First Edition Points and Criteria for The Catcher in the Rye

Year Published: 1951
Author Last Name: Salinger
Author First Name: J.D.
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Original Price: $3.00
Pages: 277

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

Picture of the 1951 first edition dust jacket for The Catcher in the Rye.
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 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
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 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 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 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.
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
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
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
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
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 first edition paperback published by SIGNET in 1953.

This is the copyright page from the first edition paperback.
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.
This is the back cover of the first edition paperback published by SIGNET in 1953.



Other first edition points for books by J.D. Salinger include: Franny and Zooey, Raise High the Roof Beam.

\"Franny \"Raise 

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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.