Antique books from the 1700s through the early 1900s are beautiful and collectible. Leatherbound books from the 1700s and 1800s have a quality, look, and feel very unlike modern books of today. Because so many books go into private collections, good quality antique books in English are becoming very rare and valuable.
Although first editions are sought after, they are not the only books of value to true bibliophiles. Books are sometimes collected purely for the beauty of their bindings. Some bindings are tooled or embossed leather, partial leather (leather spines), straight grain morocco, or tree calf (calf leather what has a grain that is the shape of a tree).
Just because an antique book is bound in cloth does not mean it is inferior to leatherbound books. Many clothbound books are as valuable or even more valuable than leatherbound books. Often clothbound books are brightly colored and elaborately decorated. Because of their decorated covers, they are sometimes mistaken for children's books.
Some books have gilt edges, rag edges, and even more rare, gauffered edges. Some even have clasp closures.
Classic authors such as William Shakespeare, Milton, Thackeray, Thomas Carlisle, Robert Louis Stevenson, Tennyson,Cowper, Thomas Moore, and Sir Walter Scott are always good inventments, especially in sets.
Nothing adds more warmth and character to the decorating of a home than beautiful antique books.