Ask And Ye Shall Recieve

“OK, on your next blog, you need to let Kristin know how you know if a book is 1st edition. It’s been killing her ever since you mentioned it 2 weeks ago!” – Will

Yes Will, I’ll do just that.

How to Identify a First Edition Book:

Simply put a ‘First Edition’ book is the first ever print of a book (after the book proof/advance copy).

“The precise meaning of a first edition differs significantly in the fields of bibliography and book collecting. Book collectors generally use the term to mean the first printing of the first edition (“first edition, first impression”, in the United Kingdom). Post World War II books often include a number line or printers key that indicates the printing.” – Wikipedia

Here in the US if the book was first printed overseas you’ll find it to state “First U.S. Edition” or something similar.

WHERE to find it:

You know all that fine print on the back of the title page. TADA! You can find all kinds of info on there. One of the things you can find is the printing info. Here are some pictures to help you all out! There are some other more detailed ways of checking to see if a book is first edition. But this is a BASIC way to find out.

Here are four basic examples:


Now have a lot of crazy fun digging through your books finding your first editions. When I worked in North Carolina at the Library we had a guy that would go around to all the library’s and steal the first editions off the shelves. So sad. Many he took had no real value.


5 thoughts on “Ask And Ye Shall Recieve

  1. That cracks me up that some guy would steal first edition books…sad really. About the most beautiful sister…I just don’t compete any more with my sisters…I am too old and a little too over weight. *sniff* I am trying to change that tho…. We were planning on coming down on Wednesday morning from Penn Valley, but if you need me too…I will be there. Let me know. 🙂

  2. Humm yes it was killing me. Will bought me the second Fablehaven and it is only a month old. It however is not a first edition. But now I look I can find it on the Harry Potter books. Ha thanks.

  3. Story that no one cares about:
    I used to work for a guy who sold books on ebay and it was my job to enter in the book description. First thing was always what edition and I kid you not, this guy had a first edition of Uncle Tom’s cabin. People were selling their copies for 100’s of dollars but because he wouldn’t let me change his template it didn’t come up in searches like the other ones and his went for a mere $35.

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