In straightforward prose that doesn't mystify art or deny its special allure, prominent art dealer and market expert Michael Findlay offers an up-close and personal view of almost a half-century in the business of art. He engagingly explains art's three kinds of value: commercial; social; and what he terms its essential value - the range of responses to art that we as individuals have depending on our culture, education, and life experience. Few avid collectors are immune to the thrill of rising market value, but Findlay argues that buying for investment alone is seldom smart. A genuine love of art and the ways it may enrich one's social life also play important roles. Down-to-earth and with a touch of dry wit, he explains exactly how artworks are valued and reveals the workings of the art market. Enhancing his narrative are wise advice, insider anecdotes, and tales of scoundrels and scams, celebrity collectors, and remarkable discoveries. Generously illustrated, Findlay's distillation of a lifetime's experience makes this insider's guide indispensable for all who love art, not only collectors but true "amateurs" as well.