book collector

books collector

books collection

antique Oz books

wizard of oz books


Collecting Children's antique books

Do you have Oz books on your list?

           People collect children's antique books for a variety of reasons.  Some do it because they remember these books from their childhood days and are reminded of the happy, simple times years back.  Some do it for investment purposes, especially in these economically unstable times, with a goal of hedging against the volatile stock market.  Some do it for the benefit of their children and grandchildren.  Finally, some do it just for fun.  Regardless of what your reason may be, should you decide to begin a collection of children’s books, you should consider collecting Oz  antique books.  The Oz books have it all, from depicting the characters we all love and cherish to being incredible educational tools for younger generations to presenting valuable investment opportunities.  This website will focus on a more practical aspect of collecting Oz  antique books, i.e. its potential investment value. Additional information can be found at the

Why Investing in Oz Books?

As a general rule, most Oz antique books will go up in value with time.  How much?  That can vary greatly and depends on many factors such as rarity, condition, and popularity of each individual book.

Everyone is looking for the earliest possible edition of the book in the best possible condition.  While this is certainly a commendable goal, it is not easy to achieve.  Think about it: just like with any other popular children’s books series, Oz books were read, re-read, used, colored and probably torn by children many years ago.   Very few Oz books were stored properly and remained to be in good collectible condition today.

Using Oz antique books as an investment will require much from the collector.  You will need initial funds to both buy the books and securely store them under proper conditions.  There is also an investment of time.  Just like with any other investment, you will need to follow the market and track books’ collections and values.   Finally, what I personally found to be one of the most difficult aspects of collecting is realization that you may have to part with some of your collection when the timing is right or if financial circumstances so require.  For every collector there is a story behind each and every book he or she acquired.  Many times I found myself, being both a collector and dealer of Oz books, to get almost emotional when I part with a rare Oz book that I have had for a while.  Unlike with stock certificates, one becomes attached to the books even when you get a benefit of financial appreciation!

What Oz books should you collect?  It depends how serious you are about collecting and how much time, effort and funds you are willing to invest.  The first thing that I suggest you do is to arm yourself with some good reference works since for many books, especially Oz books, the determination of edition is tricky and is not always clear-cut. Some of the reference materials that I recommend are:

Reference for Oz books

  Oz Books Collectors Price Guide  

Bibliographia Oziana  

L. Frank Baum and Related Oziana -The Schiller Collection  

Once you are equipped with some basic knowledge of editions and prices, try to buy books that do not contain crayon coloring, pencil drawings/scribbling, etc. on the pages or cover.  I know very well that it is easier said than done.  But try to be patient – you may get lucky.  Also, remember, that for long-term investment, the first editions, barring damage, will probably hold their value better than reprints.

As your collection grows, you'll become what is known as an advanced collector. Then the fun really begins! Early on, some titles will be very common, and your collection will grow rapidly. Eventually, however, some other titles will seem elusive. At that time, you might want to lean toward obtaining the book in any edition and in nearly any condition. You can always keep searching for the better condition copy and upgrade later.

These are examples of some of the financial expenditures that investor in Oz books needs to be prepared to make:

  • First edition, 1st and 2nd state copies of 14 Oz titles  - between $10,000 and 100,000+
  • First edition, early state of all famous forty Oz titles – between $15,000 and $125,000
  • 14 Oz Books post 1920 edition with color plates – between $2,000 and $5000 (same books with dust jackets: from $3,000 to $10,000
  • Post 1935 edition of 14 Baum books – between $700 and $1400 (same books in dust jackets from $1,400 to $2,500)
  • Later Edition of all Famous Forty Oz titles - between  $2,000 and $4000 (same books in dust jackets between $4,000 and  $10,000)
  • 1964 White Cover Edition books- 14 Oz titles - between $300 - $700
  • Other 72 titles written by L. Frank Baum under his own name and various pseudonym s - $10,000+
  • Collect Ruth Thompson non - Oz titles - $1000+
  • Books that inscribed by Frank Baum - $5000+
  • Oz and other books that contain color illustrations by John Neill - $200+
  • Junior Edition of 9 Oz books - $300+

This is obviously not a scientifically proven list.  However, it not only gives you an idea of your financial investment, but also points out numerous options that you have as a collector of Oz books. 

Is collecting Oz antique books worth the money and time? Absolutely!  These books passed a test of time, and there is still demand for them, even though the original book was written in 1899!  Because the Oz books were never printed in volumes like today’s children’s fantasy books, such as, for example, Harry Potter series, their scarcity will always positively affect their value. 

The Oz books’ popularity is strong.  In this country alone, there is an active Oz club with over 1000 members, and lately I have had inquiries about my books from both Canada and Europe.  Facebook Oz group has over 5000 members, Yahoo Oz group has over 500 members and there are various blogs and forums for Oz enthusiasts too numerous to mention. 

       Oz books continue to bring joy to hundreds even thousands of people everywhere.  As a collector, you also get a personal satisfaction when you find the book you were looking for a long time.  With that you also get a peace of mind knowing that you found something that both will bring intellectual enjoyment and certain financial security.    

       Many people shy away from book collecting because they don't quite understand how to determine a  antique books value. I'm going to give you all the information and tools you will need to successfully collect, sell, and buy these Wizard of Oz series books on  Below you will find a few links that can help you quickly navigate to appropriate page

Check my inventory of collectible Wizard of Oz series books

Value of Oz books including a link to Price Guide

Many reason why collect Wizard of Oz antique books

Additional resources that can help you with publishing, titles, color plates and other books by Frank Baum

FAQs- where to buy and sell Wizard of Oz series antique books

MGM movie fans page

Check color plates images of 1st edition of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz book

Subscribe to a free newsletter to be inform of collectible Oz books market trends

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antique Oz books

antique Oz books

antique Oz books

antique Oz books

antique Oz books