8 Rarest Books in the World
Many books from centuries ago have long since been forgotten, but these have stood the test of time.
8. El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha (Don Quixote)
Don Quixote is regarded as the first modern novel, and it was last sold for $1.5 million in 1989 (2.6 million when adjusted for inflation), making it extremely rare.
7. De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of Heavenly Spheres)
In 1543, Nicolaus Copernicus published On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, a book that challenged much of what we thought we knew about the world at the time and had a direct influence on Galileo and Isaac Newton’s work.
6. Mr. William Shakespeare’s Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies (First Folio)
In 2001, a copy of the First Folio, which contains 36 Shakespeare plays and was the first publication of his works, sold at auction for $6.16 million ($8.78 million adjusted). Purchasing a copy today would cost around two months’ wages for a skilled worker.
5. Birds of America
Only about 100 copies of John James Audubon’s Birds of America are known to exist, with the most valuable copies selling for between $7.9 and $11.5 million. The personal version of the book is housed at the Stark Museum of Art in Orange, Texas.
4. The Gutenberg Bible
This is the first major book printed with movable type, and the last full copy sold for $2.2 million in 1978; today, a complete copy is estimated to fetch upwards of $35 million dollars, with less than 50 copies remaining.
3. The Tales of Beedle the Bard
The Tales of Beedle the Bard was mentioned in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and J.K. Rowling created seven copies of this beautiful leather bound rarity, one of which was auctioned off for charity and raised $3.98 million.
2. The abc with the Pater noster, Aue, Credo, and .x. co[m]maundementes in Englysshe newly translated and set forth, at the kyngs most gracyouse commaundement
Unlike some of the books on this list, there is only one known copy of this children’s book, and it has never sold for millions of dollars. Project Unica is a University of Illinois initiative to document and digitally reproduce one-of-a-kind books.
1. Codex Leicester
The Codex Leicester is the world’s most valuable book, having been sold at auction for $30.8 million to Bill Gates in 1994. It has toured and been on display, and scanned images from the book were even used as a screensaver in Windows 95.
What is the rarest book in existence?
When you consider every other one-of-a-kind book and how valuable this one is, it’s safe to say that Codex Leicester is the most valuable book in the world; it was last sold at auction in 1994 for $30.8 million, or nearly $51 million in today’s currency, to Bill Gates.
What old books are valuable?
The following is a list of 20 books that can help you make a lot of money:
- J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit (1937)
- J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (1997)
- Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat (1957)
- Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles (1902).
What books are rare and worth?
7 extremely rare books that could be worth a lot of money
- J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones’s Diary. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.
- J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit.
- Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh.
- George Orwell’s Animal Farm.
- William Golding’s Lord of the Flies.
What are the top 10 most valuable books?
Let’s see which books are among the top ten most expensive books ever sold:
- John James Audubon’s Birds of America.
- The Rothschild Prayerbook.
- Bay Psalm Book.
- St. Cuthbert Gospel.
- Magna Carta Libertatum.
- The Gospels of Henry the Lion.
- Codex Leicester Leonardo Da Vinci.
Which book is most read in the world?
The Bible is the most widely read book in the world, according to writer James Chapman, who compiled a list of the most widely read books in the world based on the number of copies each book sold over the previous 50 years and discovered that the Bible far outsold all other books, with 3.9 billion copies sold.
Who owns the most expensive book?
The Gospels of Henry the Lion was the world’s most expensive book until Bill Gates bought the Codex Leicester, a manuscript by Leonardo da Vinci, at Christie’s auction house in New York on November 11, 1994, for US$30,802,500.
What Harry Potter books are worth a lot?
The first book in the series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, was published on June 30, 1997, by Bloomsbury in London, but it must be a copy of the first edition, first impression (also known as the first printing) to have any real collectible value.
How do you know if a book is worth money?
Fill out this form with enough information to generate a list of comparable copies. You don’t have to include every word of the title or author’s name.
Do Golden Books have any value?
The value of Little Golden Books ranges from $1 to $25. The most valuable are mint-condition first editions of the series, which was first published in 1942. Some titles were published for many years, but the most valuable is a first edition. Check the book’s first two pages.
What books are worth buying?
Shelf of Books Worth Buying
- The Hating Game (ebook)
- The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Lasting Love (Kindle Edition)
- Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God (Hardcover)
- The Road (Hardcover)
- Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3)
What is the world’s most expensive book?
The Codex Leicester, a fancy name for what is essentially Leonardo da Vinci’s science diary, set the world record for the most expensive book ever sold when it was purchased for $30.8 million ($53.5 million) in 1994.
What books are worth the most money?
The World’s Most Expensive Books
- The Magna Carta.
- The Gospels of Henry the Lion. Original price: $11.7 million.
- The Book of Mormon (Printer’s Manuscript) Original price: $35 million.
- The Codex of Leicester. Original price: $30.8 million.
How can you tell if a book is rare?
A book must be more than scarce to be considered rare; it must be scarce relative to the demand for it. Beginning collectors often assume that because a book is old, it must be valuable.
What is the most expensive thing in the world?
What are some of the world’s most expensive items today?
- Graff Diamonds Hallucination Watch – USD 55 million.
- 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO – USD 70 million.
- Bluefin Tuna – USD 3.1 million.
- Antilia, Mumbai – USD 1-2 billion.
- Manhattan Parking Spot – USD 1 million.
What is the most expensive food in the world?
White Pearl Albino Caviar, made from rare albino fish eggs, is perhaps the most expensive food item on the planet, costing up to $300,000 per kilogram.