NYR iOS app Android app More

8 Ridiculously Expensive Books

  First Posted: 11/15/11 08:20 AM ET   Updated: 11/15/11 05:34 PM ET

The priciest books in the world - we're talking those in the Hampton's summer home range - are usually valued for their antiquity and connection to a time long past. But lately we've seen emerging book collectors with an affinity for the modern, the damaged, the quirky and the recently influential.

For example, on sale recently at Peter Harrington Rare Books: an $189,000 dust jacket, from a copy of the first "Great Gatsby" cover, featuring an editor's ink correction on an uncapitalized "jay Gatsby."

Charles Scribner boasted of the jacket, "like the novel it embellishes, this Art Deco tour-de-force has firmly established itself as a classic. At the same time, it represents a most unusual, in my view, unique form of 'collaboration' between author and jacket artist."

This isn't just self-promotion on the publisher's part. After seeing the cover, Fitzgerald added a description of the iconic image into the novel, writing "I had no girl whose disembodied face floated along the dark cornices and binding signs..."

Here are some other wildly expensive books, from the archaic to the peculiar:

"The Tales of Beedle the Bard" by J.K. Rowling -$3.98 million
1  of  9
PLAY
FULLSCREEN
ZOOM
SHARE THIS SLIDE 
Before becoming a purchasable paperback in 2008, this J.K. Rowling story was first handwritten and illustrated by the author. Six of these unique copies were given to editors and friends, but an auction copy was purchased by Amazon, making it the highest priced modern manuscript.

The book is meant to represent the collection of wizardly fairy tales mentioned in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows."

Photo courtesy of Getty Images
RATE IT!   |  
VOTE
CURRENT TOP 5 PICK YOUR OWN TOP 5
USERS WHO VOTED
NEW! CREATE YOUR OWN SLIDESHOW



FOLLOW HUFFPOST BOOKS

Filed by Madeleine Crum  |