Is collecting children's books worth it?

Is children's book collecting worth it?

picture of man holding book by bookshelf

I've been collecting children's illustrated books for years.

While there's no real answer to why children's book collecting is worth it. I can tell you that the feeling and effort behind it make collecting children's books worth it for me.

Even just looking at the children's books in my collection sometimes is worth the time in doing it. And sometimes it also turns out they're valuable.

But, it being valuable to me is one of the first reasons why I collect children's books.


Do children's book collectors read books?

I'm a book collector and started out as a reader. It may seem obvious considering we all learned to read at one point. 

As we go on in life, we decide whether or not we're going to continue reading books. 

Keep in mind, that the majority of children's book collectors collect: 

  • Authors
  • Illustrators (my favorite reason)
  • Subjects that they are currently interested in or have enjoyed in the past
  • Stories they want to share with their children or grandchildren

In fact, enjoyed, probably isn't even descriptive enough for this. 

Me, Personally? I collect children's books for the artwork and the style in which it was made. I can get the same book from the same author and the same illustrator made today. But an older pressing of it just looks more impressive.

Something happens over the years when they re-print the older books I'm collecting. It's just not as interesting looking. Even though it's the exact same book. 

Of course, this also goes to the collecting part because an original is better than a remake. When you get into it, it's just hard to explain.

Why do people collect old children's books?

We see our collections as extensions of our interests. Perhaps, as a record of our artistic experiences or needs? 

I collect them to be inspired. I'm an illustrator. I like to draw. I also like a certain feeling that inspires me to create music and other things. And a lot of these children's illustrated books, do that for me?

Something about having a book on the shelf in my collection gives me pleasure. Owning the books just makes me feel more alive and more connected to other creative things.

As a collector, I value books as beautiful objects and on my side mostly for the illustrations. In them. The book condition is important. But I also sometimes can just get rid of the book entirely and keep the pages as artwork.

picture of illustration pages
A collection of vintage book page artwork

Is collecting books a good investment? 

I kind of think collecting children's books is like a savings account, not a short-term investment.

I collect books because I like to have them around. But I can't just keep spending money on books. I have found places where I can get them cheap and find more. I can also find duplicates of books that I have. So I buy those and sell them for double the profit.

That way, it is worth more to get them because I've literally made my money back plus what I spent on the books. 

And I can get more books! I do this with large amounts of books. Not only keep me satisfied artistically but it also turns a nice little profit.

So in a sense books tend not to lose value over the long haul. And it's not a bad place to put your money with a reasonable expectation that it will grow even if just a few dollars more.

More Children's Books

Check out all the children's books from my collection in my store

Vintage Books

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