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Dear John:

I have a book that says first edition 5th impression.
What does this mean. Is it a first edition?

Thank you.

John replies:

Hi Mary -

The preferred printing for a collectible book is a "first edition, first printing." This can, at times, be difficult to determine. The best aid that we have found is McBride's "A Pocket Guide to the Identification of First Editions." This little pocket guide provides an overview for most publisher conventions for indicating a first edition.

First edition 5th impression is actually a 5th printing. This publisher uses the nomenclature "impression" in lieu of "printing." Nevertheless, the book indicated is a 5th printing.

I hope this helps.

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