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Annotated Reference Guide to Collectible Books

Burke Two for Texas

Two for Texas by James Lee Burke was originally published in 1982, but is one of the rare cases in the book collecting world where the first edition is actually not the most valuable edition of the book available, even when signed. There are several collectible editions of Two for Texas available, and quite a few signed copies as well.

The most collectible edition of Two for Texas was actually published in 1992, ten years after the book's original printing. This 1992 edition was designed from the start to be a collectible; it was illustrated by Joe Servello, bound in one-quarter leather with gilt lettering on the spine, and issued in a slipcase. These were limited edition, with only 400 copies printed. Each copy is numbered and signed by both the artist and the author. Despite their high appeal to collectors, these often sell for much less than one might expect; while some currently for sale are valued at nearly $600, a 2007 auction by PBA Galleries reached only $120 for a copy in fine condition.

While a fan of James Lee Burke might certainly enjoy owning a first edition of the book, I hesitate recommending it as an investment. Copies of the first edition, originally published as a paperback, are available for as much as $100 for like-new copies, but run the gamut of prices all the way down to less than list price for copies that have not been kept well. Another edition of this book that some collectors look for is the movie version, published in 2002, which might sell for $100-$200 if in good condition.

Burke, James Lee. Two for Texas. Cahill (1992). Limited edition, signed by author and illustrator