Pom Harrington, owner of his father’s antique bookshop, Peter Harrington Rare Books.
Whatever technological advances, the principles that determine what makes a book valuable remain the same. “It could be the greatest-looking book in the world,” says Harrington, “but if no one likes it, no one cares. You want desirability of the text, then the first printing, then the rarity. For example, around 4,000 copies were first printed of Winnie the Pooh, but it became very popular so they issued 26,000 copies so the price goes down by a third in the second printing.
While Pom Harrington has been involved in the sale of books worth £500,000, the vast majority go for a couple of thousand pounds, coming from a select group of popular authors; Roald Dahl, JK Rowling, Winston Churchill (of whom the shop is something of a specialist), AA Milne, Ian Fleming, and Jane Austen (“who I just can’t get enough of. I’d sell them every day if I had them”).
Peter Harrington Rare Books
100 Fulham Road, London SW3 6HS