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by Craig Stark

#7, 8 December 2003

Let's see a show of hands. How many of you know what an altered book is? Altered books are most definitely books, and tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of them exist. The funny thing is, many booksellers are curiously ignorant of the term.

Perhaps our most prevalent theme here at BookThink, one we've come at from many directions and examined at great breadth and depth, is adding value to books. Until now, we've focused only on adding intangible value. Today we're going to talk about tangible value - literally adding seeable, touchable things to a book. This is the essence of book altering, and though many of us may cringe at the very thought of it, believe it or not there is some potential for profit here - yes, for booksellers. Today's article, "Altered Books: Adding or Subtracting Value," suggests some ideas.

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