How to tell editions.

One of the following methods will work depending on when your book was printed.  Dates are approximate.

1.(1942 - 1946)  Edition number will be mentioned on the first or second page of book. Most of these books would have had Dust Jackets.

2. (1947 - 1970) Look on the last page of the book in the lower  right hand corner by the spine. There will be a letter and this letter tells the edition. For example A=1st, Z=26th, AA=27.

3. (1971 - 1991) On the bottom of one of the first two pages you will see something like A B C D E or a b c de. The first letter to the far left is the edition.

4. (1991 - 2001) These books, besides having the copyright date, will also have a printing date in Roman Numerals. If a book from this period does not have a Roman Numeral date it is a  first printing and it was left off by mistake. If the letter "A" precedes the Roman Numerals the book is a first edition. If an "R" precedes the Roman Numeral then the book is a (R)evised edition.

If there is not a letter preceding the Roman Numerals then the Roman Numerals are stating when the book was printed and there is no way to tell what edition the book is.  

For those of you not up on Roman Numerals "MCMXCI" is 1991. When reading Roman Numerals you subtract the number on the left from the one the right when the one on the left is smaller. (M =1000, C=100, X=10, VIII=8, VII=7, VI=6, V=5, IV=4 (or 5-1), 111=3, 11=2, I=1) So with the number "MCMXCI" you have "M"=1000, "CM"=900 (1000-100), "XC"=90 (100-10), "I"=1 for 1000 + 900 + 90 + 1 = 1991.

5. (2001 - Present) Sometime in 2001 the Roman Numerals were dropped for the more standard way of telling book editions. In this way the last number to the right of a row of numbers is the edition/printing.
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 is a first edition. Most first editions will also state First Edition.
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 is a third edition/printing.

6. If none of the above can be used it is probably a first edition. For books that have numbered titles on the back cover, you can look up the last book number listed and look up its copyright date in a guide and compare it with the copyright of the book you are not sure of.