FIRST EDITION is stated below the number line 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 on the copyright page. Boards are gold with navy cloth spine and gold lettering. The dust jacket carries a price of $10.95 on the front flap. The back of the dust jacket has a photo of the author above a short bio in the center, ISBN:0-525-23770-4 on the bottom left, and 0478 on the bottom right.
The 0478 on the bottom right of the dust jacket back is sometimes mentioned as a first edition point, but it is found on later printing jackets as well. Later printing dust jackets are however about an eight of an inch shorter than the first printing jacket. Please refer to the last photo on this page for more details.
Note: Some have asked why there are copyright dates from 1976 and 1977 on the copyright page if the first edition wasn't published until 1978. The answer is that portions of the book appeared in magazines in 1976 and 1977 before the entire book was published in 1978. This is a common practice to note years where portions of a book were previously published. The 1951 first edition of The Catcher in the Rye, for example, states 1945 and 1946 on the copyright page because portions were previously published in The New Yorker.
The World According to Garp won the National Book Award.
To find the market value for this book, click on the pre-filled eBay, AbeBooks, or Biblio links to the right and look for comparable listings that have all of these first edition points.
Picture of the 1978 first edition dust jacket for The World According to Garp.
Picture of the first edition copyright page for The World According to Garp.
Picture of dust jacket where original $10.95 price is found for The World According to Garp.
Picture of the back dust jacket for the first edition of The World According to Garp.
Picture of the first edition Dutton boards for The World According to Garp.
Picture of the back dust jacket flap for The World According to Garp.
Caution: Later printings of the first edition were about and eight of an inch shorter than the first printing. Consequently when a later printing dust jacket is married to a first printing book, the dust jacket appears slightly shorter than the book. Also, notice that later printing dust jackets have 0478 on the back. This is sometimes, and incorrectly, thought to be a first edition point of issue.
October 14, 2009, 1:31 am
the description of the 0478 business is just a little less than absolutely clear. Please clarify: does the first state dj have the number or not? I assume the description means that second state dj ALSO have the number, but the second to last picture is oddly cut off!
Great site though.
October 14, 2009, 8:08 am
Yes, you are right. we added some better photos and cleaned up the description to make it clear.
October 24, 2009, 7:52 pm
Thanks, this helped me greatly as I used it to acquire a copy. I really enjoy this site and use it often. Keep up the great work.
December 21, 2011, 6:46 pm
Are you saying that this is a first edition of the 1978 print run? It not a true first edition or else it wouldn't have copyright dates of 1976 and 1977, right? ("true first edition" may not be quite the words I'm looking for...maybe an original?)
Thanks for the clarification.
January 20, 2012, 5:58 pm
Sorry for the late reply. The book was first published in 1978. However, portions of the book appeared in magazines in 1976 and 1977 before the entire book was published in 1978. That's the reason why you see 1976 and 1977 on the copyright page. This is a common practice to note years where portions of a book were previously published. The 1951 first edition of The Catcher in the Rye, for example, states 1945 and 1946 on the copyright page because portions were previously published in The New Yorker.
Disclaimer: This website is intended to help guide you and give you insight into what to look for when identifying first editions. The information is compiled from the experience of reputable collectors and dealers in the industry. Gathering and updating information about these books is more an art than a science, and new points of issue are sometimes discovered that may contradict currently accepted identification points. This means that the information presented here may not always be 100% accurate. If you spot a mistake, drop us an e-mail and we will do our best to investigate and correct it.