is the collecting
. While many book lovers, known as bibliophiles
, accumulate volumes for a personal library
, the serious book collector is interested in the physical books themselves, not just their content. For instance, many collectors seek out first editions
of books, or acquire copies of every work written by a particular author or on a particular subject. A lover of books is sometimes also called a bookman
, but the latter often has a broader meaning.
Basic collecting is quite easy; there are billions of books in the world, and thousands of bookstores, both physical and virtual. There is an active market in all types of works, going all the way back to illuminated manuscripts. While manuscript books are all expensive, even incunabula (books printed in the 15th century) can be found for several hundred US dollars, and century-old books often cost under ten dollars.
Advanced collectors may pursue the great rarities; the Gutenberg Bible and Shakespeare's First Folio are famous, and expensive. Unusual items include the "book" of squares of native textiles brought back from the South Seas by Captain Cook. More practical for the collector of average means is to collect all the first editions of a favorite modern author.
(13 April 1743 N.S.
–4 July 1826) was the third President of the United States
(1801–09), the principal author of the Declaration of Independence
(1776), and one of the most influential Founding Fathers
for his promotion of the ideals of Republicanism in the United States
. Major events during his presidency include the Louisiana Purchase
(1803) and the Lewis and Clark Expedition
(1804–1806). After the British burned Washington, D.C.
and the Library of Congress
in August 1814, Jefferson offered his own collection to the nation. In January 1815, Congress accepted his offer, appropriating $23,950 for his 6,487 books, and the foundation was laid for a great national library. Today, the Library of Congress
' website for federal legislative information is named THOMAS, in honor of Jefferson.