Worth of Books
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There are many factors which affect the value of a book, with condition being the most important. Does the book still have its dust jacket? Is the binding worn? Is there writing in the book? Is there...
There is just too much to mention here in this thread. If you want to learn a little bit about book collecting in general, I suggest you download John Carter's ABC for Book Collectors, available online from ILAB.
Collecting Rare Books by Jack Matthews
Book Collecting by Allen Ahearn
Keep in mind that 1st editions are valued differently in different countries. The US tends to obsess over this more than most.
Another problem with books from the period you mention is that, unless they are collectable, they tend not to hold their value very well because the problem with cheaper, low pH paper was not well known, and many mainstream publishers ended up using paper that yellows and turns brittle over time, even for hardcover editions. This began in the late 1800s. Now, many publishers will note 'pH neutral' on the copyright page, and many trade paperbacks since around 1980 are made with better paper than the hardcovers of the middle 20th century