Is My Dr. Seuss Book a First Edition?

Many people collect Dr. Seuss books, which have been hugely popular over the years and the center of lots of happy childhood memories. They’re avidly collected, but, unfortunately, have a reputation for being notoriously difficult to identify as first editions.

Here are some books and online resources which will help you find out if your Dr. Seuss books are first editions, and what their value may be.

Dr. Seuss Books: A Guide to First Editions

Dr. Seuss Books: A Guide to First Editions is a very thorough guide to identifying these books; it’s chock full of color photos, and all the details you need to figure our if your books are first editions.

However, it’s expensive, so you might see if your local library has it, or is able to have it sent from another library. There’s more information here:

The Children’s Picturebook Price Guide

The Children’s Picturebook Price Guide provides values for nearly 23,000 books, covering over 700 children’s book illustrators dating from 1929 to 2006. It includes Seuss books.

Though published a few years ago (some of the prices will have changed) it remains a helpful resource for collectors.

Other Online Seuss Resources

On Condition and Value

One thing to keep in mind with price guides is that the prices usually refer to books in very good (VG) or fine (F) condition, the conditions collectors most desire. (These terms have very specific meanings to book collectors – see my article on book condition grading for details.)

Many children’s books are in lesser – fair or good (G) – condition. This is because the books have typically been bumped, dropped, spilled on, drawn on, torn, dogeeared, dustjacket lost, etc. They may also be ex-library books. So it is important to assess the condition of the books you own. Children’s books in very good or fine condition are so much more difficult to find than those in good condition, and it is those which may reach the peak prices noted in the price guides. Books in good condition will sell for dramatically less than those in very good or fine condition.

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About Denise Enck

Denise is editor of Empty Mirror, as well as a writer and designer.