Evaluations

Due to my appearances on Pawn Stars, a number of viewers have asked me to appraise or otherwise evaluate their books. At this point in time, I do not offer private evaluations.

I cannot ethically value any book I have not inspected in person.

In the past I have tried from time to time to assist requests in the basic judgment of whether “this needs an official appraisal”–as an extremely unofficial and not by any means authoritative suggestion. However, at this point I receive so many requests that I no longer have the time to offer even general comments on books. At this time I work only as a dealer, and do not provide private appraisals, even at an hourly rate.

Options

Here are a few options to consider in getting an official evaluation for your books.

1. Visit the website of the American Appraisers’ Association.

http://www.appraisersassoc.org/

On their helpful homepage, there is a button that says “Find An Appraiser.” “Option 2” on the next page allows you to search for people who are certified in appraising Books and Manuscripts. You can search for a nearby appraiser using this tool.

2. Talk to your home insurance provider.

Often providers of home insurance also have arms that deal with antiques and collectibles. Give your provider a call to see what sort of options or referrals are available through them.

3. Call your local university library’s Special Collections.

When Special Collections receive donations of rare books, these generally require a lot of paperwork–which often means the necessity of an appraiser or someone similarly qualified to do this paperwork. Therefore, they may be able to refer you to someone whom they have used in your area.

There is also a possibility a specialist at the library can give you a general evaluation of your books (w/o paperwork for taxes, insurance, etc.). However, this will vary greatly from library to library, so please be conscientious and courteous if you want to ask about this option–especially since you are asking to receive the benefit of their specialized expertise free of charge. That said, it is generally unlikely that the library itself will be in a position to provide you with a specific value assessment, even “unofficially,” so I’d like to stress that this third option is much more practical as a source to acquire a local referral, not to get a direct evaluation.

Selling Books

I have many contacts in the rare book trade who actively buy books from private individuals. If you are looking to sell (rather than simply learning the value), please feel welcome to contact me.

Thank you,

Rebecca

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13 Comments

  1. Carl D. Jaffe says:

    Hi Rebecca,
    Impressed w/ your knowledge & professionalism on Pawn Stars.
    Have an old book that I would like to be appraised & possibly sell to. Live in the Chicago area. Can you recommend a specific location, preferably in the city?
    BTW, are you related to Mitt Romney, former Republican Presidential Candidate.

    Thank you for your attention to the above.

    Sincerely,

    Carl D. Jaffe
    Chicago, Il

    1. Thank you for your note. May I suggest you start with your nearest university special collections? They would probably be more plugged in to who is available in your area than I.

  2. Rosie says:

    What do you think Zane Grey books are worth in a set of 15?

  3. Cass says:

    I’m not necessarily looking for an appraisal.. I’m looking to find out more information on a book that I own Which was written by John Bunyan.. Possibly the year it was published and some other information.. I hope you can help and if not its okay 🙂
    Thank you for your time

    1. Thanks for the note. It’s very unlikely I can help much without seeing the book in person, so my advice still stands: try talking to the local university’s special collections–they may be able to help you or refer you to someone who can. Best of luck,
      Rebecca

  4. Jennifer says:

    Hi Rebecca,
    Thank you for the above information. I have always had an affinity for books, especially old ones, so I was thrilled when my mother-in-law thought to pass down a collection of her father’s antique books to me. The books are beautiful, and I was shocked to see many of them autographed by well known authors: from Willa Cather to James Joyce! Immediately I knew I would love to get the opinions of an expert on my new collection. My husband and I both enjoy watching you on Pawn Stars, so we fondly thought of you. I will definitely use the advice you posted above. We travel to Vegas at least once a year, so I hope to one day visit your store. Thanks again and take care, Jennifer

  5. Melinda Warner says:

    Hi Rebecca:)
    I bought a couple of boxes of old books at a real estate auction. I was searching a lot of them to find out if they’re of any value, but one book is really stumping me! I cannot find it for sale anywhere! I have searched every rare book site I can find! I would just like to know if you could lead me in the right direction or even tell me if its worth it for me to keep searching.
    The book: Twinkle, Little Movie Star, By :Lorraine Maynard, Copyright 1927 The Century Co. Illustrated by Joseph A Maturo, its a hard back, red with black writing, no sleeve, not sure if it even had one. I researched Lorraine and found out it was her first children’s book she had written, and she based it on her past. She has written more then after, and I found some of them. She commited suicide when she was older in fear of being old. She had 2 daughters.
    I found some copies of the book in College libraries and Congress libraries, but none for sale.
    I know if anyone can tell me about this you can, it seems nothing stumps you:)
    Thank you for your time.

    Melinda

    1. Hi, Melinda. Unfortunately I cannot personally help you learn about the value of this book for the reasons stated above. But I would encourage you to try calling one of the university libraries you mentioned that have a copy and asking them for resources either relating to a referral, or resources within the department for researching further.

      1. ronnie says:

        I think people just completely bypass the idea that you are too busy to help everyone for free

  6. frank mar says:

    Hi Rebecca, just wanted to stop by and say hello. I don’t personally read any books as it takes a lot of will power just to flip the first page… however I am still blown away at how your able to know so much about everything when it comes down to books, that is a special gift and it just doesn’t come by reading and wanted to let you know I enjoy watching pawn stars on occasion and seeing you come out and know so much.

    Greetings from Brownsville, TX.

  7. Pankaj Saini says:

    Hello Miss Rebecca I am a huge fan of you. You have so much knowledge about the rare books. In pawn stars you know about all information about the any book. I’ll be thankful to pawn stars that they introduced me to you.

  8. Hi Rebecca. I just want a little help from you. Few years ago i read a book. but i have lost that and now i didn’t remember the name of the book except that it was on the life of the people of Mars and Venus. It had a famous line in it i remember “My Father, take me to the Knostic Church.” Its a request if you will help me to know the name of book and auther. its important.

    Thanks and best wishes from the deepest heart 🙂

  9. Ajit143 says:

    Hi Rebecca.

    I am Huge Fan of you.. I regularly watching pawn star. You have Huge knowledge about the rare books. really appreciated to you for sharing knowledge via Pawnstar Show..

    “You are the best”

Comments are closed.