1st Edition Books anyone?


No longer a newbie, moving up!
Mar 25, 2005
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Random question for you all...

I'm having a clear out of all my old books. I am going to get rid of all the old, tatty paperbacks I have, but maybe keep a few of the hardbacks, especially any first editions.

So, How can i tell if a book is a 1st edition and first run/print?

I have one book which has the numbers 1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2 on it. I think this is a first edition because it has the number 1 in it, but does this line tell me what print run it is from as well? Anybody know?

I've googled it and it all seems pretty vague, are there any experts here?

Very off topic i know :)
I dont think the numbers mean anything lol. Look at them closely. It goes from 1-9 skipping even numbers and then goes back skipping odd numbers. I'm guessing check if it says "1st edition" on it. Also maybe try googling the ISBD code or what ever it's called.
First Edition and First Run are actually the same thing.

thanks for the info.

I thought that a first edition could have several prints, but still be considered a 1st edition?
Some books have the copyright and first published dates on one of the first few un-numbered pages.
If it says 'first published' and a year then it isn't a first edition - in which case it will also include 'this edition published'.
Similarly, multiple copyright years indicate it isn't.
Older books (pre-1920's) tend to have printing dates on the back fly leaves.
Paperbacks are very rarely ever first editions.
But even re-prints can be valuable if the book is a special or out of print.
And if you have hard-backs then having the dust jackets will make them worth more.

The best thing is to make a list and take it into a shop that specialises in selling second-hand books. They will advise you.

I have a couple of first editions from the 1800's and there is nothing to tell you that ;)
ok, thanks. It's a bit clearer now.

I don't think any of mine will be worth much, if anything. Maybe in a few years...

I have one book from the 50's which has been signed by somebody (whose name i can't quite make out), i contacted the publisher and asked it they had any more info on it, like how many were printed, they got back to me but denied ever publishing it (even though it clearly states they did on the book)

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