Good News For James Bond Fans: Rare James Bond Books To Go On Sale

A rare collection of first edition James Bond books has been put up for sale.

The book dealer Dr. John Atkinson is the party of interest who’s pulled together all 14 James Bond novels, as well as a first edition copy of A Field Guide of Birds of the West Indies. That last book might seem weird, until you realize that Ian Fleming used the name of that author for his fictional hero. The price for all 15 rare James Bond books is a whopping £475,000, which if you’re converting to US Dollars comes out to roughly $613,890.

Ten of the books include personal inscriptions from the author, to people including a former girlfriend, a Wing Commander and professional golfer. Harrogate-based book dealer Dr. John Atkinson said the inscriptions added considerable value.

A copy of A Field Guide of Birds of the West Indies by the ornithologist James Bond, who inspired the character's famous moniker, is also included.

Dr. Atkinson, who helped amass the collection for a private collector, said: "[Fleming] knew the value of books when they were signed and he was quite sparing when he inscribed books to people.

He said a copy of the first Bond novel, Casino Royale, had been signed to one of Fleming's girlfriends.

"She was called Lisl Popper and was Austrian," he said.

"They had a bond throughout their life and she was one of the people that he left £500 to in his will."

Dr. Atkinson said inscriptions increased the value of a book "especially if it's signed on the day or the year of publication".

Other recipients include Fleming's secretary, the golfer Sir Henry Cotton and Wing Commander Dobson, who advised on the Vulcan bombers used in Thunderball.

Dr. Atkinson said it had taken him several years to pull the collection together.

"We got them from all parts of the globe and put them together, from auctions and private sales," he said.

"We wrestled a few from private collections here and there."

"He met her in a bar in Kitzbuhel when he was 19 and she tripped him up, which he found hilarious.

"I think its fair to say he only inscribed books to people he liked."

The collection, which is being kept in a secure location outside the UK, is being sold through Dr. Atkinson's shop.

A signed first edition of Casino Royale was sold at auction in Scotland in 2019 for £55,000 while a first edition of Live and Let Die sold for £30,000.

Book specialist Cathy Marsden, from auctioneers Lyle and Turnbull, said it had been "a record price" for a signed Bond novel.

She said smaller print runs – only 4,500 first editions of Casino Royale were produced – as well as inscriptions and original dust jackets were key to driving sale prices.

Thus, it’s a good opportunity for James Bond fans to buy this rare collection of first edition James Bond books.