F. Scott Fitzgerald published one of his many novels, The Great Gatsby, in 1920 without a clue of how bright its future would be, especially 100 years later. The fictional story of Jay Gatsby, Nick Carraway and Daisy Buchanan, first fell into the laps of most high school literature students as a required read. After the release of the latest Great Gatsby film in 2013 starring Leonardo DiCaprio, however, readers across the country decided to give the novel a closer look.
Like any first edition book, original copies of The Great Gatsby are both rare and extremely valuable. Most authors use the first couple months to make sure that their book is doing well before printing more copies, which is one reason why first edition copies are so uncommon. A first edition copy of The Great Gatsby went on sale Through an online rare-book site, with a shiny price tag of $194,000. Some book collectors tend to forget the true reason behind publishing a book. It’s meant to be handled and read, which naturally leads to wear and tear. Prominently, many authors cannot predict whether or not their works are going to be considered a collectible. Today, there are multiple covers for The Great Gatsby, including the most recent cover from the popular motion picture.
So, how can you tell if your Great Gatsby copy is first edition?
According to sources, the first edition copy has a spelling error on the back cover. Instead of reading “Jay Gatsby”, the first name is spelt with a lowercase “j”, which was later corrected by hand with ink. (Although, if you were one of the few owners of a first edition copy, you would certainly be aware!)
Before F. Scott Fitzgerald died in 1940 at the early age of 44, he had only sold 25,000 copies of The Great Gatsby. Today, there are over 500,000 copies sold annually, including 415,000 copies branching from the latest motion picture, and 85,000 e-books (www.usatoday.com).