Tuesday, August 16, 2005

"The Great Gatsby", a first edition found

A first edition copy of F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel "The Great Gatsby" sat in a box at Baldwin's Book Barn for nearly two months before it was discovered.

Store operator Thomas Baldwin said, "If you're a serious collector, you have to have this book." He wouldn't identify the man who left the book at his shop, but said he will receive a "very good" percentage of the book's proceeds. He expects the book to fetch more than $50,000.

Baldwin identified the book as a first edition because protagonist Jay Gatsby's first name on the dust jacket was accidentally printed with a lowercase "J," an error corrected in later editions.

Baldwin had advertised the book on eBay, and says that even before finding the typo he had received a bid of $23,000. He withdrew the book from the Internet auction service and plans to repost it with a more accurate description that he hopes will double the previous bid.



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Greg said...

Yes this book is quite a rare treasure. My grandfather has an original in mint condition and there's a collector in Canada that has offered to pay him $142,000 for it through a broker.

Jed Hughett said...

This morning while going through some of my books and listing them for sale on Amazon I noticed that my copy of The Great Gatsby was dated 1925. On the slim possibility that it was valuable I googled “The Great Gatsby first edition”. I looked at a site called Modern First Editions Blog and I about fainted.

# Published by Charles Scribner’s Sons - yes
# Date on 1925 on title page - yes
# Scribner seal on copyright page - yes
# On page 60, line 16 is the word “chatter” (later states read “echolalia”) - yes
# On page 119, line 22 is the word “northern” (later changed to “southern”) - yes
# On page 205 , lines 9-10 is the word “sick in tired” (later changed to “sickantired”) - yes
# On page 211, lines 7-8 is the words “Union Street Station” (later states read “Union Station”) - yes

I have no idea where or when I bought this book, but I have had it on the shelf for years. And it is in good condition.

Anonymous said...

if you have the book jacket for Gatsby, it is worth 200,000 to 400,000 right now. I have one signed without the jacket, but I would never sell it and don't know how much an F. Scott would sell if it were signed on a first edition. Anyone know here?

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