A reader from Ft. Worth, TX writes:

I have a 1953 hardcover of Saul Bellow's "The Adventures of Augie March". Is it valuable?


B&N Responds:

If it's a first edition*, first issue copy, it could be worth anywhere from $200-$500. "Augie March" was indeed first published in 1953 and should state on the copyright page, "Published by The Viking Press in September 1953". To insure it's a first issue, the bottom of the copyright page should also read, "PRINTED IN U.S.A. BY THE VAIL-BALLOU PRESS, INC." and the top of the book's pages will be stained orange. As Bellow's book gained readership, it quickly went back to press for a larger printing. The more prevalent - less valuable - second issue edition reads "PRINTED IN THE U.S.A. BY H. WOLFF, NEW YORK" and has no top stain.


I assume your copy has a dustjacket (if it doesn't, your book is worth between $30-$50 regardless if it's a 1st or 2nd issue). The first issue dustjacket carries a $4.50 price on the front flap and the back flap advertises "The Short Novels of John Steinbeck". Subsequent printings added reviews to the jacket.


Wondering what one of your books is worth? Feel free to PM me through My Profile Page.


* The book shown here is the current edition and sells for $16.00.

0 Kudos
by Odebdeb on ‎04-24-2009 07:06 PM
Hello, I read your blog and I have a copy of East of Eden , 1st edition The viking Press New York. There is no dust cover and some water damage. The spine is worn on the edges. I am very curious to know if this book holds any value.
by on ‎04-27-2009 09:00 AM

Hi Odebdeb,


Without the DJ, and in the condition you describe, it's worth about $20-30. Incidentally, the First Edition, First Issue carries the typo "Bite" for "Bight" on page 281. The Second Issue corrected this.


There's currently a signed, first edition on the market for $10,000.





About Unabashedly Bookish: The BN Community Blog
Unabashedly Bookish features new articles every day from the Book Clubs staff, guest authors, and friends on hot topics in the world of books, language, writing, and publishing. From trends in the publishing business to updates on genre fiction fan communities, from fun lessons on grammar to reflections on literature in our personal lives, this blog is the best source for your daily dose of all things bookish.


Since 1997, you’ve been coming to BarnesandNoble.com to discuss everything from Stephen King to writing to Harry Potter. You’ve made our site more than a place to discover your next book: you’ve made it a community. But like all things internet, BN.com is growing and changing. We've said goodbye to our community message boards—but that doesn’t mean we won’t still be a place for adventurous readers to connect and discover.

Now, you can explore the most exciting new titles (and remember the classics) at the Barnes & Noble Book Blog. Check out conversations with authors like Jeff VanderMeer and Gary Shteyngart at the B&N Review, and browse write-ups of the best in literary fiction. Come to our Facebook page to weigh in on what it means to be a book nerd. Browse digital deals on the NOOK blog, tweet about books with us,or self-publish your latest novella with NOOK Press. And for those of you looking for support for your NOOK, the NOOK Support Forums will still be here.

We will continue to provide you with books that make you turn pages well past midnight, discover new worlds, and reunite with old friends. And we hope that you’ll continue to tell us how you’re doing, what you’re reading, and what books mean to you.