Price Guide

Establishing a price guide for any collectible is always daunting and prone to errors.  This site will be no exception.  I have some general principles for establishing ICL book values, but ultimately the old collecting proverb works best:  it is worth was you are willing to pay for it.  I have been collecting ICL books for the past 10 years (off and on), and I have been tracking data loosely during that time.  I look at how often a particular book comes up for sale at large well-know online sites like eBay, Alibris, ABE Books and even Amazon.  I also pay attention to book sales in local shops.  I also scavenge though book shops and thrift stores when I travel.

It is unknown as to the quantity of books that were printed per title, so determining relative scarcity is dicey-at-best.  So to keep it simple, I classify each book as the following:

  • Common:  I see this title for sale often, and without any special characteristics such as binding variation or a rare dust jacket.
  • Uncommon:  A book that I see for sale often, but not as often as Common books.  Some binding variations might be listed as Uncommon for Common books, as an example.
  • Rare:  A book that does not appear for sale often at all.

Like with anything of value (no matter the value), condition is king.  With regards to ICL books, one needs to pay attention to the condition of the following (beyond relative scarcity):

  • Binding
  • End Papers
  • Sewn-in Satin Book Marker
  • Loose-leaf Insert Included & Condition
  • Page Yellowing/Writing

ICL books were not printed with acid-free paper stock and can be prone to yellowing.  The bindings are known for chipping or breaking.

For reference, I use the terms defined by AbeBooks.com “A Guide to Book Conditions” as my terminology for grading condition.  Further, I limit it to just four conditions:  Fine (FN), Very Good (VG), Good (G) and Fair (FR).  Also, I consider the presence of a loose-leaf insert as adding value to the book.

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