I love antique books, most especially versions of books I love. My biggest collection of antique books is my copies of Hamlet - the oldest was printed in 1898, and the latest was 1960, but they are all so beautiful and close to my heart.
The gem of my collection, and the only one that is actually worth more than I paid for it, is "Stories from Chaucer Told to the Children", a very lucky find in an Oxfam bookstore in Oxford, England. It was published in 1914, and according to the name plate, it was awarded to a child named Olive for her pressed flower collection.
(Love the Art Deco look)
It's a funny idea, telling Chaucer's tales to children, most of Chaucer is bawdy enough to make a bartender blush, but these stories are carefully chosen and gently retold. The treasures of this book are the breathtaking illustrations, done in watercolor by Heath Robinson, in a lovely Art Deco style.
(All the women look very deferential)
My daughter will get to enjoy some of these books when she is old enough to take care of delicate things... right now that feels like roughly twenty years away. But these precious tomes will wait on my shelf till she is ready, or I am.