Tolkien Library Store - Original Cloth Bindings - The Hobbit original bindings

The Hobbit, J.R.R Tolkien, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1938. Library Edition 1st American edition of The Hobbit
#CLP0504 - The Hobbit, J.R.R Tolkien, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1938. Library Edition 1st American edition of The Hobbit - sold

This particular copy is a 1st printing, later state, with the emblem on the title page of a seated flautist Library copy.

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The Hobbit, J.R.R Tolkien, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1938. Library Edition 1st American edition of The Hobbit.



This edition is the 'library' variant, with unusual covers designed for library usage. Being the American issue, it's larger than the British editions, and features the colour illustrations by J.R.R. Tolkien. Housed in a simple slipcase, showing light wear.
Book covers bright with a few small marks. Top of text blog shows some wear.
Book features new front/ endpapers. So no maps in this edition.
Small library stamp to rear page, and library pastedowns. Also page 219 has a library stamp to the page.
Page 85 has some nudge in the edge. Overall nice for a library edition - and a very rare find.

The bookbinder was probably 'Savidge and Kimmel, Phila., Pa'. Several identical examples of the library edition have been reported, and because the endpaper maps show no evidence of having been glued down originally, it would not have come about as ad hoc rebinds by libraries. Rather, a major bindery is assumed to have sourced the text block directly from the publisher. This library edition trimmed a full 5 mm from the text block's outside margin and a combined 3 mm vertically.

The library cover shows the image of an (apparent) elf. The title text contains the author's name as well as the title. This is the same for all similar library editions. This particular copy is a 1st printing, later state, with the emblem on the title page of a seated flautist.

The 1938 The Hobbit is valuable to readers because it contains many line drawings and full-color illustrations by Tolkien, himself, giving us his visual interpretation of what hobbits, hobbit-holes, and dragons look like.

The text of the 1938 Hobbit also differs in important ways from the one known to most readers today. As Tolkien had the text updated after the publication of The Lord of the Rings, to better connect the two stories. Especially the chapter 'Riddles in the Dark' saw a big revision. Here is your chance to read the original version of The Hobbit.


A highly collectable copy, hard to find in this condition.

Digital photo's available, inquire if interested.

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