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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.

 How can I tell the year that my book was published, since I can't date by copyrights?

If  your book was printed during the original numbering 1-600 or Disney D1-D139 you can get close to the printing  date of your book by useing the titles on the back cover.  For example you have, # 25  The Taxie That Huried and the copyright is 1946. By just looking at the titles on the back cover you can tell instantly that this book was done later because one of the book listed is the Jetsons.  The Jetsons wasn't done as a cartoon until the 1960's.  Now that just proves that the book is not as  old as the copyright once you to believe but how do I get closer to the date of publication?  Take the last book listed in the book I'm useing it's #538 Bedtime Stories , since this title was published earlier we would use the 2nd to the last title which is # 531 Pebbles Flintstone.  By using my guide we would look up #531 Pebbles Flintstone and see that it has a copyright of 1963.  We now now that our copy of  The Taxie That Huried was printed between 1963 - 1964 .  Add a year to cover a later printing.  You can also use the Disney listing but depending on the period there are more reprints.

 Is there a way to keep down the cost of reprints and books in lesser condition?

It doesn't matter if you collect books, toys, cars, dolls or anything else the first of any item is always going to be the most valuable.

Most of you have seen people trying to sell a five-digit Disney title like Dumbo for $10.00. As collectors, you know how to tell the different editions. I would very much doubt that any of you would buy it. Why? Because for one thing you can figure on finding a 42 page reprint for $10 - $15.  So why buy a 24 page one for $10.00.. Now you knew that, but someone who remembers that story of Dumbo would probably not. All they know is "I have to have that book", so they pay the price. Now the sellers thinks" If someone is going to pay me $10.00 for that Little Golden Book what can I get for these others that are only a little worn." *Sellers definition of Little Worn: a book that has been teethed on two comers, back cover held on by 1" of paper, Little Johnny colored the faces but it is done neatly) and are you sure this page wasn't supposed be tom in half. I've exaggerated but I'm sure you get the picture.

Now  you see this 1st edition of the little worn book and it has a price of $8.00, can you imagine what they would ask for the book in mint condition. $40.00? Do you buy it at this price? If you said yes I either hope the  book is very rare and/or it's the only book you need to finish your collection because you just made it harder for anyone to get a fair price from this seller in the future. As with any collectible it is only worth what  you feel it is worth. If you feel its worth only $2.00 as a filler until you can find a better copy then buy it. But always keep in mind when buying a lesser quality book, you're probably going to spend more to upgrade it. When you bought that poor book for $ 8.0 0 you just told the seller to charge you more next time for a nicer one.

If you're finding them at garage or flea markets you may get a chance to find a deal. But if you're flea markets are like mine out here everybody's an antique dealer. There are quite a few respectable dealers but we're seeing more and more people selling many different items and experience in none.

If you were to ask fifty dealers where they got their prices that their selling Little Golden Books for, you'd get almost 50 different answers.

They might say, "I got the prices out of the price guide." Did they now. Did they read the price guide to find out about different editions or when the book was really printed. You all have seen books that seller has written 1956 printing on the tag and yet the book shows a picture  of Bert and Ernie from Sesame Street on the back cover. I have politely said, "This is not correct".  "What do you mean it's not correct the copyright says 1956, see." "But it shows Bert, right here on the back cover , and he didn't become famous until many years later." At his point most dealers say, "Thanks for pointing that out I didn't know". I have also had a few get upset with me for  poking my nose in their business. The later being a minority.

Some other methods sellers use to price books are, "Oh, this is an old book.", "Anything that has to do with Christmas people pay more  for.", "I just thought it up.", "Well, this book is doll related." and "I think it's cute''. We have all heard remarks like these and many more when out on our quest for Little Golden  Books. Because of the different types of people that sell Little Golden Books we are going to see many different prices and hear many different reasons for their prices. I have met people that tell me they got their prices out of my guide. Yet the book is destroyed and they are asking the mint price. Why? Because most dealers do not read guides, they just use the values without any idea of what the mean. I'm not saying that when  you see a price in my book that you will buy it for that amount. The prices shown are a guide, they are meant to show which book or type of book will be worth more then another and to give an idea of the approximate  value. I had a dealer come up to me the other day with a 7th printing of The Three Little Kittens. She wanted to know if the price she had on the book was a good price. The book was in less than Good condition. The  price a mere $45.00. She was really sincere about the question. She said, "This is the first Little Golden Book." "Yes, it is the first story but it's a reprint", I told her. Even if it had been a 1st edition the book in the condition it was in was hardly worth $10.00 let alone $45.00.

So is there away to keep the price of reprints down? Probably not. If you think a book is over priced because it's a reprint, or the condition is bad for the price let the seller know. The seller may not have known that the book was a reprint or had a blemish. Quite a few times I've found that the seller will lower the price. If the price is still not what you feel it's worth don't buy it. Now that doesn't mean it's not going to be sold later to someone else, it just means it's worth more to someone else. Little Golden books are somewhat like a runaway  train right now and I have no idea when it's going to stop.

Since the prices in Collecting Little Golden Books are for 1st edition in VF - NM condition. How do I put a value on reprints?

Because some titles had many reprints and others maybe only one it is a difficult question. A 2nd edition of one would be worth more than another. If you know the book had many reprints (example.. Little  Red Riding Hood, Bedtime Stories and The Poky Little Puppy). A reprint would not be worth much, unless it was an edition with the original pages. Reprints of books that have less pages than the original should be a lot  less. If the book had only one reprint then it could sell for close to original value.

Well, then how do I know how many reprints a book had? You don't.. But if you're holding a 4th printing and the sellers is asking a price that you'd pay for a first let him know what its worth to you and why. All he can say is NO.

How do I get price tags off of books?

If it's a paper sticker tag you can use  rubber cement thinner. Using a cotton swab wet the sticker to the point of absorption. Let it soak in for a few seconds and the very carefully peel off the sticker. If the sticker appears to be tearing the cover wet the  sticker again and start from the opposite side. You want to start at the opposite side otherwise you may tear the loose piece of cover off. If the sticker is plastic you'll probably need to use a warm iron or hair blow-dryer, unless you can get the thinner underneath the sticker. I've used the thinner on many cover and have had a light stain on only a few. In cases where I had a stain it was due to the stickers glue and not the  thinner.

You can also use a warm iron on the sticker and remove the sticky residue with the thinner. This method also works on Scotch, masking and white tape. I prefer to use the rubber cement thinner first if it  works because heating the masking and white tape leaves a messy residue to remove. When working with tapes try not to put the iron directly on top of the tape. Usually holding it a inch above will suffice. For large areas of cleaning use may wish to use a cotton ball.

What type of bags should I use to protect my LGB's?

I use the Regular Comic Book size Polypropylene bags. These bags are 7-1/8"x 10-1/4" and have a 2" flap. You can pick these up at any comic book store.

Do you erase pencil markings in books?

When erasing pencil marks on LGB's I recommend holding the page down firmly with your fingers. The reason for this is that if you don't you may wrinkle or rip the page. Whenever possible always erase in the same direction. My ersaser of choice is the grey  neading eraser, but I also use a pink or the white rubber erasers. I like the greay because it seem to get into the indentations left they the pencil better then the others.The white eraser is good when the grey doesn't work but depending on the paper the pink can leave a pink stain. If the marks were made by a hard pencil you're still going to have an imprint on the page. When erasing remember to erase as softly as possible. Don't try  to remove it all in one rease, all you'll end up doing is ripping the page.

What is a War Edition?

On the copyright page of a War Edition it will say " First printing, this edition, July 1943" instead of "First printing, September,1942 " for example. War Edition book have less pages.

 How many Disney Little Golden Books were printed with the Mickey Mouse Club Spine?

The following 31 titles had the Mickey Mouse Club spine.

D3 Dumbo

D4 Snow White

D6 Uncle Remus

D7 Bambi

D8 Pinocchio

D14 Donald Duck's Adventure

D15 Mickey Mouse's Picnic

D16 Santa's Toy Shop

D18 Donald Duck's Toy Train

D27 Donald Duck and Santa Claus

D32 Mickey Mouse and Pluto Pup

D33 Mickey Mouse Goes Christmas Shopping

D35 Seven Dwarfs Find a Home

D39 Donald Duck's Christmas Tree

D41 Donald Duck's Safety Book

D44 Donald Duck in Disneyland

D46 Little Man of Disneyland

D47 Davy Crockett's Keelboat Race

D48 Robin Hood

D49 Donald Duck Prize Driver

D50 Jiminy Cricket Fire Fighter

D51 Mother Goose

D52 Goofy Movie Star

D53 Mickey Mouse Flies the Christmas Mail

D54 Perri and Her Friends

D55 Donald Duck and the Mouseketeers

D56 Peter and the Wolf

D58 Cinderella's

D59 Cinderella

 D61 Sleeping

D67 Seven Dwarfs Find a House