ID'ing 1st edition (Damned HBJ)

ID'ing 1st edition (Damned HBJ)

Post by By the Boo » Tue, 16 Sep 1997 04:00:00



Picked up a copy of Goldman's _The Princess Bride_ over the weekend... darn
it! It's missing the ffep, otherwise very good/very good. (Mike, et al,
does the absence of a ffep make the book FAIR as the AB Bookman's grading
chart would have it?)

Anyway, the copyright page states "First Edition" and then shows the letter
line BCDE. Both Zempel/Verkler and McBride state that the "First Edition"
statement is the important thing. McBride recommends ignoring the letter
line altogether. But I KNOW that HBJ is not consistent. For example,
Guterson's _Snow Falling..._ and Kurzweil's _A Case of Curiosities_ keep
the first edition slug through later printings. And, reportedly, there are
plenty of other HBJ titles that the true first letter line begins with B
not A.

Any help will be gladly appreciated.

Best,

Jon and Kate Butler
By the Book

http://www.abebooks.com/home/BYTHEBOOK/

Fine modern first editions (with the exception of _The Princess Bride_),
ARCs and UCPs, contemporary and hypermodern fiction... and the occassional
oddity.

 
 
 

ID'ing 1st edition (Damned HBJ)

Post by Jon Meyer » Wed, 17 Sep 1997 04:00:00


Quote:

> Picked up a copy of Goldman's _The Princess Bride_ over the weekend...
darn
> it! It's missing the ffep, otherwise very good/very good. (Mike, et al,
> does the absence of a ffep make the book FAIR as the AB Bookman's grading
> chart would have it?)

> Anyway, the copyright page states "First Edition" and then shows the
letter
> line BCDE. Both Zempel/Verkler and McBride state that the "First Edition"
> statement is the important thing. McBride recommends ignoring the letter
> line altogether. But I KNOW that HBJ is not consistent...

I used to own a first of _The Princess Bride_, and it had the "A".

As for the missing ffep, I don't know about AB Bookman, but to me it could
never be more than a reading copy.

--
Jon Meyers



 
 
 

ID'ing 1st edition (Damned HBJ)

Post by Victor Wo » Wed, 17 Sep 1997 04:00:00



Quote:

>   Despite what Jon asserts, the first is "BCDE".  This is one of my
> favorite books, and I've seen at least six copies (including my own),
> all having no A.  If the "A" really exists, there'll be a lot of
> disappointed people.  It is true that some HBJ's *do* have the A.  HBJ
> was consistent in removing "first edition" from their second printings
> (which were few and far between.)  Besides, I'm pretty sure there was
> no 2nd printing, as the paperback came out the same year.

> ----Mike

Can anyone tell me if this is also true of Alice Walker's Color Purple? I
have a BCDE number
row under a "First Edition" line.

Vic

 
 
 

ID'ing 1st edition (Damned HBJ)

Post by Smegal-Zolle » Thu, 18 Sep 1997 04:00:00


Jon, are you sure on this one. I've seen several copies for sale at various
book shows, noted as first printings and they all started with B.  

John S.


Quote:

> I used to own a first of _The Princess Bride_, and it had the "A".

> As for the missing ffep, I don't know about AB Bookman, but to me it
could
> never be more than a reading copy.

> --
> Jon Meyers



 
 
 

ID'ing 1st edition (Damned HBJ)

Post by Jon Meyer » Thu, 18 Sep 1997 04:00:00


Well, now you've got me thinking: it was a long time ago, and I'm certainly
willing to admit I could be wrong.  Usually I'm very conservative in
deciding if something is a first in iffy cases, and I *do* remember that
something convinced me I had a true first.  Perhaps it was this: I just
pulled an Amos Oz book off my shelf that I believe to be an HBJ (U.S.)
first.  The letter row starts with "B" but is centered symmetrically
beneath the "First Edition" statement--where I would think that if the "A"
were missing, the row would be asymmetrical.  Maybe this is (was) the case
with the _Princess Bride_ first.

Jon (By the Book), is this the case with the book you have?  If so, I
retract my earlier rash statement, with apologies.

--
Jon Meyers




Quote:
> Jon, are you sure on this one. I've seen several copies for sale at
various
> book shows, noted as first printings and they all started with B.  

> John S.


> > I used to own a first of _The Princess Bride_, and it had the "A".

> > As for the missing ffep, I don't know about AB Bookman, but to me it
> could
> > never be more than a reading copy.

> > --
> > Jon Meyers



 
 
 

ID'ing 1st edition (Damned HBJ)

Post by Mike Ber » Thu, 18 Sep 1997 04:00:00



Quote:
>Picked up a copy of Goldman's _The Princess Bride_ over the weekend... darn
>it! It's missing the ffep, otherwise very good/very good. (Mike, et al,
>does the absence of a ffep make the book FAIR as the AB Bookman's grading
>chart would have it?)

  As far as I'm concerned, it's "vg/vg but missing the ffep".  I dunno
what AB would say.  It would probably be a little tough to sell.  You
should indicate if the cut is clean or ragged (or invisible.)

Quote:
>Anyway, the copyright page states "First Edition" and then shows the letter
>line BCDE. Both Zempel/Verkler and McBride state that the "First Edition"
>statement is the important thing. McBride recommends ignoring the letter
>line altogether. But I KNOW that HBJ is not consistent. For example,
>Guterson's _Snow Falling..._ and Kurzweil's _A Case of Curiosities_ keep
>the first edition slug through later printings. And, reportedly, there are
>plenty of other HBJ titles that the true first letter line begins with B
>not A.

  Despite what Jon asserts, the first is "BCDE".  This is one of my
favorite books, and I've seen at least six copies (including my own),
all having no A.  If the "A" really exists, there'll be a lot of
disappointed people.  It is true that some HBJ's *do* have the A.  HBJ
was consistent in removing "first edition" from their second printings
(which were few and far between.)  Besides, I'm pretty sure there was
no 2nd printing, as the paperback came out the same year.

----Mike

 
 
 

ID'ing 1st edition (Damned HBJ)

Post by By the Boo » Thu, 18 Sep 1997 04:00:00




Quote:
> Jon (By the Book), is this [symmetrical BCDE] the case with the book you
have?  If so, I
> retract my earlier rash statement, with apologies.
 --
> Jon Meyers

> > Jon, are you sure on this one. I've seen several copies for sale at
> various book shows, noted as first printings and they all started with B.

> > John S.

Yes, Jon (--gee, should one of change his name?) the letter row is
symmetrically under the 'first edition' slug. [This caught my eye, too...
but HBJ gives me fits so I sought help from the ng!]

 So after your first article, I decided I have only a reading copy,
proceeded to read it--last night--and drop it under the bed! Guess I'd
better fetch it, huh? (Better slap the dw in a Brodart while I'm at it!)

Gee, Mike, I don't know how hard it will be to sell, but it'll be a bear to
price!

And this IS a terrific book... and the movie is my favorite (and sure-fire)
"pull-me-out-of-pits" therapy.

Again, thanks to all

 
 
 

ID'ing 1st edition (Damned HBJ)

Post by Skjeish » Thu, 18 Sep 1997 04:00:00


The same is true of Ivan Doig's first novel, This House of Sky, published
by HBJ...no one seems to have ever seen a First Edition with "A B C D E" ,
they are all "B C D E."

If anyone out there has one with an "A," you have a very valuable book.

 
 
 

ID'ing 1st edition (Damned HBJ)

Post by Jon Meyer » Sat, 20 Sep 1997 04:00:00


I thought I might add one more chorus to this old song ("Damned HBJ").  I
found the following information in the "Points" column of the April 1997
issue of _Firsts_ (which shows how short my memory is), in response to a
question about a Fitzgerald book published by HBJ:

1) As noted earlier by Jon Butler (By the Book), the FE slug is "in
general" the important identifier, whether the row starts with "A" or "B."

2) Books 25 or 30 years old or so are "more likely" to have "B" rows in
FEs; newer books are more likely to show "A" rows.

3) "B" rows are not always centered, which leads people to believe that an
"A" version must exist, although it most often does not.

(This answer was written by Robin Smiley, publisher of Firsts.)

In general...more likely...not always...most often.  Are we all thoroughly
confused now?

--
Jon Meyers