Friday, September 10, 2010

Nancy Drew #56 2nd Printing 1980A-2

I have a 1980A-2 printing of Thirteenth Pearl according to Farah's 12th edition. There is not anything odd about the book itself, and it is just like the many other 2nd printings that have passed through my hands. It lists to #56 on the back cover and on the order form. It has Triple Hoax in italics on page 178.

I was writing the description of the book to sell it and was noting in the description that the book has a date written inside. I then realized that the date of "Christmas 1979" is rather odd for a book that was supposed to be printed in 1980 as Farah's Guide states.

I knew what this meant, but before acting upon it, I examined the book closely. I looked at my old "now sold" listings for the 2nd printing. I discovered little differences about Thirteenth Pearl that have no bearing on this topic, such as the fact that the first two printings have "TM" after Nancy Drew on the back cover. That "TM" has to be a reaction to the rights to the series transferring to Simon and Schuster. That was interesting although of no relevance to my issue.

The 1979 date is strong circumstantial evidence that the second printing was in 1979 rather than in 1980. It does not prove that the book was printed in 1979 since we do not know for a fact that the date was actually written inside the book in December 1979. However, dates are normally written inside books when the books are first purchased.

I contacted David Farah with this information. Farah told me that the dates used in his guide are the earliest ones that he has been able to prove. In past guides, he has changed printings to earlier years based on inscribed dates such as the one I found. Farah has made note of this inscription and plans to move the second printing earlier in the next guide.

I am glad I actually had the presence of mind to notice the date and the significance of it.


Jenn said...

How interesting! I too would agree with you--I would think someone would get a book and then back date it, that wouldn't make sense, so it must have come out in '79 too most likely.


stratomiker said...

It's all a guessing game because there are no records available with which to compare.

I recently listed a second printing of Invisible Intruder - a second according to Farah because it has the #2 multi-scene end papers. The first has the #1 ones. However, the book has only one blank page in back, like the first, instead of three like the second. So it's actually a first with second variation black/white endpapers.

Bibliograpgic standards would peg it as that, a first printing with variant endpapers. Fan guide-ology would now call it the 'true second printing' and the second printing would become a third.

I won't bother to notify Farah. He still hasn't listed books I sent him 25 years ago.

As far as inscriptions go, there are plenty of sellers who add inscriptions to old books in order to make them seem to be something they really might not be - dates, names, addresses, etc. My favorite was 'to somebody from somebody' to make it seem like it was presented to a well-known collector from the author. It helped to sell the book for a high price. But the collector swore on stacks of bibles that the book was never his nor had he gotten it from the author.


Paula said...

I recently purchased a tweed book of Nancy Drew Twisted Candle, no DJ, that has *nothing* on the cover - no title or symbols or anything on the front or spine. Just a plain tweed cover. I haven't received the book yet, but from the pictures, the inside pages seem to be normal. It has blue multi-scene endpapers, so must be from 1959-61. Since it doesn't have the DJ, I don't think I'll be able to nail down the year it was printed unless someone else has a similar one with DJ. Does Farah's Guide mention this variation at all? (It's not in my 10th edition of Farah's.) I'm interested if anyone else has come across this type of variation? Would you value this book more or less than a regular tweed book? It is unusual! Thanks in advance for any information!

Jennifer said...

I recall seeing a listing for a tweed Lilac Inn with the 3rd art DJ that had a book with nothing on the front cover. I would say that it is an uncommon error. Errors usually make the book worth less, but in this case, it might be worth somewhat more as an interesting and rather uncommon anomaly. I do not believe Farah's Guide mentions anything about it.

Lenora said...

Only related in the sense of odd variants . . .

I know I have more or less given up on Beverly Gray having any kind of standardized format during the 40s, but when cataloguing my books just now, I noticed that my copy of Assignment has a blue cameo cover, with the original blue college end papers. That at least is somewhat logical as I assume it is an early printing for that title--it lists to Challenge, The Rainbow Riddle, and The Quest of the Missing Map--putting it in 1947, when the change was made. But yeah, those 40s books are ridiculous. I have two that are the exact same medium green color, but they're completely different textures. Clearly they were using anything they could get their hands on, and the dust jacket listings weren't being updated very well .

Having just taken down what all my different series books list to makes me think Beverly Gray was faltering by #15 or so and going through very few print runs, because I've unintentionally accumulated many books from about that point on that list to earlier books or themselves. Not to mention it has about the shoddiest print history of any of the series I collect.