The Five Most Valuable First-Edition Books of the 20th Century

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The classics of contemporary literature are like pillars that provide the creative structure and frame of reference that other works of excellence may be built upon. They can also make quite the investment, according to a rare-book index compiled by the United Kingdom’s Stanley Gibbons Group last year.

As today, November 1, is National Author’s Day, RobbReport.com (in collaboration with Gibbons’ findings) shares the most valuable first editions from the 20th century to the present. Though each writer approached communication of thought disparately—from Ernest Hemingway’s commitment to keeping it simple yet powerful to James Joyce’s penchant for the complex and cryptic—these wordsmiths have ensured that their books will always bestow a high rate of return.