Book owned by former president collectible?


Just came across a mass market paperback that may have been owned by Gerald or Betty Ford. His name and address are written on the inside cover. Would this make it collectible or just a cool conversational piece. The book on its own is not particularly valuable


If you get the signature authenticated then yes it would be considered a POTUS collectible. Ask for an estimate before spending on the authentication as far as worth.


The second one. There’s a reasonable chance this was just something written in by previous owner. And for a paperback, authentication wouldn’t be worth it.

Now, if it were Lincoln . . . :wink:


So my paperback copy of Kerouac’s 1957 On The Road, hand-signed by President Washington himself (with an annotation about just where he was spending the night when he did so), is unlikely to enjoy the value that I thought it did? :disappointed_relieved:

Seriously, though, actionable advice like this from a savvy condition-grader and seasoned bookseller such as yourself represents, IMHO, one of the most-valuable aspects available from active/passive participation in the various Amazon Seller Fora - many thanks!


It might be collectible, but probably is not valuable.

Many desirable and collectible items are not valuable. And many were more valuable before the popularization of the Internet. Many collections of Modern First Editions, for example, dropped dramatically in value once they became common on the Internet.


Ford’s signature isn’t particularly valuable either, as presidents go. One online expert says formal portrait 8-by-10 photographs sell for $50. At least those are framable. If the book has no relationship to the Fords, I’d expect the value to be considerably less.

That sort of value really doesn’t justify getting the signature authenticated by a professional. You can probably find examples of his signature online for an amateur comparison; at least that would rule out “definitely not his signature”. And did he ever actually live at the address listed? Could it be a different Gerald Ford? (For that matter, who writes their address in the books that they own? I’d think a Congressman/Vice President/President would have better uses for his time, so I’d bet someone else wrote it.)


Looking at signature comparisons it looks like it is probably genuine. Definitely his address. I think it was a generational thing. If you lost the book you were reading someone would send it back to you. Never happen now