BookThink Special Report

by Judy Lanskey

#129, 3 November 2008

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What Oprah Means to You as a Bookseller: Part I

When Oprah Winfrey recently chose The Story of Edgar Sawtelle as selection #62 in her book club series, the value of first edition copies, especially signed copies, shot up overnight. This made us wonder if some of her previous selections might also have value. After eliminating the non-fiction titles and doing some research, I have determined that first editions of the following Oprah selections do indeed have bookselling worth (minimum of $20 current value). [EDITOR'S NOTE: Part II of this list will appear next month.]

The prices listed are the current lowest value that I could find for an unsigned first edition/first printing on either ABE or Amazon. Please bear in mind that, as is the case with most collectible books, you should not pick up anything less than VG/VG and preferably F/F. With hypermoderns, do not bother picking up anything without a dust jacket. We also suggest that you immediately protect dust jackets in Mylar or equivalent sleeves to prevent damage. In the cases where the selection was a classic, some of these do have value even in early printings and without dust jackets.

#62: The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski (Ecco, 2008)

#60 The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett (Wm. Morrow & Co., 1989)

#59 Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Knopf, 1988)

#58 Middlesex: A Novel by Jeffrey Eugenides (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2002)

#57 The Road by Cormac McCarthy (Knopf, 2006)
Comments: Winner of the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Also, according to IMDB, a movie based on this novel will be released on November 26, 2008.

#56 Night by Elie Wiesel (Hill and Wang, 1960)
Comments: This seems to be a very scarce title in the first printing state. The copy I found at $350 on Abe stated that it was a later printing. I did see one set of the trilogy listed on Abe at $4,250 (Night is the first volume in the trilogy of books: Night, Dawn and The Accident). Also, there was a British edition, also published in 1960 by MacGibbon & Kee. The only British first I found is listed on Abe for $390. More good news on this title: The Easton Press leatherbound edition has good value, either singly at $95, or as a three volume set at upwards of $300.

#54 A Million Little Pieces by James Frey (Wm. Morrow, 1989)
Comments: Although this is non-fiction title, I opted to include it due to the controversy surrounding the truth of certain events in the memoir, which makes this book something of a collectible. The publishers and author have included a statement on the dust jacket and in the book, on all printings subsequent to April 15, 2006, regarding the alteration and embellishment of certain events in the book.

>>>>>Click here for page two>>>>

Questions or comments?
Contact the editor, Craig Stark

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