About Old Books
People worldwide treasure old books, often referenced by collectors and retailers as 'Antiquarian.' The first book dates back to 3, 500 B.C in ancient Mesopotamia. Here, Sumerian people created clay tablets that utilized a cuneiform alphabet and a triangular stylus to press letters into the clay. Now, our methods of writing are much more advanced, but history had to journey through many different methods before arriving at the technology of the computers we know today. After the Sumerians, western Asians used animal skins to write scrolls of work around 2, 500 B.C. Later, papyrus in Egypt became the popular method of writing around 650 B.C. Many other methods and mediums were utilized including bamboo, wood, stone and finally, paper as we know it today. Books have weathered boycotts, burnings and bans all over the world, including the first famous book burning by Chinese emperor Chin Tain Shihuangti in 213 B.C. Since, wars, fires, vandals and governments have destroyed millions of texts, making those that have survived valuable and collectable.ClassificationsOld books are classified in several ways: rare books, out-of-print books and first editions. Rare books are those that may have survived through many generations, like family bibles. Out-of-print books are just that, and usually sell for three times what a dealer will give you. First editions are often numbered, signed and limited in quantity, so they can also pull high prices--thousands of dollars in some rare cases.