Value of Old National Geographics, and Readers Digests

Updated on April 03, 2009
C.H. asks from Farmersville, OH
8 answers

hi moms. my mom and dad use to save EVERYTHING swearing it would always some day be worth something. i have come across boxes of national geographics and readers digests. spent my morning looking up antiques, etc.(, ask antique questions, kovels, etc, etc. etc.)does anyone know how, for free, to find out if, and what these books are worth? any sites to email, that i haven't already tried, would be wonderful!



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So What Happened?

thanks to all to have replied and still replying to my asking the value of the old national geographics and reader's digests! god only knows what all else we are going to come to with all of mom and dad's collecting for 50+ years! LOL thanks again!


More Answers



answers from Indianapolis on

Hi C.,
I have an antique creamer my husband's grandmother gave us and I was wanting to know more about it, so I went and registered at a site called I described it on their message board and someone got back to me fairly quickly with info about where it's probably from and how much it might be worth. Maybe you could try that. I also suggest looking on ebay...but...when you look, make sure you look at the completed auctions. Otherwise you're just going to see stuff that's not finished yet. Good luck! K.



answers from Indianapolis on

Hi C.-

I own a used bookstore and may be able to shed a little light on this.

Nat Geos are worth money (the older the better) to collectors, but only if they retain the original maps.

I'm assuming you're talking about Reader's Digest magazines as opposed to Reader's Digest condensed books. The magazines have no saleable value - please recycle. The Condensed books also have very little value - I usually put them on my Free Rack when they come in (except for Biographies), but if you donate those to Goodwill and itemize your taxes, it's my understanding you can take $1 per (hardback) book.

Many old magazines do have genuine value, often based on their covers or the time period, but they need to be in pristine condition.

Here are some easy places to find market values on books and other publications typically found in situations like yours (these are current asking prices, not bids on auction sites): (handles many older items) (the bookselling end of eBay) (used book sales)

The last two generally have the lowest prices on modern publications and those printed in the thousands/millions.
Hope this helps!



answers from Dayton on

you can also contact solleby's (sp) for something that is truely old - had a couple of novels checked into once ----- just a suggestion
good luck



answers from Indianapolis on

Very few of either have a real value that I am aware of. I did sell an old Reader's Digest with articles about the Beatles in it to a collector for about $20.00 but that isn't common unless someone really wants a paticular article and issue. I would list them on e-bay or Craig's list by year or if you know it is something a collector might want like articles on the Beatles or a famous group or person list it that way. Good luck.



answers from Columbus on

Try asking for a magazine value guide at the library. Honestly, though, unless they are very old, commemorate special events, or are the first issue of something that goes on to be popular, older magazines are usually not worth much of anything. Good luck!



answers from Cleveland on

I used to work at a used bookstore and we dreaded when people showed up with old National Geo's and Life. At least once a week it would happen. If the magazines smell even a little old, they're not worth anything. Mold, even if you can't see it, is there. That makes them worthless. If they are not stored properly, and magazines rarely are, then they are probably moldy. The issues that might be worthwhile are issues dated the same as a significant event. But, honestly, if the spine is cracked, if the pages are wrinkled at all, it's mostly likely not worth your time and effort to take them somewhere. We would buy 10 boxes full of these things for a quarter (total, not per box) and then we'd just heap them into the dumptser. So, unless they've been stored in indivudal sleeves in a climate controlled room (like your living room and not the basement or attic), then don't bother. And don't keep them because the mold grows! Some bookstores will sell old Reader's D. books "by the yard" to interior decorators when they have a big bookcase they need to fill with impressive spines. But other than that, old RD are not worth anything. And like th mags, if they smell old and musty, no one eill use them and you should just get rid of them



answers from Youngstown on

Go onto Ebay and see what they are selling for.



answers from Terre Haute on

I know there is a website that lists the prices that either Goodwill or the Salvation Army uses for the common items they sell. I can't swear to it but I think there was a link from or something like that. A google search for goodwill pricing might turn it up. Hope that helps.

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