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Annotated Reference Guide to Collectible Books

Bukowski Factotum

Charles Bukowski is a widely loved author, and Factotum is considered by many to be his best book, despite being only his second published work. The book received a recent boost in popularity when, in 2005, a movie based on the book and bearing the same title was produced starring Matt Dillon. However, despite all that, collectible copies of Factotum remain surprisingly affordable.

Factotum was originally published in 1975, a more recent date that may have something to do with the relatively low prices. The hardcover first edition has a printing run of 1000 copies, and can be identified by the brown cover, orange-red spine, and a black geometric design on the front. Without a signature, this book can be found for as little as $350. 250 copies of this printing were signed and numbered by the author, which sell for as much as $1,500 depending on the condition of the book. The rarest copies are 75 numbered copies that are not only signed but include an original, one of a kind painting by the author. A recent auction of one of these copies sold for $3,300 but others may be valued at as much as $6,000.

Other copies of Factotum that might be collectible if in good condition are first edition paperbacks and first editions published in other countries, including the U.K., France, and Spain. These are often available for less than $200, making them an ideal starting point for a beginning collector on a budget.

Bukowski, Charles. Factotum. Black Sparrow (1975). 75 copies signed with original artwork; 1000 trade copies