Dropping this week: I, Robot first edition

Welcome to Rare Books Insider for January 11th 2022 – FREE version.

We use Moneyball tactics to discover undervalued, mispriced, and hidden gems in Fractional Investing.

Rare books in 2022

Rare books dipped into negative territory in the first week of 2022 after finishing 2021 slightly up.

Data from Rally

Overall, though the books market is in rude health with a strong performance in 2021.

Courtesy Rare Books Hub

Could this be a books bubble?

Probably not.

First, the Y-axis starts at 250, so the chart is significantly zoomed in. Yes it was a good 2020 and 2021, but we’re only up perhaps 20% over 2017.

Second, let’s zoom out even further to stretch ourselves back to 2005:

Courtesy Rare Books Hub

Even with the run-up last year, the Rare books industry is still well off its highs pre the 2008 crisis. So I think we have more room to run in 2022.

As always, blue chip assets — first editions, autographs, and classics tend to outperform mid-tier and lower-tier items.

Last week in Rare Books

Fractional Secondary Markets

Bit of a tough week for rare books.

More losers than winners last week with four assets off at least 10%. Notably a first edition of The Great Gatsby declined 23% after we adjusted our inferred value down significantly (no idea if the two are related).


I’m smarter than you and we both know it.

Another quiet week last week with not-quite $5m turnover across 7,616 lots sold. For reference, Jan 2021 saw a total of nearly $65m over the 31 days.

The biggest item was an Albert Einstein signed manuscript regarding general relativity. It sold for $70k, well above estimates of $40k to $50k.

Einstein materials generally have proven popular over the last year or two, and they’re on an uptrend.

Also from University Archives’ auction, The Emancipation Proclamation (1st Ed) sold for 10x estimates at $22,500. I’m surprised the auction house was surprised. This is a prize piece of history.

Nothing to do with rare books, but this is one item that can’t be left out. A far more morbid piece of history sold for $14k when someone thought it was a good ideal to buy a blood-stained leather swatch from the limo JFK was sitting in when he was assassinated.

Can we clone JFK?

While it was a quiet week, the lots on offer did well with more selling above their estimates than not. A good sign for the rest of 2022.

This week and next week in Rare Books

Fractional Market IPOs

“Sizzling Saturn, we’ve got a lunatic robot on our hands.”

I, Robot Isaac Asimov (1st Ed)

  • Market Cap: $8k
  • Inferred Value: $6k
  • Drop: 1/11/22 on Rally
  • Recommendation: [INSIDERS ONLY]

Fractional Secondary Markets

Four new books opened to trading on Rally this week, below. All prices current at time of writing (1/10/21).

All priced pretty fairly, more or less.


Nothing of note for the second week running. Sorry!



Wyatt Cavalier

Wyatt Cavalier

With a background in finance & intelligence analysis, Wyatt has an unhealthy obsession with finding the best blue chip investment opportunities. His previous newsletter, Fractional, resonated deeply with subscribers, bringing actionable insights and unconventional trading strategies. His rare book collection specializes in banned editions. He currently lives in Spain with his beautiful wife, three young boys, and dog Monty.

Related Posts



Still, no bottom in sight for rare books fractional markets. Today we look into rare books performances, what’s at auctions offers, and the two new assets dropping in the marketplaces.

lord of the flies


Time to go book shopping? Today we analyze rare books fractional markets, limited edition books, and what’s IPOing this week and next week.
-William Golding’s Lord of the Flies

Recently Published

Curious about investing in Rare Books?

Get updates on new opportunities across Rally, Otis, and Heritage Auctions.

Join the club. Start here.

    Join thousands of subscribers.
    Absolutely spam-free.