Young People's Library (Series 202)
Without question the most overhyped and overpriced book in this long running ubiquitous series of books is the Alice in Wonderland shown here.
First appreciate that this is not a true first edition or an Altemus first edition. The first American edition was published by Appleton 1866. The first Altemus edition was published in 1895.
The Alice's above were part of the Young People's Library, Formats 2 and 3 and were published between 1898 and 1923.
Also appreciate that this book originally had a dust jacket. The value without one is substantially less. With the jacket a decent copy should run $25-75.
This book, regardless of the format, is unbelievably common. I do not believe that a week has gone by in the last several years without a new copy being offered for sale or auction somewhere on the internet. In the last month 4 were listed at Ebay for sale. Presently 3 copies are up for auction. And on ABEBooks.com three copies which for sure are Young People's Library editions are for sale. Plenty common-wouldn't you say.
Here are some examples of incorrect advertising regarding this book:
||ALICE'S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND* 1897 * Lewis Carroll
Reality: As can be seen from the spine, this book is part of the Young People's Library Format 3. This format was not published until beginning in 1903.
||Printing Year: 1890|
Reality: As noted above, this book at its earliest was published in 1898.
Without a dust jacket, I cannot imagine paying more than $15-20 for this book. It is just too easy to find in decent condition.
This book continues to be unbelievably over hyped, inaccurately described and overpriced.
As a brief example I am going to look at one day on Ebay. Today is July 2, 2008. There are 3 Young People's Library format 2/3 books for sale. This is quite an average week. Over the course of the next 12 months probably 75 to 150 of these books will be auctioned. I would say pretty darn common.
Here are todays ads.
||1897 ALICE'S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND, BY LEWIS CARROLL
Reality: As you can see, the title page notes Henry Altemus Company. This denotes a post-1900 book. Thus either a late Format 2 or early Format 3. Not 1897 as this seller states. A very common book. Certainly not worth the $66 that is bid up to this time. Give this book $10-15 or wait for another. These are just too common.
||Alice's Adventures in Wonderland Lewis Carroll 1897|
Altemus' Young People's Library
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
By Lewis Carroll
With 42 Illustrations
Copyright 1897 by Henry Altemus
Henry Altemus Company.
Reality: Again the seller claims an 1897 publishing date. But he notes in the ad-Henry Altemus Company. This indicates a post 1900 date of publication. Thus relegating this book to the very common group of Late Format 2 or Format 3 Alice's.
||Alice's Adventures in Wonderland Book|
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll with 42 illustrations. 4 color & 38 black & white. Over 160 pages. Copyright 1897 by Henry Altemus. Altemus’ Young People’s Library.
Reality: This book is a Format 3 book based on its spine. These were published beginning in 1903. This seller's ad is accurate at least.
But these three copies are just a few examples of the dozens of this title in these formats that will appear on Ebay over the next number of months. Do not be taken in. If you want this book- Wait for your price.