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the market of late, and that even the practice of the cataloguers has changed, as if to keep pace with that spirit of restlessness which is death to old time habits as personified by the collectors of a decade or two ago. We read stories without end of the patience of the old school, and lifetimes spent in close application to the business of accumulating an enormous number of books of all kinds to furnish a library that should answer every imaginable question that the wit of man could propound. These libraries have blended with, or at any rate are fast returning to, the world from whence they came, and the modern bookman seems to have fixed his attention upon books of a special kind, interesting, no doubt, but not of a character which can be described as absolutely necessary for purposes of reference or research. The numerous public libraries scattered about the kingdom have perhaps contributed to this result in no small degree. Books of occasional practical use are much more easily obtained now than they were even ten years ago; in fact, in many instances there is no necessity to buy them at all. Another consideration also influences the collector. He has become aware that large general libraries seldom stay long in private hands, and never unless a series of the most favourable circumstances combine to preserve them intact; that their formation takes a lifetime, and that a pecuniary loss is absolutely certain to attend their disposition. The matter of interest on sunk capital is fatal to every scheme for founding a general library on commercial principles that has ever yet been formulated. This is not always the case where books of a special character are concerned, and it cannot be asserted that books are often bought now without any calculation as to their probable fate in the market of the future. If they are, then Book-Prices CurreNT and all other works of the same class are existing without patronage, for the mere amusement of their compilers and publishers.

The truth is that collectors are not now prepared to pay more than they can help for such books as they require, and that they take a keen interest in backing their judgment, so to speak, against that of anyone else who happens to possess the same tastes. It is repeatedly said that books have at last attained to precisely the same level as bric-a-brac. This by way of comment on the large prices which are occasionally paid for pamphlets of little apparent interest, old books which can be read in scores of cheap editions, and volumes which nobody now reads at all. If this be true, it is the specialists who have made it so; they are backing their respective judgments in every bid they make. Generally speaking, it is perfectly clear that the specialists now rule the book-market,

and that all very high prices are e ther pa d by them, or by representatives of the large pub... Ibraries in England or abroad.

It was recently stated in several of the 1 terary wurnals that the wawn 1*at jy had w tnessed no great rise in prices. It depends, of course, what is meant by the word "great," but this is certain, that works of the kind reported in Book Ekic - CURRENT, that s to say, the better class standard and collectors books, strictly sa el, have n-reased in price most materially during the ast twelve months. Or, nal and scarce ed tons of the English

s are becoming scarcer and more valuable, and the prices nora ned for them are stead ¡y increasing. E.rst editions of modern contemporary writers of the first rank are in the same position, nther case the rise has been much more rap.d. A glance sms rea sed for cop es of the original editions of many of *ks of Stevenson an 1 k pling will confirm this. As a whole, je f real y good books, or books that are specially sought unt of their merit, scarcity, or for any other reason, are latinity and patently rising in value, and in many cases the smst marked. The following tabu'ar analysis will te piston at a glance.

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sum pad per iot was £1 és 7d. în 18,3 ; £18s jd. 1415–44. n 125; 2013s rod în 186; £2 138. 9d. in n 1*2*, and źża 18. 5d. in 1871 In 1897 the was strera y nduen ed by the very large amount real sed Authoreham, L.) rary, and the comparatively small number veta ned in the catalog se, and the same remark app'es to e event to the alere of 1×8, This season there has been nemal to disturb the average, and yet we find it stand than ever, is, at £2 tus cd This shows as conas ar vthing can do that desirable books of every kind are n va e, and the ..ference is that they have not yet ei max MLM We shall probably never again see an je od 21 f5 7d, as d solsed by the sales of 18,3

the most extraordinary n dent in the book world is in now assumed by the works .ssued from the Keimscott îtese have increased in valle enormously during the last

In or alut February, 17 %, the "Chaucer "stood at

Book-Prices Current.



Being a Record of the Prices at which Books have been sold at Auction during the years 1887 to 1898, with the Titles and Descriptions of the Books in full, the Catalogue Numbers, and the Names of the Purchasers.

Some of the earlier volumes are out of print and others are at premium. Reports will be made in answer to queries by the publisher.

Opinions of the Press.

"Book-Prices Current-the Whitaker's Almanack of book-buyers and booksellers."-Illustrated London News. "A very useful and admirably edited and printed publication."-Morning Post. "To praise Book-Prices Current' is unnecessary; it has become indispensable to book collectors, and of vital interest to all who care for literature."-Globe.

"Brunet, indeed, so long the book-buyer's chief delight, must yield to 'Book-Prices Current."-Notes and Queries.

Its own

"It is beyond comparison the book-collector's cyclopædia. earlier volumes, curiously enough, command very high prices."-Daily Chronicle.

"The practical utility to buyers and sellers of an authoritative annual work of reference like this requires no demonstration. The knowledge and skill displayed in this compilation merit cordial recognition."Standard.

"To all classes of bookmen, the issues of Book Prices Current' may be fairly pronounced indispensable."-Literary World.

"It may be said without exaggeration, that the annual volumes of Mr. Slater's admirable compilation are indispensable to such as desire to follow with any closeness the record of sales and the movements of the secondhand book market."-Times.

"Valuable to booksellers, and still more so to book-buyers. . . . This useful work has long established its position, and must have saved many a collector a bad bargain."-Athenæum.

"The work supplies a finely printed record which will be valued, not by the bookseller merely, but by the collector and librarian."--Daily Telegraph. "The book collector's Bible."-Pall Mall Gazette.

"The record is extremely useful for buyers and collectors of books, and is a valuable index to current phases of book-collecting, and to fluctuations in the market."--Saturday Review.

For particulars of the



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