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.

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Comments
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.

 

Best,

 

Paul

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