I attended the semi-annual rare bookfair at the Lexington Avenue armory. God, what a glorious afternoon. Think of the one material thing you love the most in life. Now, imagine an armory chocked full of the very best of that one special thing.
It’s like going to the literature museum except you can buy stuff. I had expected to see some depressed prices. The economy is flat on its ass and I expected the prices for rare books to be adjusted downward accordingly but they were not. Stuff was still pretty pricey. Here’s a small sampling of the best of the best.
1. Ernest Hemingway’s To Have and Have Not. First edition. $3,000.
2. Ernest Hemingway’s In Our Time. The true first edition of his first book, published in Paris in 1924. Only 170 copies were printed. $28,750.
3. Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms. The only signed limited edition Hemingway published. One of 510 copies in its original slipcase. $15,000.
1. J.D. Salinger’s Nine Stories. First Edition. Signed. $6,500.
2. J. D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye. First Edition. One of the all-time classic dust jacket designs. And a pretty good read, too. $6,500.
3. Ernest Hemingway’s Men Without Women. First UK edition. The U.S. first edition would be considerably more expensive. Collectors prefer the first edition published in the author’s country of birth. Graham Greene UK first editions are more expensive than the U.S. counterparts. It’s called “following the flag.” $2,750.