A collectible book

William Hill's "Old Fort Edward," which can be found at The Village Booksmith in Hudson Falls.

Will Doolittle, will@poststar.com

I've started doing a series of articles on collectibles, and because the first one was about a book, I'm republishing it here in the books blog:

The photo shows an original copy of "Old Fort Edward," by William Hill, which was published in 1929 and is available at The Village Booksmith in Hudson Falls for $85.

Cliff Bruce has owned and operated the shop since 1976.

"Old Fort Edward" has held its value, because it hasn't been reprinted, he said. The prices for other prized books on local history have fallen when they've been republished.

Howard Mason's three-volume "Backward Glances," a collection of historical columns published in paperback in 1963, for example, were selling for about $150 for the three volumes until they were reprinted in 2014 in a single volume by the Warren County Historical Society. The new version can be had secondhand for about $15, Bruce said, while the prices on the older volumes have fallen to $12 or $15 apiece.

Reprinting books is easier than it used to be, but that's just one of the factors driving down the value of collectible books, local or otherwise.

The internet has brought down prices on books, as it has with other collectibles, by making it possible for collectors to find far more copies of a desired item than they could have previously.

Also, collectors themselves are growing scarce, Bruce said. People may accumulate things, but few are interested in having the long-term focus of a collector who strives to bring a depth and thoroughness to a collection.

"All the collectors are getting very long in the tooth," he said.

Will Doolittle is projects editor at The Post-Star. He may be reached at will@poststar.com and followed on his blog, I think not, and on Twitter at



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