This week’s Booking Through Thursday prompt asks “How about First Editions? Are they something special? Or ‘just another book’ to you?”
I admit I’m not really a book collector. Maybe some feel having a first edition of a book you really love is special. I don’t really care if I have a first edition, however. To me, they’re not really all that special. What I find more special is a signed edition or an edition that means a lot to me. For instance, I have three copies of Wuthering Heights, but in many ways, the one I like best is the first I read, even though it’s a mass market paperback and has tiny print. It represents my first experience with the book. On the other hand, I love the gorgeous cover art of Ruben Toledo in the newer Penguin edition, too.
On the other hand, the first edition of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire has an error due to an editor’s mistake. This error was corrected in later editions. The error, if you’re interested, is that James Potter comes out of Harry’s wand first when Voldemort’s wand begins to regurgitate spells because of its association with Harry’s wand. If the spells are regurgitating in proper reverse order, Harry’s mother should come out before Harry’s father because he was killed before. I like the correction better.
Books are to be enjoyed and read. If I had a first edition and needed to keep it under wraps and handle it with gloves, I wouldn’t enjoy it. I keep my signed books safe, but I still read them and enjoy them. I don’t know how valuable they would be to someone else, but they’re valuable mementos of my opportunity to meet an author and talk with them about their books.