Local Focus: Old Books May Yield New Money

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Old_book_-_Basking_Ridge_Historical_SocietyIn this era of instantaneous texting and digital imagery, have you ever given thought to the “value” of the printed word?

Not from the literary point of view, but from the investment or sale perspective.

Dust off those bookshelves and check your musty tombs—you just may discover that you own a rare and valuable book.

On Saturday, April 9, between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., the Friends of the Newport Beach Public Library will be hosting a free book and manuscript appraisal event in the Friends’ Room of the Central Library.

Appraisers and auctioneers from PBA Galleries in San Francisco will be on hand to informally evaluate up to five itemsTimeless_Books per person. This is purely a public service by the Friends of the Library, said event coordinator Martin Flink, and there is absolutely no obligation by the book and manuscript owners to place their property for auction.

“We do, however, encourage people to consign with us,” said PBA Senior Specialist Gregory Jung, who is both an appraiser and an auctioneer, and who will be at the library conducting appraisals. He said that PBA would stay on site as long as there are people who want appraisals.

Jung said that his firm holds 25 international auctions annually, at which “we sell books from the low end to hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

In fact, he mentioned that in early February, he sold a copy of the second folio of Shakespeare’s plays for $150,000.

“This will be the first time our library has offered an appraisal event,” Flink said.    “This clinic is for people to bring in their books (and other printed material), learn about them and get an idea of their value.”

“In general, we can do a value search fairly quickly,” Jung informed. “We see lots of old and interesting things, but unfortunately, the financial value of most is not particularly high.”

The Friends of the Library has enjoyed a decade-long relationship with PBA Galleries, who has auctioned off many of the donated books that qualified volunteers have identified as having unique worth.

Monies earned from the sales, minus the auctioneer’s commissions, are returned to the Friends, and become part of the approximately $200,000 that the Friends annually raises through several annual used book sales in support of library programs.

For more information, contact [email protected].

Contact Richard Simon at [email protected].

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