11 Most Expensive And Rarest Books In The World You Should Know

“Wherever there are books to be hunted is heaven for the bibliophile and doubly heaven in that his territories are in themselves beautiful to be remembered many years after with singular delight.” ~ Holbrook Jackson  

Today I am going to share with you the most expensive and rarest books in the world. These books are the master pieces of their creators. Book is the real best friend of a person. A reader never gets bore because he/she has the best time pass, the book. Books are the instant connection between the writer and reader. Millions and trillions of books are present in the world. A book is the most important thing in everyone’s life. Through books, one can makes up his/her life. Carl Sagan once said that ‘books can break the shackles of time’.

Also See :-7 Best Libraries In The World For Book Lovers

Everyone is not capable of writing a book. There are some special people in the world which we call ‘writers’ are capable to write books. Book can be on any topic. Although there are a lot of books present around us but we always get curious about the things we don’t have. There are some books in the world which are very rare, most expensive and best ones. So, here are the 11 most rarest books in the world.


1- The Gutenberg Bible


The Gutenberg Bible is also known as ‘the Mazarin bible’ and ‘the 42-line bible’. It was the first major book ever printed in the press. Gutenberg bible was widely praised throughout the world for its artistic qualities and high aesthetic. This book marked the beginning of the ‘Gutenberg revolution’. It was written in Latin and has an ionic status. Catholic Gutenberg bible was printed by Johannes Gutenberg in Mainz (in present day Germany) in 1940’s. Total 49 copies of the world along with some portions of the copies survived in the world. Gutenberg bible was considered as the moat valuable book ever existed. No complete copy of the book was sold since 1978. This bible was not Gutenberg’s first work but the one from which he got fame.


Gutenberg bible was described as the most beautiful ever printed. The printing, quality of ink and other material was noted. One complete copy of Gutenberg bible has 1,286 pages. The handmade paper was used for this book which was imported from Italy by Gutenberg. It was one of the most expensive book of its time which are unaffordable for people with ordinary income.

2- The Book Of Urizen



It is one of the major prophetic books of William Blake, an English writer. In 1794, the first book of Urizen was published by Blake’s own pates. The book got its name from Urizen which is present in Blake’s mythology. In this book, Urizen is described as the ‘primeaval priest’ and the readers are told how he created his own alienated and enslaving realm of religious dogma by separating from other eternals. The book of Urizen is the parody of ‘The Book of Genesis’. This book was described as the illuminated printing by Blake. The Book of Urizen was published from 1794 until 1818 and all the surviving copies of the book were coloured. Only eight complete copied were printed.

“Here alone I, in books form’d of metals,

Have written the secrets of Wisdom,

The secrets of dark Contemplation,

By fightings and conflicts dire

With terrible monsters sin-bred,

Which the bosoms of all inhabit—

Seven deadly Sins of the Soul.”

William Blake (1757–1827)


One of the copy of ‘The Book oF Urizen’ was sold for US $2.5 million in the year 1999. It is one of the most rarest book with grand philosophical themes personified as monsters, folkloric characters and angels. William Blake described it as a mythic adventure about the perils of alienated person.

3- The Codex of Leicester


The codex of Leicester is also known as Codex Hammers. It is the part of the large collection of scientific writings by Leonardo da Vinci. The book was named after Thomas Coke. Out of Leonardo’s 30 scientific journals, the codex is the best and famous one. It has the record for the sale price. The codex of Leicester was sold in auction house to Bill Gates for US $30,802,500. The genre of the book is hand written and it was published in 1510. The total pages of the journal are 72 and it is the best book for understanding the creativity of science and the scientific processes.


The codex of Leicester has not a single linear script but it is the mixture of the writer’s theories and observations. He presented his theories on astronomy, fossils and moon in his book. It was handwritten in Italian. The codex of Leicester is among the rarest books ever existed in the world.

4- The Birds of America


This book was written by a naturalist and painter John James Audubon. In this book,the birds of different varieties are illustrated. This book was published as a series in 1827 to 1838 in Edinburgh, London. Hand-coloured paintings of birds are present in the world. There are images of six extinct birds ; passenger pigeon, Carolina parakeet, Eskimo curlew, great auk, Labrador duck, and pinnate grouse inside the book.


The original edition of ‘the birds of America’ was printed in a hand-written form. Later, the four volumes of the birds of America were published and the famous libraries of the world hosted “Audubon day”. It is the most rarest series of books and this is the reason why is it so expensive.

5- First edition of Don Quixote

rarest-books-in-the-world- Miguel de-Cervantes’s-Don-Quixote

It is the Spanish novel which was written by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. The full title of the novel is “El ingenioso hidalgo don Quijote de la Mancha” and in English “ The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha”. It was published into two volumes in 1605 and 1615. In the entire Spanish literary canon, Don Quixote was considered as one of the most influential work of literature. The writer got fame from this novel in the Spanish golden age. Don Quixote was high on the lists of greatest fiction works ever published. It was said that this novel was the best literary work ever written by someone.

rarest-book-in-the-world-the-Ingenious-Gentleman-Don Quixote-of-La Mancha

Don Quixote was written in Spanish language by publisher ‘Francisco de Robles’. It was considered as the first modern novel by Harold Bloom. He said that this novel represents radical nihilism and anarchy. Later, Don Quixote was translated by Edith Grossman in 2003. The structure of the novel is episodic in form. It was written in the late 16th century in picaresco style. Don Quixote is among the rarest books of the world and is interpreted as comic novel.

6- Ptolemy’s Geographia Cosmographia

rarest-books-in-the-world- Miguel de-Cervantes’s-Don-Quixote

It is an atlas, a gazetteer and a treatise in which the geographical knowledge of the second century Roman Empire is compiled. It was written by Ptolemy in Alexandria around A.D 150. The language in which the book was written is Greek. It was translated into Arabic in the 9th century and in 1406, it was translated into Latin.


Ptolemy’s Geographia Cosmographia was highly influential on the geographical knowledge. Ptolemy was the moat influential thinker of his time and he got fame from his masterpiece “Geographia Cosmographia”. It is the moat expensive book in the world and due to its fame, it is considered as the most rarest book in the world.

7- Da Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium



This book was first printed in 1543 in Nuremberg, Holy Roman Empire. The English name of the book is ‘On the revolutions of the heavenly spheres’. This book is based on the heliocentric theory of the renaissance by an astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus. The model present in the book was widely accepted since ancient times. The publisher of ‘De revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium’ was Johannes Petreius in 1543. It is divided into six different parts.



This book was described as ‘the book of nobody read’ by Arthur Koestler. It was reprinted four times and was an all time worst seller. C.G. Wallis, Annapolis translated “On the revolutions of the heavenly spheres” in year 1939. This book was not banned formally but its circulation was withdrawn. This is the reason, it is among the rarest books of the world and many readers are curious about reading the theories present in the book.

8- The Tales of Beedle the Bard


It is the children’s story book written by British author J.K. Rowling. There is a story book of the same name in ‘Harry Potter and the deathly hallows’, in the last book of Harry Potter series. It is a fantasy book published by Children’s high level group on 4 December, 2008. Only seven limited copies of the book were published in a handwritten form. One copy of the book was sell for $3 million by Amazon. The money which was earned by selling the book was donated to the charity campaign, “The Children’s Voice”.



The tales of Beedle the Bard is described as an ancient looking small sized book with its stained and peeling binding. The title of the book is written in embossed runic symbols. All the copies of the book were illustrated by the writer himself. The tales of beedle and bard has been translated into 28 different languages. As this book was published in lesser amount,  that’s why it is among the rarest books.

9- Shakespeare’s First Folio


The comedies, histories and tragedies of Mr. William Shakespeare were published in the form of plays which was commonly referred as the “First Folio” by modern scholars. The publisher of this book were Edward Blount and William and Isaac Jaggard in late 1623. Its total pages are 630 and the format in which the book was printed is folio format. This folio contains 36 plays.


The contents of the Shakespeare’s first folio were compiled by Heminges and Condell who were members of stationers company. It is among the best work of Shakespeare. Only few copies of the first folio were printed that’s why it is not very common and the rarest book in the world.

10- Institutes of the Christian Religion

John Calvin's Institutio Christianae Religionis

It is the rarest seminal work of John Calvin. Institutes of the Christian religion is based on the protestant systematic theology and is the most influential book in the western world. This book was published in 1536 in Latin language and it is still read throughout the world by theological students. This book covers a broader range of theological topics from different doctrine of church and sacraments.

rarest-books-in-the-world-John Calvin’s- Institutio-Christianae-religionis

Institutes of the christian religion is highly regarded secondary reference for Calvinism. The book was translated five times in English and Latin. The book explores both the ‘knowledge of God and ourselves’. It is the most popular book in the world and this is the reason every reader wants to read it and every library wants to have this book.

11- A Season in Hell

A-Season- in Hell-rarest-books-in-the-world

“Une Saison en Enfer” is an extended poem written by French writer Arthur Rimbaud in 1873. A season in Hell was the only work of Rimbaud which he himself published. This book is the most influential book of his time. Arthur Rimbaud started working on this poem during a visit to his family’s farm which is present near Charleville and finished the work in his farmhouse in Roche, Ardennes. This poem is divided into nine different parts which are of different sizes.


A Season in Hell is a terribly enigmatic poem. It is brilliantly near-hysterical quarrel between the poet and his other. The poet identifies two voices in his poem. One is widely in love with childhood and miracles of light while the other finds all these literary shenanigans. This poem is quoted in many novels i.e. “Ghosts of Watt O’Hugh”. It is the most famous poem ever published. This is the reason many authors have given the titles to their books from the lines present in the poem.

Every book is beautiful and informative but there are some books in the world which are not comparable to others. These books are the best ones of their times. It is the nature of humans that they always wants to get best. That’s why the best books are always in lesser amount because everyone wants to get them and they become rare.

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