MANCHESTER — Many of us have experienced the pleasure of sitting down to read the newest novel by a favorite author, but only a few know the excitement of perusing antique books written by influential authors; some who have been deceased for decades.
Ken Gloss, who will be discussing the value of old and rare books and offering appraisals during a free event held at the Manchester Community Library on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.., is one of those few.
Gloss, proprietor of an antiquarian book store called Brattle Book Shop located in downtown Boston, has been in the book business since early childhood. He shares his extensive experience in the antiquarian book field by presenting entertaining lectures filled with anecdotes that originate from either his twelve hours a day at his bookshop; his appraisals of books for Harvard University, Boston College and Boston University; or from his time spent as a frequent guest appraiser on PBS’ Antique Roadshow.
Some of his notable appraisals on the show include an inscribed first edition of “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee, 1819 Ross’s “Voyage of Discovery” book, and a Civil War letter written by Walt Whitman.
Another memorable Gloss discovery was made in a Boston Suburb where, during one of his talks, a woman brought in a box full of books to be appraised. Within the box were several nice finds, items worth one hundred to two hundred dollars, says Gloss, and then, toward the bottom of the box, he found a second edition Declaration of Independence — which he appraised at $250,000.
While some might think this would be a wonderful fate, Gloss says that most people who come in for appraisals find relief when they discover their item is not valuable. They say, “I can give it to my grandchildren. I can read it.” They feel freed, Gloss explains
The constant search for treasure, going from house to house and estate sales, and meeting people are Gloss’ favorite parts of his lifelong career in antiquarian books, and during his talks he shares his adventures.
On Wednesday night, Gloss will describe the joys of the “hunt” for a collectible book, explain what makes a book go up in value and discuss the guidelines for starting a book collection. Gloss will also give a brief history of his historic Brattle Book Shop which dates back to 1825.
Following the talk there will be a question and answer session and then Gloss will provide free verbal appraisals for attendees who bring their books to the event.
If you are unable to attend Gloss’s talk and have questions or a book you would like appraised, feel free to get in touch with him either by phone, email or in person at Brattle Book Shop.
Gloss’s contact information and directions to his book shop can be found at www.brattlebookshop.com.