Valuing the book
We feel all the value of the book as an object of knowledge, culture, art and investment. Setting the example, we invest in the acquisition of rare and antique books and even those that have been left “scarred” by the tests of time. We also hold the ambition to recover and perpetuate the memory of the houses of these books – the leading bookstores and libraries that have since closed. We dream of becoming the world’s largest private collector of books and have made hefty and substantial investments towards the same goal
Our collection already features examples as unusual as a first edition of Moby-Dick, or The Whale (1851), by Herman Melville, which belonged to Jim Morrison; or an extremely rare copy of a first edition of Madame Bovary, by Gustave Flaubert, in fascicles, published by Revue de Paris in 1856.
We have worked to expand this collection according to specific criteria that place an emphasis on rare editions linked to our collection and correspondingly with works by the most renowned of Portuguese authors, such as José Saramago, Fernando Pessoa, António Lobo Antunes, Alexandre O’Neill and Almada Negreiros. And, in addition, it is highly important to restore our own history of Livraria Lello, ever since its founder, Ernesto Chardron, through to contemporary times. We therefore wish to rebuild its own editorial collection.
Book takeover bids
Around the world, we search out the most prestigious literary jewels from bookstores and antique dealers and at different auctions held. In 2019, we invested almost half a million euros in acquiring first editions. In an absolutely innovative approach, taking into consideration the valuation of books as an investment object, we issued an OPA – a public takeover bid for the first editions of Os Lusíadas (250,000 euros), Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone (70,000 euros) and A Gazeta da Restauração (1,500 euros). The latter two works were duly acquired with Livraria Lello continuing its hunt for the former to add to the treasures in its collection.
Acquisition of the Coimbra Editora legacy
The purchase of the libraries of bookstores that close their doors, in order to preserve their memories, represents a strategic Livraria Lello objective. We started out in 2020 with the acquisition of the historical legacy of Coimbra Editora in exactly the year when it would have completed its centenary. This collection contains, and for example, first editions of works by Miguel Torga – an author nominated on various occasions for the Nobel Prize for Literature –, publications by Marcelo Caetano and António de Oliveira Salazar, and works by Vergílio Ferreira and Eugénio de Andrade.