Matthew Raptis is the owner. He recently moved his family and his bookstore collection from Vermont to South Florida.
“We thought Palm Beach was a perfect place to engage our global clientele. It’s a place that people travel to frequently,” Raptis said.
Raptis is a globetrotter himself. He’s been to more than 75 countries, buying and selling rare copies of the written word. He said there are three key things that make a book a literary gem.
“It needs to be the right condition, it needs to have historical significance, and it also has to be still read today. So there’s an importance connected to society and how it’s impacted our world and our understanding of it,” Raptis said.
Although printed in the 21st century, that does already include the first volume of “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.”
“Well, ‘Harry Potter’ already is on the shelf. I’ve bought and sold the first volume, “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone,” several times. There’s a print run of 500 copies. Half of them went to libraries, and the last copy, we just sold it. It was inscribed by J.K. Rowling. It sold for $55,000,” Raptis said.
Despite his impressive collection that’s taken more than 37 years to build, Raptis is still trying to get his hands on perhaps the most elusive and rare literary gem of them all.
“Yes, a ‘Don Quixote’ first edition. It’s the Holy Grail, and I have three people who want it,” Raptis said.
Raptis Rare Books will hold their grand opening event in the coming New Year, but in the meantime, Raptis invited people to stop by and browse the shelves because they never know what they’ll find.
For more information, visit https://www.raptisrarebooks.com/.