Literary first editions, whether they're popular fiction from authors such as Frederick Forsythe or Ken Follett or classics from Charles Dickens and Anthony Trollope, bring unique pages of history to your bookshelves. Searching for first editions of books is an exciting pastime because you never know what you may find.
First editions are the volumes from the first print run or impression of a book that are printed with the same type setting that was used on initial publication for commercial distribution. Collectible literary first editions can be difficult to identify. Sometimes a book is printed and released almost simultaneously in different countries, and you may wonder which is the 'true first.' Booksellers usually designate the country of origin of the author as the first country of publication, making volumes printed there the true first editions. Another term you may come across when you're browsing collectible literary first editions is 'first thus.' Publishers usually initially print block-buster authors in hard cover and then the paperback or illustrated editions may follow. The first printing runs of these formats are known as first thus editions.
Generally, literary first editions are valuable when they're in good condition, have an original dust jacket, and are rare or in demand. Appreciating value isn't the only reason to buy literary first editions, though. As a reader, you know that as you immerse yourself in a book, you make emotional connections with the characters. A first edition deepens the connection between you and the author. Writers are frequently intimately involved with first print runs of books, deciding on text format, illustrations, and dust covers, as well as the exact phrasing of passages of text. With subsequent printings, the publishers often make these choices.
You may be interested in first edition books for their financial value, because they're written by your favorite authors, or for the simple reason that the genre or subject matter fascinates you. Buy literary first editions and expand your collection of books.