Collecting Vintage Paperback Books

Collecting Vintage Paperbacks

Collecting paperback books from the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s can be a fun and interesting hobby. Many paperback books from this era featured cover artwork not used by today’s publishers. Similar to LP album covers, the long term value of paperback books is at least in part due to the cover artwork. Most major book publishers had one or two staff artists that created art work for the covers in an attempt to sell more books.

Like collecting other collectibles, do not treat this as an investment although the rare and scare titles do tend to increase in value. 

Pricing Policy

The value of collectible paperback books is similar to any other collectible. The value is determined by what the buyer is willing to pay. The market fluctuates based on death of authors, movie or movie remakes, and other factors that bring attention to specific titles. We set the price on books to be competitive with other online book sources, the price guide and various trade books. Collectibles prices set at market value. Remaining inventory set at a base price as follows:

Fine: 1969 and earlier $12; newer books at market value

Near Fine: 1969 and earlier $10; newer books at market value

Very Good Plus: 1969 and earlier $6-8; newer books at market value

Very Good: 1969 and earlier $3 -5; newer books at market value

Good/Reader: $1 to $2

What to Collect

Good Girl Art (GGA).


First 100 Paperback Books from Avon

First 100 Paperback Books from Pocket Books

First 300 Paperback Books from Popular Library

First 100 Paperback Books from Bantam

First 100 Paperback Books from Dell

Paperback Books Published by Gold Metal

First 100 Paperback Books from Signet




Time period


Types of Collections

The real enthusiast collects Fine and Near Fine copies that are like new. These can be difficult to find and a little more expensive. For the most part the finer quality books can be found for roughly the same price as new editions. A few will be up to a $100 and there are a handful that can go for a few thousand. But nothing compared to comic book values. At Vintage Bookseller we are archiving the best quality books we can find to preserve them for future viewing and reference.

The average collector will look for VG/VG+ and better copies. These are reasonably priced and will make an interesting and valuable collection.

Cover collectors look for reader and good quality books and just retain the covers. This is an inexpensive approach and makes storage and archiving very easy.

Taking Care of your Collection

Books on Collecting Vintage Paperback Books and Pulps

'Antique Trader Collectible Paperback Price Guide' by Gary Lovisi

'500 Essential Cult Books The Ultimate Guide' by Gina McKinnon

'Queer Pulp' by Susan Stryker  Perverted passions from the golden age of the paperback

'Sin-A-Rama'  Feral House Book  Sleaze sex paperbacks of the sixties

'Dames, Dolls & Delinquents A Collectors Guide to Sexy Pulp Paperbacks' Gary Lovisi

'Paperback Prices and Checklist' by Graham Holroyd

'The Blood and Thunder Guide to Pulp Fiction' by Ed Hulse

'Huxford''s Paperback Value Guide by Bob and Sharon Huxford

'Official Price Guide Paperbacks' by Jon Warren

'Cumulative Paperback Index, 1939 - 1959' by Robert Geginald

'Lesbian Pulp Fiction' by Katherine V. Forrest

'Collectible Magazines Identification and Price Guide' by David K. Henkel

'Strange Sisters The Art of Lesbian Pulp Fiction 1949 - 1969' by Jaye Zimet

'Paperbacks, USA A Graphic History, 1939 - 1959'  A Blue Dolphin Book

'Uncovered The Hidden Art of the Girlie Pulps' by Douglas Ellis

'Pulp Art' by Robert Lesser  Original Cover Paintings for the Great American Pulp Magazines

'Undercover An Illustrated History of American Mass Market Paperbacks' by Thomas L. Bonn

'The Blood and Thunder Guide to Collecting Pulps, by Ed Hulse

'Dope Menace The Sensational World of Drug Paperbacks 1900 - 1975' by Stephen J. Gertz

'Encyclopedia of Pulp Fiction Writers' by Lee Server

'Hip Pocket Sleaze The Lurid World of Vintage Adult Paperbacks' by John Harrison

'Paperback Confidential Crime Writers of the Paperback Era' by Brian Ritt

'Bad Mags 2' by Tom Brinkman

'Collectible Paperback Books A Vintage Paperback Reference' by Jeff Canja

'Hancer's Price Guide to Paperback Books Third Edition' by Kevin Hancer

'Hard Boiled America The Lurid Years of Paperbacks' by Geoffrey o'Brian

'The Book of Paperbacks' by Piet Schreuders

'The Adventure House Guide to the Pulps' by Doug Ellis

Price Guides

Mad Magazine Cover Site

Mad Magazine Values

iGuide Price Guide