First Edition of George Orwell’s ‘1984’ Sells for $3,000

By Jason Boog Comment

As controversy about federal programs to monitor your Internet and cell phone activity, two first editions of George Orwell‘s Nineteen Eighty-Four have sold for impressive sums this week.

The books were sold on AbeBooks, and the company shared a bit of history about price ranges for the classic novel about a dystopian surveillance state. Check it out:

A first edition, first printing in a green dust jacket sold for $3,000 (about £1,913) and a first edition, first printing in the red dust jacket sold for $2,845 (about £1,814). It is uncertain whether the green or red version came first, so it’s common to see both books listed as the true first edition. The book was published in 1949 by Secker and Warburg and, of course, is one of the most important novels of the 20th century … In April of this year, AbeBooks sold another first edition, in a red dust jacket, of the book for $10,000 (£6,438) – easily the most expensive copy of Orwell’s masterpiece that we have ever sold.

As NPR noted yesterday, the novel has seen an impressive sales jump on Amazon as well. One paperback edition is currently ranked No. 101 out of all books on the site.

UPDATE: SenorSensible adds this comment: “Just a note that AbeBooks did not “sell” either one of these copies. They were sold by an independent bookseller using the AbeBooks platform. AbeBooks does not have any books of their own, they just provide an internet marketing site for actual booksellers.”