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Annotated Reference Guide to Collectible Books

Hemingway For Whom the Bell Tolls

For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway is one of his most successful novels, popular at the time of publishing all the way through modern day. Hemingway's popularity as a writer makes any of his books collectible, but the long-lasting impact of this novel makes it in particular a valuable addition to any collection, whether it be as an investment or out of admiration for the author.

Signed first edition copies of For Whom the Bell Tolls are by far the most valuable collectible copies of the book available. While signed copies are not as exceedingly rare as some of Hemingway's other novels, they are not common and the prices they sell for reflect that. Signed copies will generally sell for at least $1,800 even if in terrible condition. Alternatively, those in excellent condition can sell for as much as $17,500. It is worth noting that no personalized signed copies have gone to auction in recent years, so it is possible that individualized copies could sell for substantially more.

The first edition of this book will generally come with its dust cover, a mostly black design with red and white lettering. Unlike many other books, in which the second printing or first printing in another country might be worth collecting, when it comes to For Whom the Bell Tolls, it would appear that only first editions in relatively good condition with dust jackets are worth very much money at all; in fact, first editions in poor condition can be bought for just a few dollars more than what might have been paid for it new. While this may be surprising for a book of such renown, it is worth noting that the first printing consisted of 75,000 copies, and even at the time many people predicted they would be collectible, meaning the market became what might be considered oversaturated, driving demand down for everything but the finest copies.