Oldest Book Printed In U.S. Sells For $14.2 Million

The Bay Psalm book became the most expensive book in the world after selling for $14.2 million.

Oldest Book Printed In U.S. Sells For $14.2 Million

The first book ever printed in what is now the U.S. also became the most expensive book in the world after going for millions of dollars at an auction Tuesday. 

"The Bay Psalm Book, translated in 1640 by Puritan settlers, was just auctioned off by Sotheby's in New York. It is one of 11 copies known to exist today." (Via Al Jazeera)

The now-$14.2 million Bay Psalm Book was printed in Cambridge, Mass. and was the first book printed on Puritan minister Joseph Glover's press, which was also the first such device to make it across the Atlantic. (Via The New Yorker)

According to Slate, the book was expected to sell for anywhere between $15 million and $30 million, but it landed just below that range. The Bay Psalm Book beat out the previous most expensive book — a copy of John James Audubon's "Birds of America," which sold for $11.5 million at Sotheby's three years ago.  

The rare Bay Psalm Book went to American businessman and philanthropist David Rubenstein. According to CNN, Rubenstein really lucked out considering this was only the first time since 1947 and the second time since the 19th century one of the books has appeared at an auction.

The money will support the Old South Church in Boston, which had the book for more than 300 years. NBC reports Rubenstein plans to share the book with the American public by loaning it to libraries across the nation before putting it on long-term loan at one of those libraries.