Are Books with Binding or Printing Errors Collectible?

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Have you ever brought a new book home, only to discover that the cover was on backwards, or there were printing errors (for instance, pages repeated, omitted, out of sequence, or upside down)? If so, perhaps you’ve wondered how it affects the book’s collectible value.

Such errors are considered defects and will almost always have a negative impact on the book’s desirability. (Exceptions to this rule do exist but are few & far between.)

Unlike with postage stamps (where printing errors will greatly increase the stamp’s desirability & value), printing or binding errors are not usually desired by book collectors. Collectors will prefer a copy of the book which is as close to perfect as possible. (Read more about condition, and book grading terms & methods.)

Book printing and binding errors are fairly common. Some get caught by quality control before the books leave the publisher, but many do slip by & get to bookstores. You might find a book with pages missing or out of sequence, or even backwards. There may be issues with the way the covers are applied as well.

If you buy a misbound or misprinted book, you can take it back to the store where you purchased it; they’ll be glad to exchange it for a correctly-bound one. (They’ll return the defective copy to the publisher.)

If you’re interested in valuing your books, please see our article, Determining the Value of Books

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About Denise Enck

Denise is editor of Empty Mirror, as well as a writer and designer.