Annotated Reference Guide to Collectible Books

Bradbury Fahrenheit 451

Ray Bradbury is often credited with popularizing the science fiction genre (despite his dislike of the label) and Fahrenheit 451 is arguably his most popular work, so it's no surprise that it is highly valued by collectors, both investors and fans alike. The novel also experiences surges of popularity as the political landscape cycles through changes, as the book is intrinsically political.

Fahrenheit 451 is interesting in that there were two first editions published simultaneously. The more mundane of the two is the hardcover, with a dust jacket that depicts a man made out of paper engulfed in flames. It should be noted that this cover art has been the norm for most printings of this book, so further steps should certainly be taken to confirm its authenticity. Because there are no misprints or identifying marks beyond the copyright page, professional appraisal may be warranted. This copy of the book can sell for as much as $9,000 if signed and in fantastic condition, but might be found for as little as $100 in less desirable condition.

The most collectible copy of this book, however, is the other first edition, which was famously bound in asbestos, a fire-resistant material relevant to the book's plot. One of these recently sold at auction for $11,400, but some in very good condition might sell for $15,000 or more. First editions from other countries, including but not limited to the U.K., New Zealand, and Russia, may sell for anywhere from $100 to several thousand dollars depending on condition.

Bradbury, Ray. Fahrenheit 451. Ballantine (1953). 200 signed copies in white asbestos

Bradbury, Ray. Fahrenheit 451. Rupert Hart-Davis, London (1954).

Bradbury, Ray. Fahrenheit 451. Limited Editions Club (1982). 2000 signed copies.

Bradbury, Ray. Fahrenheit 451. Simon and Schuster: New York (1993). 500 copies signed by author

Bradbury, Ray. Fahrenheit 451. Graham Press (2005). 150 signed deluxe copies; 503 copies in the edition.

Bradbury, Ray. Fahrenheit 451. Gauntlet Press (2007). 750 copies signed and numbered