A Day at the Library

I stopped by our biannual Friends of the Library book sale today just as they were opening the doors for the end-of-day $4/bag blow-out. Each participant was handed a paper grocery bag and let loose into a room filled with boxes of books. Even though I was sure most of the collectors had gotten their earlier in the day to scour the boxes for collectibles, I still perused the tables full of boxed books.

None-the-less, I came away with one and a half paper bags full and to my delight, paid a whopping $8 to the library friends. And what did I find?

Not one, but TWO stated first editions of Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code. Both books are in the Very Good range, with normal shelf ware (worth between $200-$400). According to Publisher's Weekly, Doubleday published 218,000 copies in the first print run (originally reported to be 85,000 but interest in early releases of the book upped the ante).

In case you think you might have a first print run of The Da Vinci Code:  look for the words "First Edition" on the copyright page along with the full number line (10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1). A price of "U.S. $24.95/Canada $37.95" needs to appear on the dust jacket flap, and two errata: one on page 152 (the city of Lyon was changed to Lille in later editions) and one on page 243 ("skitoma" was replaced by "scotoma").  The height of the book should measure 9 1/2 inches. (Smaller books are the book club edition, and even if they state "first edition" and have the full number line and the erratum, they'll only be worth about $1). It's interesting to note that the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th print runs totaled 44,000 and are far more scarce than the first print runs (although from what I've seen, they don't garner higher prices). And they too have the errors on pages 152 and 243.

I also scored a first edition of Ken Follet's The Pillars of the Earth in Good Condition (worth about $150) and a first/first of Cold Mountain in Very Good condition (worth about $100). John Sandford's Easy Prey ($50). Not bad for an $8 investment.

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