Understanding why normal people collect first edition books?

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We can see how a large number of normal people go ahead and collect first edition books. If you are curious to figure out why, you have come to the right place. We did a quick research on the reasons, which tempt people to look for the first edition books available out there for sale. These books are priced at a higher price point as well. However, normal people still think about getting them, instead of purchasing the other editions, which can save them a considerable amount of money.

Following are the main reasons that we figured out on why normal people collect first edition books.

They are available in limited quantities

Publishing a book can always be considered as a risk. For example, we see how some of the published books get panned by the critics. On the other hand, some of the books don’t get the popularity that the authors expect. The authors as well as publishers are aware about this. That’s why they are always looking forward to eliminate the risk associated publishing a book by printing only a limited number of copies.

If the book becomes successful, the author and publisher works together to publish the second edition. Since they have a better understanding about how the book will perform, a large number of copies will be printed.

This becomes even prominent if the author has not published any book before. The author is not aware of the fact whether the book will be able to become a literary success or not. Hence, they go ahead and test the waters by publishing a limited number of copies.

Since the first edition copies are limited in numbers, people are interested in getting their hands on one of those copies. The value associated with such first edition books increase along with time as well. To get a better understanding about this, let’s take a look at the book titled Casino Royale, which was published by Ian Fleming. Only 4728 books were published within the first edition back in 1953. The book was later used as the base for the James Bond series. As a result, it became extremely popular and new editions were published. However, people were keen to purchase the first edition books.

As of now, only around 3000 books among the first edition printed books remain. Value associated with one copy from the first edition is around $30,000.

They represent the intent of the author

The first edition books tend to represent intent of the author in a better way. Content of the book changes along with time. Due to the same reason, the first edition books is closer to the original intent that the author had. People are often interested in going through the original intentions of the author. In order to do that, they show an interest towards purchasing the first edition books.

Great Expectations book published by Charles Dickens is a perfect example to prove the above-mentioned fact. If you go through the very first edition of the book, you will figure out that it has a completely different ending when compared to the other editions. The author was forced to change the plot of the story after the first edition was published. People who are interested in going through the initial version of the story show an interest towards going through the first edition of the book.

They are different from the other editions

You can also discover numerous differences in between the first edition books and the second edition books.  These differences are minor, but they can contribute significantly towards the experience that a person can get at the end of the day.

The differences that you can find in between the first edition books and successive editions of the books are relatively easy to understand. However, you should also keep in mind that the books that were published before 1900 don’t specifically tell whether they are first edition or not. Due to the same reason, the rare book collectors tend to rely on the points of issue.

Textual differences are significant in between the first edition books and the successive edition books. It is relatively easy to go ahead and collect the typographical errors that can be found within the first edition books. You will be able to find many. The author will not be able to go through the proof reading process and make sure that no errors are present. However, the author will receive feedback along with time and the errors will be corrected.

In some of the instances, you will notice how the material used for the construction of the first edition books are different from others. You will be able to find how some of the first edition books are made out of a different fabric. The successive editions are printed on less expensive paper.

Likewise, there are differences in the format used in the books as well. The first edition book will usually contain fewer pages or more pages when compared to the books that belong to the later editions. In few rare instances, you will also notice how the first edition books don’t come with an afterword, foreword or other related ancillary materials.

Final words

Now you have a clear understanding about the reason on why normal people tend to go ahead and collect the first edition books. You will be able to get a completely different experience by taking a look at the first edition books. This experience can never be experienced from later editions. You will fall in love with the unique experience that you can go through as well. If you didn’t pay a lot of attention towards purchasing first edition books, this is the high time to go ahead and do it. Make sure that you spend your money on the first edition books accordingly and you can get the best returns offered on your way. 

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