FIRST EDITION is stated below the number line 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 on the copyright page. Boards are gold with navy cloth spine and gold lettering. The dust jacket carries a price of $10.95 on the front flap. The back of the dust jacket has a photo of the author above a short bio in the center, ISBN:0-525-23770-4 on the bottom left, and 0478 on the bottom right.
The 0478 on the bottom right of the dust jacket back is sometimes mentioned as a first edition point, but it is found on later printing jackets as well. Later printing dust jackets are however about an eight of an inch shorter than the first printing jacket. Please refer to the last photo on this page for more details.
Note: Some have asked why there are copyright dates from 1976 and 1977 on the copyright page if the first edition wasn't published until 1978. The answer is that portions of the book appeared in magazines in 1976 and 1977 before the entire book was published in 1978. This is a common practice to note years where portions of a book were previously published. The 1951 first edition of The Catcher in the Rye, for example, states 1945 and 1946 on the copyright page because portions were previously published in The New Yorker.
The World According to Garp won the National Book Award.
Picture of the 1978 first edition dust jacket for The World According to Garp.
Picture of the first edition copyright page for The World According to Garp.
Picture of dust jacket where original $10.95 price is found for The World According to Garp.
Picture of the back dust jacket for the first edition of The World According to Garp.
Picture of the first edition Dutton boards for The World According to Garp.
Picture of the back dust jacket flap for the first edition of The World According to Garp.
Caution: Later printings of the first edition were about and eight of an inch shorter than the first printing. Consequently when a later printing dust jacket is married to a first printing book, the dust jacket appears slightly shorter than the book. Also, notice that later printing dust jackets have 0478 on the back. This is sometimes, and incorrectly, thought to be a first edition point of issue.
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.