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You’ll Need $186,000 To Buy This Book

A couple of weeks ago, we discussed whether or not we cared about owning signed copies of books. I mentioned that, for the most part, I could care less–with some exceptions, like legendary authors, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, etc.

When I said that, I naively thought a signed book by one of those authors might costs several hundred dollars, maybe a thousand or so. Boy, was I an idiot.

After doing a little research at Peter Harrington’s site–he’s a bookseller who specializes in signed, first-edition books, I realized just how stupid I was for thinking such books would go for so cheap.

Here are just a few examples I pulled from Harrington’s site:

First Edition of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

$186,000

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First Edition of Ulysses by James Joyce:

$37,500

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First Edition of The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner

$29,000

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First Edition of The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

$125,000

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First Edition of Jacob’s Room by Virginia Woolf

$38,000

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First Edition of A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

$23,000

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Uncorrected Proof Copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling

$31,000

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You get the idea. These books are EXPENSIVE, especially if they are first editions. The books listed above are on the high end, so you can find less expensive novels, but you’re not getting anything for cheap. Also, everything on his site was listed in pounds. I converted it to dollars, but tell me if my math’s bad. I suck at math.

So this post raises the question: If you could own a first-edition, signed copy of any book, what would it be?

Check out the other books listed for sale at Peter Harrington’s site.  

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26 Comments Post a comment
  1. As any true HP fan, I would love a first edition, signed copy of ANY of the Harry Potter books. It would also be really cool to own a signed or first edition of Catcher in the Rye, but I know that Salinger was probably not a big book signer.

    Like

    May 1, 2013
  2. The Bible of course.

    Others might settle for one that was signed by King James, but I’d say they were stopping short.

    Signed by God, Elijah, and Moses.

    Matthew Mark Luke and John would also add theirs; and the superdeluxe version would include Jesus, right under His prayer.

    Like

    May 1, 2013
    • Got to have David sign Psalms, right?

      Like

      May 1, 2013
    • Oh, how can I “like” this response??? :o))))

      Like

      May 1, 2013
      • flattery gets you – everywhere. the vibe this little message sent has crossed the ocean.

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        and consider subscribing.

        that way, you and I can “like” each other every day!

        Like

        May 1, 2013
  3. Hmmm – so many choices! I’d say a signed copy of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix or Jane Erye.

    Like

    May 1, 2013
  4. The Stand by Stephen King if it’s only one book. If it’s a collection it would have to be The Dark Tower series.

    Like

    May 1, 2013
    • Thank you! I couldn’t think of anything, but how could I forget The Stand?? It’s my favorite book!

      Like

      May 2, 2013
  5. “Gone with the Wind” or “The Hobbit”, because they’re both incredible books but also because every time you read them you learn something new or pick up on a new detail. Timeless!

    Like

    May 1, 2013
    • Those are great ones. I’d LOVE a signed copy of The Hobbit.

      Like

      May 1, 2013
  6. To Kill a Mockingbird!

    Like

    May 1, 2013
  7. I would never be able to afford it but I would love to own a first edition of one of the Brontë novels. Just looked at Harrington’s and good thing I like Anne so much as her’s are the cheapest but still over $500.

    Like

    May 1, 2013
    • Wow. Not bad.

      Like

      May 1, 2013
      • Yeah – I was a little shocked, there’s even a couple of Charlotte’s that aren’t too expensive which was more surprising.

        Like

        May 1, 2013
  8. I’d totally go for a first edition Les Miserables. Unabridged, of course. And it would be in French, which I can’t read, but I don’t care.

    Like

    May 1, 2013
  9. Jan #

    Arthur Conan Doyle’s A Study in Scarlet. Huge Holmes fan since I was a kid.First edition signed copy of Doyle’s first Holmes novel. Definitely.

    Like

    May 1, 2013
  10. Imagine coming across one of these in a book sale or something, I want to go hunting to find one

    Like

    May 1, 2013
  11. Ever looked at the ad for Bauman’s in the NYTimes Book Review? Here’s their link:
    http://www.baumanrarebooks.com/?gclid=CLu02I-29bYCFeN_QgodiQsA3w

    Go ahead and browse. There’s an “Eloise” children’s book collection of 4 books for $75,000. And the list goes on and on and on…

    Like

    May 1, 2013
  12. I’d be hard pressed to decide between Joyce’s collection of short stories, The Dubliners, or Faulkner’s “Absalom!Absalom!”

    Like

    May 1, 2013
  13. Reblogged this on Saurav Dubey.

    Like

    May 1, 2013
  14. A Brief History of Time, Love Stephen Hawking.

    Like

    May 1, 2013
  15. I’ll love to have a signed copy of “Ivanhoe” from Sir Walter Scott.

    Like

    May 1, 2013
  16. Reblogged this on Writing Red Baron and commented:
    Safe to say, if I had the money of afford these books I most certainly would be buying them!

    Like

    May 3, 2013

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