FOR THE REALLY SERIOUS COLLECTOR, MODERN LIBRARY BOOKS TO 1975 ...

John jwol at fast.net
Mon Aug 1 14:32:29 EDT 2005


Yesterday I posted about an advertising sign I have dated Fall 1974/Winter
1975.  Scott observed, "On first glance, it looks like the total  
number of titles is less than the number offered in the late 60's  
which is interesting in itself."  Scott is correct, the poster has about 131
regular titles and 55 giants.

Two questions come to mind.

In the guide many titles are listed in the dates column as being available
to 1970.  I checked a few on my poster and noted they were still available
in 1975.  The Education of Henry Adams, 76.2 and Selected Stories of Sholom
Aleichem, 145.2 are two examples as listed on the poster for 1975.  Should
those items in the guide listed to 1970 really be 1975?

Second, how does one distinguish a true 1970 first from, say, a 1974 stated
first if the copyright page continues to contain a statement it is a first?
As an example, I have three copies of Kafka's The Castle, 388.1, each
containing the statement "Modern Library Edition, February 1969".  All three
also contain what appears to be the same catalog at the end of the book.
These are the differences:

-The first book is price-clipped and the other two reflect a $2.95 price.
-The second and third books have a slightly different list on the back of
the dust jacket than the first book.  The first has The Wings of the Dove
244, Lost Illusions G97, and Remembrance of things Past (7 Volumes) which
are not on the second and third books.  The second and third books have
Diary of a Young Girl 298, Out of Africa 23, and An Anthology of Famous
American Stories G77, none of which are on the first book.
-The second and third books have what appears to be an ISBN #, 394-60388-5,
which does not appear on the jacket of the first.
-First two books have Fajita eps and the third has blank.
-The third book is clearly thicker with the prematurely tanned pages.
-The first two books have silver lettering on the spine, the third has black
lettering on a very light sand colored cover.

Is anyone clever enough to sort through this information and designate one a
true first?

John Wolansky






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