Vintage & Collectible

For some, book collecting is like African big game hunting—taking down the animal is pretty satisfying, but the real excitement is in tracking the beast, following it for hours or even days, picking up sign as it melts into the horizon until finally you get it in your sights. Eli is that kind of book collector. It's the thrill of the chase that drives him; once he completes a set or finds a particular volume it's a bit of a letdown.

That's not to say Eli doesn't love books (he owns a bookstore, after all). It's just that collecting them is something different altogether from owning or reading them, something almost primitive and instinctual, drawing on skills that lie dormant in most of us. The book collector's skills are the same that help a man on safari smell his prey in an old footprint or see a clump of fur caught in the bark of a palm tree or simply see the animal in the distance.

These aren't just any kind of books we're talking about collecting. Anyone can procure each volume of their favorite new fiction, or each year's New York Times bestsellers. They're everywhere, and they don't take much effort to find. The kind of books collectors go for (especially collectors like Eli) are hard or next to impossible to find, typically old, and just plain cool.

Exactly the kind of books we've put in this category, in fact. "Scarce & Collectible" isn't just some goofy title we came up with to generate interest; although these books are not technically "rare," and only occasionally expensive, they aren't at every streetcorner bookshop and they're typically titles appealing to a very specific readership (or ownership, if we're going to be entirely accurate). There's plenty here that the more average library compilers among us will find interesting.

As you scan the titles below, imagine you're in some mahogany-lined old bookstore in an old city and that a whispy-haired old man can tell you the history of each volume in his collection. Or just look for the book you're after, it might be there. Whatever you do, give these books a good home and help us perpetuate one of the most exciting and underappreciated sports in the world.

Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.

 

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396 Items found Print
1620, Year of the Pilgrims
by Genevieve Foster
from Charles Scribner's Sons
History Reference/Biography for 7th-10th grade
in New World Colonization (Location: G3C-HIS)
Abe Lincoln: Log Cabin to White House
Landmark #61
by Sterling North
from Random House
for 5th-8th grade
Adventures and Discoveries of Marco Polo
World Landmark #3
by Richard Walsh
from Random House
for 5th-9th grade
Adventures of Ulysses
World Landmark #40
by Gerald Gottlieb
from Random House
for 5th-9th grade
Alaska Gold Rush
Landmark #92
by May McNeer
from Random House
for 5th-9th grade
Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr
Landmark #85
by Russel & Anna Crouse
from Random House
for 5th-9th grade
Alexander the Great
World Landmark #2
by John Gunther
from Random House
for 5th-8th grade
All About Animals and Their Young
All About Books #25
by Ferdinand C. Lane
from Random House
for 4th-6th grade
in Zoology
All About Archaeology
All About Books #32
by Anne Terry White
from Random House
for 4th-6th grade
in Archaeology (Location: F2F-HIS)
All About Aviation
All About Books
by Robert D. Loomis
from Random House
for 3rd-6th grade
in Aviation History (Location: G5B-HIS)
All About Birds
All About Books #11
by Robert S. Lemmon
1955 Edition from Random House
for 3rd-6th grade
in Birds (Location: H8B-SCI)
All About Dinosaurs
All About Books #1
by Roy Chapman Andrews
from Random House
for 3rd-6th grade
in Dinosaurs & Fossils (Location: H8E-SCI)
All About Dogs
All About Books #42
by Carl Burger
from Random House
for 3rd-6th grade
All About Electricity
All About Books #23
by Ira M. Freeman
from Random House
for 4th-6th grade
in Electricity & Magnetism (Location: H)
All About Famous Inventors and Their Inventions
All About Books #18
by Fletcher Pratt
from Random House
for 3rd-6th grade
in Inventions & Discoveries (Location: H)
All About Famous Scientific Expeditions
All About Books #24
by Raymond Holden
from Random House
for 4th-6th grade
All About Fish
by Carl Burger
from Random House
for 4th-6th grade
All About Great Medical Discoveries
All About Books #36
by David Dietz
from Random House
for 3rd-6th grade
All About Horses
All About Books #43
by Marguerite Henry
from Random House
for 3rd-6th grade
in Horses & Ponies (Location: H)
All About Monkeys
All About Books #26
by Robert S. Lemmon
from Random House
for 4th-6th grade
in Mammals (Location: H)
All About Moths and Butterflies
All About Books #15
by Robert S. Lemmon
from Random House
for 3rd-6th grade
All About Mountains and Mountaineering
All About #41
by Anne Terry White
from Random House
for 3rd-6th grade
in Forests & Mountains (Location: H)
All About Our 50 States
from Random House
for 3rd-8th grade
in United States Geography (Location: F3A-GEO)
All About Our Changing Rocks
All About Books #12
by Anne Terry White
from Random House
for 3rd-6th grade
in Geology (Rocks & Minerals) (Location: H)
All About Prehistoric Cavemen
by Sam Epstein, Beryl Epstein
from Random House
for 3rd-6th grade
in Human Anatomy & Physiology (Location: H)
All About Radio & Television
All About Books #2
by Jack Gould
2nd edition from Random House
for 3rd-6th grade
All About Rockets and Jets
All About Books #13
by Fletcher Pratt
2nd edition from Random House
for 3rd-6th grade
All About Sailing the Seven Seas
All About Books
by Ruth Brindze
from Random House
for 4th-7th grade
in Ships, Boats & Submarines (Location: G6C-HIS)
All About Satellites and Space Ships
All About Books #28
by David Dietz
from Random House
for 4th-6th grade
All About Snakes
All About Books #16
by Bessie M. Hecht
from Random House
for 3rd-6th grade
All About Sound and Ultrasonics
All About Books
by Ira M. Freeman
from Random House
for 4th-8th grade
in Light & Sound (Location: H)
All About Strange Beasts of the Past
All About Books #17
by Robert S. Lemmon
from Random House
for 3rd-6th grade
in Zoology
All About Strange Beasts of the Present
All About Books #19
by Robert S. Lemmon
from Random House
for 3rd-8th grade
All About the Atom
All About Books #10
by Ira M. Freeman
from Random House
for 3rd-6th grade
All About the Desert
All About Books #21
by Sam & Beryl Epstein
from Random House
for 3rd-6th grade
in Deserts & Grasslands (Location: H8E-SCI)
All About the Flowering World
from Random House
for 4th-6th grade
in Botany (Location: H)
All About the Human Body
All About Books #27
by Bernard Glemser
from Unknown Publisher
for 3rd-6th grade
All About the Ice Age
All About Books #31
by Patricia Lauber
from Random House
for 4th-6th grade
in Archaeology (Location: F2F-HIS)
All About the Insect World
by Ferdinand C. Lane
from Random House
for 4th-6th grade
in Insects & Arachnids (Location: H8C-INS)
All About the Jungle
All About Books #29
by Armstrong Sperry
from Random House
for 3rd-6th grade
in Jungles & Rainforests (Location: H)
All About the Planet Earth
All About #46
by Patricia Lauber
from Random House
for 3rd-6th grade
in Earth Science (Location: H8E-SCI)
All About the Sea
All About Books #3
by Ferdinand C. Lane
from Random House
Humorous Fiction for 3rd-6th grade
in Oceanography & Marine Biology (Location: H8D-SCI)
All About the Stars
All About Books #7
by Anne Terry White
from Random House
for 3rd-6th grade
in Astronomy (Space) (Location: H8A-AST)
All About the Weather
All About Books #5
by Ivan Ray Tannehill
from Random House
for 3rd-6th grade
All About the Wonders of Chemistry
All About Books #9
by Ira M. Freeman
from Random House
for 3rd-6th grade
All About Volcanoes & Earthquakes
All About Books #4
by Frederick H. Pough
from Random House
for 3rd-6th grade
All About Whales
by Roy Chapman Andrews
from Random House
for 4th-6th grade
America's First World War
Landmark #77
by Henry Castor
from Random House
for 5th-9th grade
American Revolution
Landmark #83
by Bruce Bliven, Jr.
from Random House
for 5th-9th grade
Americans Into Orbit
Landmark #101
by Gene Gurney
from Random House
for 5th-9th grade
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