Yikes! Collecting tips for John Steinbeck could fill a book, rather than a tiny box on our website, so we're going to give you the Cliff Notes version. His first book, Cup of Gold
(1929) is exceptionally scarce in jacket, especially when the spine is relatively unfaded. The Grapes of Wrath
(1939 - which better not have the "first edition" statement clipped from the bottom of the front flap) is a case where there exists lots of supply, but even more demand, so prices can vary wildly depending on fairly minor variations in condition. Of Mice and Men
(1937) invariably has a jacket that is slightly shorter than the book, apparently issued thus by the publisher, so fret not, or at least fret less than you might otherwise if this is the case with your copy. Cannery Row
(1945) has to have buff-colored boards; copies in bright yellow boards are later (although still marginally collectible). His last few books are relatively common, but are usually well read, so fine copies are worth pursuing.
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We also offer a comprehensive John Steinbeck Bibliography and Price Guide