Hardback and paperback books are popular collectible items. Comic books and old magazines are also high sought after collectibles. Condition and rarity is everything. CollectiblesClearinghouse.com has several books that are over 100 years old.
Books as part of a home decor are very important in making a room seem inviting and interesting. Collectible books are great conversation pieces. Who doesn't have a favorite book or author? Childhood memories of reading about Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer or the Nancy Drew mysteries are thought of fondly. Old or new, books are great gifts and can be enjoyed for many generations.
Grading books is important to a collector. The most valuable books are often graded Very Fine which means they are without any faults or defects. Practically in new condition. This is difficult to achieve for even brand new books can get banged up in handling. The next level is called Fine. Fine books are in very good, close to new, condition, but perhaps not as crisp. A fine book would have been read, but not showing any defects or wear. The third grading level of books is Near Fine, which is having the same characteristics of Fine, except some minor issues. The fourth level is Very Good, which are books showing some signs of wear in either the binding or dust jacket. Books graded as Good are basically your average used book with a few issues that should be pointed out. Fair books have the complete text or content of the book within its covers, but perhaps missing a few pages. The dust jacket would also have issues. A poor book is very worn and hopefully still containing its content. Its condition is often soiled, torn, scuffed up, and has spots or stains, loose pages or failing binding.
There are other types of books that should be noted, such as, ex-library books, book club editions, and endorsed books.