First Editions are the Word

First editions are the word today in the Wall Street Journal, with our very own Nick Basbanes being featured. It's a good basic history, noting the ups and downs of first editions at auction, with great interviews. Here's a snippet:

But while Shakespeare, Audubon and the Gutenberg Bible, which in 1987 netted around $5.4 million, are the top highlights of the trade, prices for most other books are performing reasonably. This may be because "collectors tend to buy the books because they love them, not so much with an eye to investment," Mr. Sellsey says. "Compared to works of art, which can be displayed, books tend to be a solitary pleasure." [Read more]