First Edition Points and Criteria for Noah's Compass

Year Published: 2009
Author Last Name: Tyler
Author First Name: Anne
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Original Price: $25.95
Pages: 277

First Edition is stated on the copyright page with 2009 on the title page. Boards are light green with copper lettering on a textured light gray spine.

Noah's Compass raises significant questions about what it means when a book is published. As you can see from the first edition photos, all indications are that it was published in 2009. The copyright page states First Edition with 2009 as the copyright date. The title page states 2009. The back dust jacket flap has the code "10/2009", which indicates that the published time frame was around October 2009. There is in fact no mention of 2010 anywhere on the book. We even found a library copy where the Received Date was December 31, 2009 - and this lets us know that at least some copies were released in 2009.

Yet the publisher says that the publication date is January, 2010 on their website. The publisher also issued a "Signed Edition" limited to 50 copies; which is basically a regular first edition with a embossed band around the book, and a book plate signed by the author - this book plate explicitly states "FIRST EDITION 2010".

All of this suggests that the publisher intended to publish the book in 2009, and released some books in 2009. But for some reason the publisher changed its mind and declared a new publishing date after the book was already produced. So rather than changing the 2009 publishing information in the book, they left it alone, and simply declared a new publishing date, which they published on their website, in press releases, and on 50 "Signed Edition" book plates.

That said, we decided to go with the original information in the book and list its publication date as 2009. Our reasoning is that the year printed in the book will last longer than the "official" revised date which will only be evident in the 50 limited "Signed Editions".

Picture of the 2009 first edition dust jacket for Noah's Compass.
Picture of the 2009 first edition dust jacket for Noah's Compass.

Picture of the first edition copyright page for Noah's Compass.
Picture of the first edition copyright page for Noah's Compass.

Picture of dust jacket where original $25.95 price is found for Noah's Compass.
Picture of dust jacket where original $25.95 price is found for Noah's Compass.

Picture of the back dust jacket for the first edition of Noah's Compass.
Picture of the back dust jacket for the first edition of Noah's Compass.

Picture of the first edition Alfred A. Knopf boards for Noah's Compass.
Picture of the first edition Alfred A. Knopf boards for Noah's Compass.

Picture of the back dust jacket flap for the first edition of Noah's Compass.
Picture of the back dust jacket flap for the first edition of Noah's Compass.

Picture of the first edition title page for Noah's Compass.
Picture of the first edition title page for Noah's Compass.

The bottom of the back dust jacket flap has the code "10/2009", which indicates that the
The bottom of the back dust jacket flap has the code "10/2009", which indicates that the publishing date was October 2009.

The side of the dust jacket is consistent with other Knopf books published in 2009.
The side of the dust jacket is consistent with other Knopf books published in 2009.

This stamp on a first edition at a local library shows that it was recieved on the last
This stamp on a first edition at a local library shows that it was recieved on the last day of 2009. This suggests that the book was released in 2009.

This is the "Signed Edition" which is basically a regular first edition with a embossed
This is the "Signed Edition" which is basically a regular first edition with a embossed band around the book, and a book plate signed by the author.

This is the book plate from the "Signed Edition".  It is numbered, and states "FIRST
This is the book plate from the "Signed Edition". It is numbered, and states "FIRST EDITION 2010". The embossed seal ties the book plate with the book.

This Random House letter came with the "Signed Edition".  It states that the book was
This Random House letter came with the "Signed Edition". It states that the book was published in 2010.



Other first edition points for books by Anne Tyler include: Breathing Lessons, The Tin Can Tree, The Accidental Tourist, Celestial Navigation.

\"Breathing \"The \"The \"Celestial 

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Disclaimer: This website is intended to help guide you and give you insight into what to look for when identifying first editions. The information is compiled from the experience of reputable collectors and dealers in the industry. Gathering and updating information about these books is more an art than a science, and new identication criteria and points of issue are sometimes discovered that may contradict currently accepted identification points. This means that the information presented here may not always be 100% accurate. If you spot a mistake, drop us an e-mail and we will do our best to investigate and correct it.