Modern First Editions
A Guide by Genre and Subject
This section is a work in progress and is
being added to constantly.
A modern first edition is generally taken to be a 20th century novel, 1890's
onwards. It is an area of collecting that has increased hugely in popularity
over the last few years. As well as the increased popularity there have been
some spectacular rises is values.
Identify a First Edition
find a bookseller
||The United States finest
||Mystery and detective
||Classic British authors
||The future today
|Spy - Espionage
||Richard Hannay to James Bond
|In this genre condition is EVERYTHING ! as is
the presence of the original dust jacket. It could reasonably be
argued that this area is not really book collecting but
dustwrapper collecting. The presence of the jacket cannot be
overstated in terms of collectability and value. As a rough
guide the value drops by 90% when the jacket is absent.
First Edition, First Impression....
The advent of ebay has brought about a change in terminology for
first editions. Time was that a first edition was a first
edition and every other edition was a reprint. New and/or
slightly 'green' collectors seem to have been convinced that a
first edition, 37th impression copy of a collectable title is a
collectable edition, sadly this is NOT the case. The only time
reprints should be acceptable to the modern first edition
collector is when the title is so rare or the cost is too
prohibitive, in which case and early reprint is better than
We do not wish to be elitist or sound condescending and we
acknowledge how much pleasure can be derived form collecting
attractive reprints, especially as it removes the financial
barriers involved. However, all we urge is caution in the price
you pay, as with dust jackets think roughly 10% of the value. In
fact, many reprints have no value at all, beyond their
readability of course.