First Edition Books: Got Any Good Ones?

I’m not talking so much about monetary value, not being a collector - my books are for reading {although if you have a First Folio Hamlet, feel free to gloat} - but just first editions of books or authors that you love.

Pride of my library is a first edition of Flashman, from 1969: a good condition hardback, with the precious dustjacket intact. I’m a huge Flashman and George MacDonald Fraser fan, and this was his first book, and the one that made his name - it’s fairly rare: since he was an unknown author, the print run was quite limited, and it sold slowly until P G Wodehouse gave it a rave review, which made Fraser’s name and launched his career - and of course, Flashy’s.

I said I wasn’t a collector, but I’ve made an exception for Flashman first editions - I can’t pass a second-hand bookstore without checking, and so far I’ve got about half the series {I don’t use the internet: that would make it too easy, and spoil the hunt}.

Tell me about your favourite first editions.

Television Primer by Louis Sposa. Published 1947 before TV was even going full steam, authored by the program director at DuMont and full of cool pictures and stuff from mid '40s telecasts practically no one ever saw.

Autographed by Lou to his technical director.

$5 on eBay. :smiley:

I’ve been meaning to start one of these threads.

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams. Picked it up for $1 someplace shortly after finding a paperback of it for a quarter. Funny thing is I spent about a solid year looking for any copy of this book, and then found two copies within the same week.

Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe. Found it for the amazing price of one hundred pennies at a library book sale. Read it and hated it. Too long and bloated.

I almost picked up a first edition copy of The Stepford Wives at the same library booksale where I found Bonfire, but didn’t know it was a first edition untill I drove home and looked it up. I drove back to the library, but it evidently some other bastard bought it in the half hour it took for me to drive home and back to the sale. Shame.

I’d like to find a first edition Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S Thompson. I hate movie poster book covers.

I have the first American edition of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, Book Club Edition. Published in June of 1949. Looks like this.

I also have a first edition of a Raggedy Ann book that my grandmother owned as a little girl, published 1918.

When We Were Very Young (1924) by A.A. Milne

Bugger! :smack:

Ringworld by Larry Niven - the one with the mistakes in it. Got larry to autograph it for me a few years ago.

I have quite a few autographed First Editions, most by people like niven, Pournelle, Turtledove, Sterling, Ellison, etc. Nothing valuable, but fun to collect.

I think I’ve got R L Stevenson’s Jekyll & Hyde.

I have a First British Edition (price unclipped, 30s each) set of all four volumes of Churchill’s History of the English Speaking Peoples (THAT was a Christmas worth remembering), and a First American Edition of The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, by T.E. Lawrence.

I also have a First Editon of Ian McEwan’s Atonement, and Umberto Eco’s Name of the Rose. The Name of the Rose is in pretty rough shape, but I love it still.

I’ve got The Glory fo Their TImes by Lawrence Ritter. The nifty thing about it is that it is personally autographed. What’s even niftier was how I got it: I had written a very positive review of the book on Amazon and months later I got an email from Lawrence Ritter thanking me for the kind review and offering to send me a first edition of the book.

Let’s see. I’ve got a first editon each of Mark Twain’s The Man Who Corrupted Hadleyburg and Isak Dinesen’s Out of Africa. Got several mystery first editions, too, some signed, some not. My favorite of these is probably the Advanced Reading Copy of Janet Evanovich’s One for the Money.

I have all these because I love them, not because they’re an investment or anything. In fact, my Twain & Dinesen first edition were both gifts from a friend who knows I love to read, and I wouldn’t part with them unless my kids were starving or something.

Mrs. Furthur

I have the complete set of all 86 titles put out by Gnome Press, one of the first publishers of science fiction hardcovers. That means Asimov, Heinlein, Clarke, Robert E. Howard’s Conan books, L. Ron Hubbard, C. L. Moore, Andre Norton, Clifford Simak, Jack Williamson and many more.

Of them, the best is probably the fine in d.j. edition of I. Robot, inscribed by Asimov, along with something most people have never seen, the trade paperback armed forces edition printed off the same plates, also signed by Asimov.

They’re in a safe deposit box, so don’t get any ideas. :smiley:

I have a few, but my favourites:

First edition, unsigned, of Let Us Compare Mythologies by Leonard Cohen
First Edition of Death of A Ladies Man, by same
First Edition, Abhorsen by Garth Nix, signed.
First Edition, Pattern Recognition by William Gibson, signed.

I’d give my left leg for a signed, any edition, Leonard Cohen.

I’ve been meaning to start earning money for real so I can start my dream collection of first edition books.

I have a first American edition of <I>The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes</I>, but it’s not in great condition. I love it still.

I have a few…

  1. Signed and numbered copy of Heretics of Dune by Herbert. I’m not a Dune fan but it was only $10.

  2. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl.

  3. Wouldn’t It Be Nice, the (first) autobiography by Brian Wilson, also signed.

I have a bunch more but nothing terribly noteworthy. I have most of Umberto Eco’s stuff including a review copy of Serendipities. I thought I had a 1st edition of The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand that I had picked up at a Friends of the Library sale - good condition, dust jacket intact, not price clipped. I checked some sources to try and see if it was in fact a 1st edition as a true 1st/1st was worth, at the time, $4000 to $5000. I finally got ahold of a book dealer in Arizona who walked me through the process (color of the cloth cover, publishing date, dust jacket info, etc.). He finally got to the city of publication and…not a first edition. Mine had Philadelphia and a true 1st is from Indianapolis (I think). In any case, it was quite a disapointment. I was all set to trade it for a 1st/1st copy of The Hobbit.

Archive Guy…a couple of years ago I went to an antiquarian bookshow in San Francisco and a guy there had a set of all four Milne books, all 1st edition, all signed by Milne, and on the inside cover of The House At Pooh Corner there was a hand-drawn sketch of Pooh and Piglet by E.G. Shepard. He wanted something like $20,000 for the set!

I just noticed that my copies of Lady in Kicking Horse Reservoir and The Triggering Town, both by Richard Hugo, are first editions. Wish I’d taken better care of them.

Condensed Novels by Brett Harte, published 1871.

Fair condition.

I have a very nice 1902 copy of Own Wister’s The Virginian with the Fredrick Remmington illustrations. It’s not a first edition, but is a first-year edition.

I have First Editions of all of Ayn Rand’s books, both fiction and non-fiction. Most were inscribed and signed by her (to me).

By the way, today is the Centenary of her birth.

My grandparents have one called Following the Equator by Mark Twain. There seems to be a note on the inside cover signed by S. Clemens. It’s possible that another S. Clemens signed it, I can’t say for sure.