Excerpt from American Book-Prices Current, Vol. 18: A Record of Books, Manuscripts, and Autographs Sold at Auction in New York, Boston, and Philadelphia, From September 1, 1911, to September 1, 1912, With the Prices Realized
It is certain that for the most part the great American col lectors who are outbidding the world for artistic, literary, and historic treasures of every kind are buying them for love of the objects acquired or for the pleasure to be had in their pos session and exhibition, and not with the sole idea that their investments may be realized upon at some future time by them selves or by their executors or heirs. But it is pleasant for them to think that with increased competition, brought about by increased wealth, increased interest in all things artistic and literary. And the increasing scarcity of all such objects of the higher class, the market value of their possessions is constantly increasing. This, at least, has been the case with rare books and manuscripts. There is a constantly rising market. Taste, like fashion, is subject to change, and whole groups of books once collected with avidity are now ignored. But the great books. The monuments which stand out in the development of typography or literature in any age or country, hold their own.
Mr. Hoe kept no systematic record of the cost of his library, but it has been estimated that, even including the vast sums he spent upon his bindings, the entire library cost him less than a million dollars. His books were an active man's recreation and pleasure for forty years and more - and still they proved a good investment from a purely monetary point of view.
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