Golden Guide To Birds

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The Hardcovers:

The first printing of Birds was the hardcover edition with no number on the spine. This was published in 1949 by Simon & Schuster. The book itself has blue boards with a big four logo in the middle of the front cover. The dustjacket and title page state 118 Paintings In Full Color. Back of jacket states the next three titles will be on flowers, insects and trees [not capitalized]. No printing history can be found anywhere on this edition. Price of $1.00 is on the inside flap of the DJ. First book with Bluebird design endpapers. My copy is shown to the right.

The next hardcover edition of Birds lists 112 Birds on the DJ and title page. Cover of book states 118 Paintings In Full Color. Again published in 1949 by Simon & Schuster. No printing history can be found anywhere on this edition. Price of $1.00 is on the inside flap of the DJ. Back of jacket is the same as the previous DJ. On the book itself the Big Four logo has moved to the back of the book. Same endpapers as previous version. This is the last time this book appeared without a number.

I have another version of Birds with a pictorial cover and no decorated endpapers. Instead the Bluebird endpapers start on page four. The book states 118 Paintings In Full Color. I don't have a dustjacket for this book. And no printing history can be found. But because it has a pictorial cover I believe it was printed after the Logo Cover version.

The next hardcover edition of Birds lists 112 Birds on the DJ, cloth cover and title page. Again published in 1949 by Simon & Schuster. The letter C (third printing?) is on the inside flap of the dustjacket along with a price of $1.00. Back of jacket is almost the same as the previous DJ, noting that Flowers has been published. Same endpapers as previous version. Simon & Schuster finally give this book a number: #490.

The next hardcover edition of Birds lists 125 Birds In Full Color on the cloth cover, the dustjacket and the title page. Stated revised edition with a copyright date of 1956. The number on the spine of the DJ is 590. Later printings added the number to the spine of the book. Big Four logo near middle of back board. My copy has a P on the last page. (scan #4) Decorated endpapers changed to animal related boards that were later used on several other hardcovers.

The last hardcover DJ edition of Birds lists 125 Birds In Full Color on the cloth cover, the dustjacket and the title page. Stated revised edition with a copyright date of 1956. The number on the spine of the DJ and the book is 590. Big Four logo near middle of back board. My copy has a Z on the last page. The basic difference between this and the previous version is the addition of a number on the spine of the book and the fact that it was published by Golden Press.

Next is the hardcover Permaseal edition of Birds. This was issued without a jacket. The cover and the title page list 112 birds. Published by Simon & Schuster in 1949. Numbered #490 on the top of the spine. Blue bird design endpapers. My copy has the code D100100 on the inside front cover, which makes it a fourth printing. A first printing will have A100100.

Three versions of Birds exist in a large (5 ¼ by 7 ¾ inch) hardcover. The first is a revised edition listing 129 Birds In Full Color. Number on the back cover is 63505. The second version is the blue background edition. Also revised, as stated in the forward. The full ISBN number on the back cover is 0-307-63505-8. The third version is the all new cover. It is a revised edition 1987, 1991 Scholars Edition. The ISBN 0-307-64053-1 is on the back cover.

The Softcovers:

The first softcover edition of Birds: The softcover also has the number 490 at the top of the spine, but without the # symbol. 112 Birds listed on the cover and title page, and published by Simon & Schuster. This book has the famous Permaseal that Golden Press used on their books for years to come. Blue bird design endpapers, Big Four logo on inside of front free endpaper, dummy title page and blank verso as pages three and four, numbered pages end at 155 with 4 blank pages of records and last free endpaper to make 160 pages. Back cover states "Golden Nature Guides now include BIRDS, FLOWERS, INSECTS, and STARS will later include books on trees, reptiles and amphibians, mammals, and shells." My copy has G100100 on the inside front cover (endpaper).

The second softcover edition of Birds lists 125 Birds on the cover and the title page. Published by Golden Press in 1956. Stated revised edition. Endpapers now list Golden Guides available. Numbered 490 on the spine and a cover price of $1.00. This is the first edition with 160 pages of text. My copy has a Z on the last page.

The next printing of Birds states 129 Birds In Full Color on the cover and title page. It no longer states revised edition . But for obvious reasons it is. The number on the spine is 24490. Published by Golden Press in 1956. Cover price is $1.00. No printing code can be found anywhere on this edition. No small hardcover edition exists with this number on the spine. This cover also exists in a large hardcover.

Next up is the NASC version.This book appears to be a promotional item published for the North American School Of Conservation. It has the NASC symbol on the cover and the spine. Spine also states 'Reference Library' instead of Golden Press. The back cover talks about the schools role in conservation.

A slight cover change occured in the 70's. It no longer states revised edition . The number on the spine is 24490. Copyright date is 1956. Cover price is $1.95. The printing code on page 160 is 3I 3J 3K 3L 3M. Art of a couple Owls were added to the back cover. This cover also exists in a large hardcover.

A new cover was issued for Birds in 1987. Does not state revised edition . The number on the back cover is 24053. Published by Golden Press. Cover price is $3.95. My copy has an A on the last page. This title is still in print by St. Martin's Press.

This title is still in print by St. Martin's Press. Not a bad run for a book that was first published in 1949.


Birds Golden Guide