Charles Bukowski (1 Viewer)

I've seen Bukowski's poems online and through videos on Youtube and now I'd like to purchase some of his literature, now most people would just go to their local Barnes and Noble but I'd like to buy some first editions, can anyone tell me how can you tell a Bukowski book is first edition? Are they all paperback or are their some hardcovers as well?



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Are they all paperback or are their some hardcovers as well?
There are first editions of both. You can identify them by the color printing on the title page. Subsequent printings are all black ink.


The hardcovers also have different spine cloth depending on edition. Best place to find details about that is at Collecting Bukowski.
And also, if you plan on buying from eBay, beware of listings that are "first editions" but don't show pictures of the title page in color, or any pictures of the title page period.
They will be later printing of the first edition most likely. That one has bitten me on the ass. Not in a good way.
yes. Ebay is a great place to find deals, but also a place where uneducated people sell books and also some sellers prey in uneducated buyers. Being a first edition means next to nothing MONEY-WISE. You want the first edition, FIRST PRINTING. That is where the money is. Talking about Bukowski.... A 1st/1st of Ham on Rye (with color title page as above) is the first edition/first printing. The black-only title page from 15 years later is still a first edition, but much later printing. Anyone that lists this book from 1997 as a "first edition" is TECHNICALLY not lying, but the value of one is much less than the other. Some publishers make ti pretty tough to tell if a book is a true first. Black Sparrow Press really makes it obvious. Color title page and a colophon towards the end of the book and it is a first edition. No color on title page and no colophon, it is a later printing. If you are serious about this, and don;t want to make any costly mistakes, invest in a copy of the bibliography by Aaron Krumhansl. Then you can also see that certain hardcover first editions have different colored cloth spines. As a general rule, later printings will have a black spine. If the spine is any other color, it is almost always a first edition/first printing. a few first editions/first printings were ISSUED with a black spine, but that is an exception to the rule. Also, a few later printings had colored spines, but that is even more uncommon. By getting the Krumhansl book you can tell which one is which pretty easily.
Just to add a bit to what skiroomalum posted, the edition of a book is defined by it's content. If no changes are made for a second printing, that's technically a first edition, second printing. In terms of collectibility, you are generally, except in a few cases, interested in first editions, first printings. Of course, if Buk signed a later printing, then the book will have value to a collector. The only Black Sparrow book of Bukowski's that has a true second edition is Women, as a result of some editing that was done that Bukowski found out about and rectified for the second printing. Several non-Black Sparrow titles have had multiple printings, including A Bukowski Sampler, Fire Station, and Poems Written Before Jumping Out of an 8 Story Window, to name a few. In these cases, the first editions are worth more, but the second editions are still very collectible, and are generally worth somewhere in the neighborhood of 30-60% of the first printings in comparable condition.

Edit: Or, what Bill said...
Best place to find details about that is at Collecting Bukowski.
I'd definitely second that!

(it'll tell you about the complexity of the field, like differences between such things as "signed numbered" and "signed lettered" editions as well as those with an original painting/ drawing tipped in etcetc. Takes a little work but if you don't want to get ripped there's no way around being informed. And what BoS said: Aaron Krumhansl is a helpful source.)
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