I have a confession: I hoard books. I know the problem is bad because my cat keeps knocking over the teetering “to read” pile on my nightstand. Over the years, I’ve gotten some books I think are pretty cool, and I became curious about how much my collection was actually worth. Through a chat with the friendly folks in the Rare Book Room at Powell’s, I got a better idea of what collectors look for and what gives used books value. When I got home, I grabbed my copy of CHOKE by Chuck Palahniuk and put my lessons to the test.
I had the privilege of sitting down with John Henley, a well-known appraiser of rare books in the Pacific Northwest. He has also been an adjunct of the PSU Book Publishing Program since its inception, teaching the survey course titled The Popular Book in the United States. We talked about his job as appraiser, his Oolie aspirations, and how his love of books—inspired early on by his mother—led him to a career of buying and selling them for Powell’s and The Great Northwest Bookstore.
Dehlia McCobb graduated from the Portland State University Book Publishing program in 2010. Now she spends her days just north of the PSU campus in the Rare Book Room at Powell’s City of Books. We caught up with her to find out what it’s like having possibly the coolest job in Portland. What is your […]