Top Story Tuesday: July 10

A set of signed Harry Potter books is being auctioned off today, and is estimated to sell for somewhere between £9,000 and £15,000 (approx $15,000 – $26,000 CAD). The BBC published a fascinating look into the world of signed books, investigating how much these copies are really worth.

According to Pom Harrington, a book dealer in central London, there are four categories of signed books: the autograph, the inscribed (signature + generic message), the presentation copy (sent out to family and friends with a personalized message), and most valuable, the unicorn (the book signed to the person to whom it is also dedicated).

For example, take a look at Ernest Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls: a signed copy is worth about £7,000 ($12,000 CAD), an inscribed copy,  £10,000 ($17,000 CAD), and a presentation copy around £25,000 ($44,000 CAD). But a copy signed to Martha Gellhorn, to whom the book is dedicated, would be worth  £200,000 ($348,000 CAD!!)

So why do collectors care so much about these copies, financial gain aside?  “It’s about the author touching the book,” Harrington explains. “It’s knowing they have held it in their hands, that they have blessed it.”

What do you think, Savvy Readers? Would you pay extra (and then some!) for a signed copy from your favourite author? Do you have any signed copies on your shelf? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter @SavvyReader!

Happy Reading,


Follow me on Twitter @SavvyReader  & @iamkelseyknight

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