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1-What makes a book worthier in an editor’s catalogue?

A- An excellent author, its original content, as well as academic, scientific University credentials;

B- An excellent editor which is capable of excellent finishing and design; the utilization of good paper; competent revision with no Portuguese or other language mistakes; no typos;

C- An editor with a real editorial team, consisting of Professors, Doctors, University experts academically entitled and capable of analyzing the book prior to its release, capable of deeming if it deserves to be released or not;

D- A book should be registered in ISBN or ISSN, confirming that it is not a result of plagiarism;

E- The artistic finishing of a book, its editorial production designs in both front and back covers;

F- Book finishing, if it has hard cover protected by properly printed jacket .This jacket must be printed on good paper; otherwise its poor quality modifies images and colors of a book. Coated paper is best;

G- A high quality translation ought to be done from the original language of its author. If a Professor Doctor from that specific area is responsible for the translation that warrants the author’s ideas were properly transmitted. For instance, Immanuel Kant, the XVIIIth Century Philosopher, was able to write in Gothic German, so ancient and difficult. There it is a marvelous example of Kant´s “Criticism of Practical Reason” translated into Portuguese, by Martins Fontes editions, a translation by Dr. Valério Rohden, a specialist in Immanuel Kant. Moreover, this edition is bilingual, displaying both German Gothic and Portuguese texts and it is a jewel;

H- The ill-made translations lower the value of a book. Some editors do not utilize specific University translators or Official translators. And even Official translators ought to be specialized in the topic of that book in order not to make a string of mistakes. Translations of a translation are something like taking a Spanish translation of “Criticism of Practical Reason” and translate from it without even mentioning it, as if it was taken from a German original. Besides, at times a handful of people do this translation work altogether, each one does a bit of this book, starting from different lenguages.This is an affront to the culture offered to the public. And since the public lacks information, one sees a book by Kant for 10 reais, some 5 U$ dollars, and buys it. Why would he buy a bilingual version by Martins Fontes editions that costs 90 reais, some 50 U$ dollars ? One does not see the huge difference between the direct understanding of Kant´s works from 1788 and a mixture of unspecialized translations done by editors who do not possess a team who takes editorial responsibility in order to warrant text quality and so on;

I- If an editor takes anyone to do a translation job, it should at least request technical revision from a Doctor Professor from that field. That would help, although it does not solve the problem. That means a more elaborate translation. Therefore it is not a crime;

J- A good editor indicates edition, year of release and original language from which the translation was taken. Recently, a Sir Bertrand Russell’s book has been released in Portuguese. An uninformed individual might think this book is an original from 2008, but in reality it dates back from an English original from 1956! Therefore the editor is obliged to mention the original text language and the year of its production. Otherwise it is a crime;

L- A first edition with the author’s autograph.

2- What makes a used book more valuable?

A- All items mentioned above apply to used books too. Moreover, its state of preservation is most relevant in a used book;

B- A used book has its value reduced if stained, moldy, undulated and/or written with a pen or pencil, if it is dismantled, with its pages falling off, with its cover or jacket taken apart from the rest of the book, too yellowish pages, disintegrating as we turn its pages, eaten by worms who drilled holes in it, or stamped, as well as books that belonged to libraries or to a Professor, therefore its commercialization is forbidden, if the book has a personal dedication message,from others than the author him/herself, if it contains signatures from previous owners, if its cover is not an original, if there are pages missing, if its dirt does not go away after restoration, if it is too ubiquitous, such as some large edition that sells too little, or displaying torn, glued pages and so on;

C- An issue is highly prized if it belongs to a very qualified author or editor, showing no signs of use or reading, in excellent conditions, with its pages perfectly white rather than tarnished, with no visible problems in the general conditions of that book; Also if its translation is excellent, displaying real names instead of some pseudonym, that means, the better preserved the book is, the more expensive it gets.

3- What makes a rare, sold out or out of catalogue book most valuable?

A- It depends on its rarity basically and how rare that is really. If it appears only occasionally in second hand bookstores. But if its preservation conditions are too critical, that too determines its price;

B- If a book is sold out or out of catalogue and also extremely rare, such an issue from an excellent author and editor and in great conditions, it might be very costly;

C- An antique book from XVIIth, XVIIIth or XIXth Centuries, especially if in great conditions and free from ill restorations, like a first edition with an autograph could only be purchased by some bibliophile millionaire such as the legendary Mr. José Mindlin from Brazil. But that goes beyond the bookselling business and it becomes part of the art work business.

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