Rare & Collectible Editions of To Kill a Mockingbird

Interest in the classic Harper Lee novel To Kill a Mockingbird has not waned over the fifty-five years since its initial publication. And it’s sure to spike with today’s release of her long-tucked-away second book, Go Set a Watchman.

We’ve seen very few first editions of To Kill a Mockingbird at our stores over the years, but we’ve bought and sold thousands of copies of various paperback and hardback editions, and a few of them are collectible.

Of the book’s many fans, few are willing and able to spend the $15 grand or so it would take to buy a true first edition, but the first’s priciness make some other editions collectible—while much more affordable.

Recently, one of our stores bought three copies, from the estate of a book dealer, of the 35th Anniversary Edition of Mockingbird, all signed by Harper Lee. They were “only” $1,000 each. The store sold all three copies in one day!

Later printings of the first edition are not the Holy Grail of Harper Lee, but close enough to it to have value. Here’s a 17th printing, available at the Dallas Flagship store for $250.

The slipcased 2006 edition is another affordable but special edition of the book. This copy is priced $70 at our Arlington Lincoln Square store.

Even the earliest book club editions of this treasure have some collectible value. This book club edition features a photo of the author, taken by her childhood pal Truman Capote. Lee requested that the photo be removed from later editions.

So, if you want to own a copy of this classic book to go with your brand new copy of Go Set a Watchman, you can pay the big bucks and get a first edition, you can buy a nice, clean paperback reading copy for a few bucks or you can settle for something in between that will grace your bookshelves. Any way you go, you’ll own a piece of American literary history that will be loved for generations to come.

Steve is Staffing & Development Manager (aka the “Buy Guy“) at Half Price Books Corporate.

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