFinder4U is another independently owned site which searches over 100 bookstores including the biggies and some indies. Two search forms: one for used, and another for new books.
  • searches a number of bookselling sites. It shows pictures of book covers and has a really nifty interface.
  • Bookfinder is owned by AbeBooks (which is owned by Amazon), Bookfinder searches those sites as well as other major bookselling marketplaces and websites, including many of those listed above.

Know of any more?

If you know of other book marketplaces or even individual booksellers that we should know about, please leave a comment!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

What is a Signed Book?

The term Autograph is something written by someone, being of their own hand. A book with "To John, with best wishes, from the Author" is autographed but not signed.

All signatures are autographs, but not all autographs are signatures...

An Autograph also means a person's signature, most commonly being used when describing collecting celebrity autographs. The hobby of collecting autographs is known as Philography.

Signed or a Signature means the book has been signed by its author (or illustrator, or editor).

A signed book will always be more valuable than a book of the same, that is not, of course. A dated signature is usually a plus, as well. The closer the date of the signature is to the book's publication, the better; or more valuable I should say. (Sometimes booksellers make reference of this, by noting that a book is "Signed in the Year of Publication")

You may have come across a description for a book that lists it as "flatsigned" when looking for books on the internet, lets just say, it's not a generally accepted term among booksellers, since being first coined by a bookseller on ebay, using it to describe a signed book ( that hasn't been inscribed.) Some other sellers have also copied it's use. However, the word "signed," as described above, means just the same and is understood by all collectors & dealers.

Bookplates also known as ex-librÄ«s [Latin, "from the books of..."], usually a small print or decorative label pasted into a book, often on the inside front cover,  which indicates it's owner. Simple typographical bookplates are termed a 'booklabel'.which.are sometimes signed by the author, then affixed to books later. Signatures signed directly onto a book are more highly desired by collectors than one that appears on a booklabel. Here is a great blog that explains bookplates more in depth: Signing Books By Bookplate.

Some references above from source link:


* All images found on are provided from my personal collection of current and previously owned books, unless noted otherwise.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Describing Autographs For Sale in Auction Catalog Form

You may come across a website listing autographs for sale where they use abbrieviations in their description; this is the same form used by Autograph-Auction Catalogues to help describe the type of letter or document that is being offered for sale.
  • AD: Autograph Document (hand-written by the person to be collected, but not signed)

  • ADS: Autograph Document Signed (written and signed by same individual)

  • AL: Autograph Letter (hand-written by the person to be collected, but not signed)

  • ALS: Autograph Letter Signed (hand-written and signed by same individual)

  • AMs: Autograph Manuscript (hand-written; such as the draft of a play, research paper or music sheet)

  • AMsS: Autograph Manuscript Signed (hand-written and signed by same individual)

  • AMusQs: Autograph Musical Quotation Signed (hand-written and signed by same individual)

  • AN: Autograph Note (much shorter than a letter)

  • ANS: Autograph Note Signed (hand-written and signed by same individual)

  • AQS: Autograph Quote Signed (hand-written and signed by same individual; poem verse, sentence, or bar-of-music)

  • DS: Document signed (printed, or while hand-written by another, is signed by individual sought to be collected)

  • LS: Letter Signed (hand-written by someone else, but signed by the individual sought to be collected)

  • PS: Photograph Signed or Postcard Signed

  • SP: Signed Photograph

  • TLS: Typed Letter Signed

  • TNS: Typed Note Signed

  • folio: A printer's sheet of paper folded once to make two leaves, double quarto size or larger.

  • octavo(8vo): A manuscript page about six-by-nine inches. (Originally determined by folding a printer's sheet of paper to form eight leaves.)

  • quarto(4to): A manuscript page of about nine and one-half by twelve inches. (Originally determined by folding a printer's sheet of paper twice to form four leaves.)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

TOP TEN BEST Links for Autograph Examples and Sites for Signature Comparison

Purple House Press

P. Scott Brown Bookseller (Latino Collection of Authors)


History For Sale

The History Buff

The Manuscript Society

Harlen J. Berk, Ltd.

Krueger Books

Links for Collecting Celebrity Autographs

Celebrity Book Signings & Events from Lee Coke

UACC Autograph Shows

Signings Hotline

I Got Connections – Celebrity Appearances & Guest Speakers

Autograph Store

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Examples of Inscribed Books and Author Signatures

Inscription/Inscribed refers to a short message dedicating the item to someone or something. If it is from the author, the more notable the person is that it was made out to, the more it can increase the value of the book. However, if an inscription is from the former owner's ex, or someone equally dismissible, it does not help the value, and may decrease it in most cases. An inscribed item is not necessarily signed or autographed! 

Although the term is sometimes used to denote a signed item, it would be more correct in the above example to state that the item was autographed and inscribed "To Dick".

An inscribed book can also be referred to as a presentation copy that has been signed by the author to another person. 

Depending on the individual, a collector will share one or the other of two views about author inscribed books. 

The first is that to some, inscriptions detract from the desirability of the book. 

Those that are into modern literature are commonly seen favoring this 'old school of thought;' Where I, myself, came across a book at the thrift store presumably signed by Maya Angelou; that was inscribed, "Am. Red Cross Successful Bidder," I would prefer a book inscribed to me personally, or simply signed, without an inscription at all; however you can't be so ungrateful when you just happen across a copy like in my situation, would someone else (a collector of some sort) opt to pass it up?

 On the other hand, inscriptions are great...

    The idea is that an inscription makes the book special!  Since the book has spent some time in the author's possession, making it evident that a unique story exists behind the signature- helps collectors, like me, connect with the author- the more the author wrote on the book, the more time he spent, the better!

A simple signature is so generic, I think so anyway, and some will differ in their opinion here... where as, I look at the signature and wonder why it was included, when there is nothing else left with it to connect to or suggest why the author took the time to do this and how it came to be that the signature would appear as it does! 

Additionally, if the inscription can be shown to be to someone associated with the author (family, friend, editor, or another author, perhaps), its desirability increases. This is called an association copy. 

There's always the possibility that, with some research, what first appears to be an unimportant inscription may be shown to actually be an association copy. Here (Pictured: Above Right) I have a photocopy from the title page of a book I found one day 'treasure hunting' at the thrift store. The book is titled; The Professional: Lyndon B. Johnson by Lyndon B. Johnson.

However, since I was not present to witness this copy being signed; nor have I been able to gather any more provenance on the history behind this particular inscription, nor was I able to positively identify which Bill Morris it is that the book is inscribed to. So therefore I cannot guarantee this copy to be a genuine association copy, however it is my personal opinion this could be a good example of one with more research in the future. 

An association copy is inscribed by the author to another author, a well-known person, or someone else associated with the author. The term association copy can also be used to designate a book, not necessarily signed, which was owned by someone of note, or associated with the author. 

Association copies are very desirable; of course, an "association" will enhance the book's value. 

The dedication copy is one which the author has signed to the person to whom the book is dedicated, for example: the person behind the author's inspiration and/or the purpose for a book. A dedication copy is the ultimate association copy/inscribed copy, due to its rarity! The inscription below is one of my most interesting of all book inscriptions from my collection.

pictured above front end paper from the book:
His Hand Against Every Man by Mary Alice Siddall

All images provided on are taken from my personally owned books.