Book collector Russ Bernard leads the book collecting discussions at our fan forum (the appropriately named The Books, the Covers, and the Collectors group) and he’s been on a mission for quite some time to find a first library edition of The House with a Clock in its Walls. It’s for a project that he’s piecing together – he’s shared some of it with us and it’s a compelling theory – but he needs some assistance in finalizing it.
"I am trying to find a copy to use for comparison between the various issues of the first printings of House, and I have copies of other issues but still need this regular library issue for comparison."
What makes a library edition a library edition you ask? Generally they appear similar to other editions purchased elsewhere, but for these the binding and hinges are made extra strong to allow for greater wear and tear. Recall: grubby little hands are sure to be found all over the children’s section in libraries and these books will get dropped off the shelf, stuffed into backpacks, and need to withstand long-term use.
Think you can help? The specifics of the Dial first edition, first printing that he’s looking for should have the following:
- Notation stating "First Printing" on the copyright page.
- Brownish-colored paper end pages with white cloth reinforcement at the inner hinges.
- A price of $4.58 on the lower right corner of the front dust jacket flap (the top corner of the flap is normally clipped).
- A gold and black label wrapped around the lower outside of the spine stating that the book is a library edition. The book will be bound in the same purple cloth with gold stamping on the spine that the trade issue is bound in.
- The full front dust jacket flap (with price).
- The inner hinges of the book.
- The rear cover cloth.
He’s supplied some sample images to show what this edition should look like:
- A mock-up of what the bottom corner of the dust-jacket front flap should look like (top image).
- The end pages from a sixth printing library issue showing the brownish paper with white cloth reinforcement (middle image).
- The front cover of a sixth printing library issue dust-jacket showing the gold label normally found on library issues (bottom image).