Monday, November 08, 2004

There's money in them thar first editions

I was finishing up on the reading I've had to do for the first module of my course 'The Art of the Book', and there was one thing left to do before the class tonight. I was to pick a favourite book, and search online for all the various editions it's been publshed as, including finding the market value for first editions and so on.

My favourite book is Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Philosophy.

I wasn't expecting to be able to find much, and sure enough I didn't. As far as I could tell, there has only ever been one edition (2003), and it's not worth any more now than it was when it was first published.

So, racking my brains for a more likely candidate, I though of The Golden Bough. It's a book I haven't even seen a copy of yet, much less read. But it is a book I've been looking for on and off for the last year, ever since a similarly mythologically-inclined library patron recommended it to me. It turned out to be a fairly good choice, because there are lots of editions of this book, most of them being variations of the 1922 abridged edition. There are several editions before that, too.

It's left me wondering why the 1890 first edition was just two volumes while the 1906 edition was twelve, for one thing. I do know that someone is selling their third edition copy for one thousand dollars US.


Make Tea Not War said...

The Art of the Book- what a fascinating sounding course.

Violet said...

And apparently a really hard course to do well in. As well as being the course least likely to be useful in a library job. But I love books so I just had to sign up for it.