FIRST EDITION is stated on the copyright page. Black cloth decoratively stamped and lettered in gilt on spine. First issue jacket has Salinger's black-and-white photograph portrait credited to Lotte Jacobi on rear panel (very small, just above author's name.) Dust Jacket lacks Book-of-the-Month Club statement on front flap.
Dan Gregory from Between the Covers Rare Books discovered that the price on the first printing jacket is slightly thicker than the reprints, and the price has been repositioned on reprint jackets. In typographic terms, on first printing jackets the dollar sign is above the shoulder of the letter "R" but on reprint jackets the dollars sign
is above the tail of the letter "R" (please see photo). He also notes that the first printing dust jacket is 3 mm shorter than the reprint jackets.
The Catcher in the Rye is one of Time Magazine's 100 Best Novels. Other Time 100 Novels include Nineteen Eighty-Four and Invisible Man
To find the market value for this book, click on the pre-filled eBay, AbeBooks, or Biblio links to the right and look for comparable listings that have all of these first edition criteria.
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Picture of the 1951 first edition dust jacket for The Catcher in the Rye.
Picture of the first edition copyright page for The Catcher in the Rye.
Picture of dust jacket where original first edition dust jacket for The Catcher in the Rye. Notice how the dollar sign is above the shoulder of the letter "R" in "CATCHER".
Picture of the back dust jacket for the first edition of The Catcher in the Rye.
Picture of the first edition Little, Brown and Company boards for The Catcher in the Rye.
Picture of the back dust jacket flap for the first edition of The Catcher in the Rye.
Picture of the first edition title page for The Catcher in the Rye.
The dust jacket on the left is from a second printing. The dust jacket on the right is from a first printing. Notice how the top of the author's head is cut out slightly on the first printing.
The flap on the left is from a first printing. The red lines are added to show the dollar sign above the shoulder of the letter "R" in "CATCHER". The flap on the right is a reprint. Photo courtesy of Between the Covers Rare Books, Inc., ABAA/ILAB.
The front flap on the left is from an early book club edition. The front flap on the right is from a true first edition.
The back flap on the left is from an early book club edition. The back flap on the right is from a true first edition.
This is the first edition paperback published by SIGNET in 1953.
This is the copyright page from the first edition paperback.
This is the back cover of the first edition paperback published by SIGNET in 1953.
February 5, 2009, 4:56 pm
I had heard that Salinger was angered at the paperback cover because it depicted Holden with a suitcase in New York (he wanted no attempt at interpretation, and that the reader needs only the text) and eventually went with the red cover with yelllow title that lasted until the first-edition reproduction recently. Is this true? Also-it would be awfully hard to have a movie version match the amazing atmosphere I have imagined (and many other readers, I assume)-even I fight with myself about how it could be done (black and white, who the heck would play Holden, blah blah) and what storylines would be emphasized.
April 20, 2009, 3:50 pm
I have a copy without a stated edition or printing, without a price, no jacket photo, and no indication that it is a library reprint or a book club edition. Otherwise it resembles all the photos of the first edition hardcover. I would like to know what printing or edition it may be. Thanks in advance for any help.
May 13, 2009, 4:47 pm
You have a Book Club Edition. All Trade editions were enumerated. Also, there was a Book Club issue with the photo, and one without. If your book has "1951" at the bottom of the title page, you have a fairly early printing. If it does not, you have one of the last Book Club editions with no real means of determining actual date of printing.
If you have a cope with the letter "W" near the bottom of the copyright page, it was printed in TN.
That's abouot all one can detrmine.
May 13, 2009, 5:29 pm
Thank you very much for your reply. It does have 1951 on the bottom of the title page, and does not have a "W", no photo. I take it that book club editions were not required to identify themselves as such? It is in near mint condition, actually maybe mint... any idea of it's value? Thanks in advance, Richard.
Date: Wed, 13 May 2009 14:48:37 -0700
Subject: Reply to your comment...
May 19, 2009, 9:51 am
Normally without seeing the book it would be hard to say; in this case even with the book in hand it would probably be hard to say. This title has been reprinted in hardcover scores of times over the last several decades -- you could probably order a brand new hardcover copy, with the same cover art as the original edition, at your local Barnes & Noble. From what you describe, although I could not say what edition it is, I think there is no reason to suspect that it has any value except as a general used copy of a hardcover edition.
May 20, 2009, 2:59 pm
Thanks so much for you reply, I appreciate it. Richard.
Date: Tue, 19 May 2009 07:52:09 -0700
Subject: Reply to your comment...
November 15, 2009, 5:04 pm
I have a 30th edition copy , I think is from 1969 . I want to know if it has any real value?
June 6, 2011, 3:33 pm
How many true first editions of this book was published?
December 27, 2011, 2:02 pm
I just finished the book. I really don't see what all the fuss is about. I read To Kill a Mockingbird before this, and I thought it was a much better book. I guess I missed it!
March 1, 2012, 6:50 pm
I believe "The Catcher in the Rye" is truly THE great American novel. First time I read it was in 1951 (when it was published) and I was 20 years old. I am now 81 and am re-reading it for I know not how many times; roughly once every ten years. Each time I get a new perspective on Mr. Salinger's masterpiece and am always transported from page 1 to the end. Am very glad it has never been made into a film or play or anything else. It would be like re-painting the Mona Lisa. Let us not tamper with
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