Special editions of books – are they worth buying?

Not only do exclusive editions of books look beautiful, but they also give readers an irreplaceable feeling.

Katie Hind
30th November 2021
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons, The Folio Society
We’ve all been there, looking through the shelves of Waterstones, on the verge of buying a really special edition of a book, not sure if it’s worth the toll on our bank account or not.

There’s no doubt about it. Special editions of books are quite appealing, especially if you’re a loyal fan of a franchise or author. We hear of book collectors with thousands upon thousands of books in private collections, all highly rare and highly valuable. Most of these books, certainly, are special editions. So, there must be some value in the purchase. But, what exactly is it? Aren’t special editions just a fancy ‘dressed up’ version of an original book? Not quite.

Special editions are worth buying because...they’re just that! Special. Special editions are valuable, whether in the sentimental or financial sense because they bring more than just words to the table. They are beautiful, stand-out-from-the-crowd kind of books, with details not found in the original print. Such details make special editions worth buying a thousand times over! Whether they have page edges gilded in gold or unique covers drawn by renowned artists, special editions are pleasures just to own. Of course, they also feel great to hold and read. With a special edition, you really feel like you have something precious – something just you own – in your library. This is an irreplaceable feeling.

With a special edition, you really feel like you have something precious – something just you own – in your library.

Fear of the cost puts so many prospective collectors off buying a special edition of a book. But, these editions don’t always have to be expensive. Special editions can be found in the most unusual of places – hidden in the nooks of old bookshops or thrift stores. Although a special edition might decrease in resale value if previously owned, the worth of a special edition doesn’t come from its resale price in future (although that’s a bonus!).

Value comes from the magic, and happiness, it makes a reader feel. Craftsmanship and enjoyment alone make special editions a must-have purchase.

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