Signed First Edition Club
Harvard Book Store

Signed First Edition Club

Each month, Harvard Book Store offers Signed First Edition Club members a signed first printing of a newly published book, selected for both its literary merit and potential collectibility. 

Sign up for the monthly Signed First Edition Club today or give a gift membership! You may choose to give a gift membership for six months, one year, or indefinitely. 

The Signed First Edition Club brings some of the most well-known and well-respected authors writing today to your bookshelf—renowned novelists, essayists, historians, memoirists, and poets—as well as acclaimed debut and emerging authors. Launched in 2007, the club has been a popular service for Harvard Book Store customers and readers across the country for over a decade! Check out the prestigious past selections that have been featured over the years here.

(Learn about a new club launched in Spring 2019, delivering four debut novels each year, here.)

Recent and Upcoming Selections

Our July Selection

The Nickel Boys: A Novel by Colson Whitehead

“A gripping and brilliant novel based on a true story about a boys’ reformatory school in Florida in the 1960s. Whitehead is one of the most daring and gifted authors writing these days, and I will never miss one of his books.”

—Elizabeth Gilbert, author of City of Girls 
 

"After reading The Underground Railroad, I wondered if Colson Whitehead would be remembered in the same way we remember Virginia Woolf or Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Now, I’m certain he will be, after reading the masterful work that is The Nickel Boys. The first part of the book is simple and beautiful, almost domestic. I would have been satisfied reading about the normalcy of everyday life forever, as long as Whitehead was behind the pen. But, he doesn’t let his readers off that easily. Whitehead writes pain and the struggle of human morality in a way that reaches straight to the soul. He could easily make a living writing about the comfortable things, but he doesn’t. This story of Elwood Curtis—a boy placed unfairly in a juvenile prison in Jim Crow Florida—will have any reader weeping from the unfairness and truth of it all, and rooting for Elwood to the point of desperation. Colson Whitehead writes the stories humanity will still need hundreds of years from now."

—Audrey S., Harvard Book Store

What are the benefits of membership? 

Each month, members receive a premium book of recent publication. A collection of signed first editions will enhance any library, and many signed first editions appreciate in value. Also, your membership supports Harvard Book Store, a landmark literary institution, and helps ensure that the store will exist—and continue to host its award-winning author event series—for years to come.

What is a signed first edition? Why is it valuable? 

A first edition is the original printing of a book. First editions are distinguished from subsequent printings, as they represent the closest edition in time and intent to the author's original work. A signed first edition is a unique addition to any library, and to dealers and collectors, a signed first edition is the most desirable—and valuable—edition.

What will I receive? 

Harvard Book Store’s selections represent the forefront of literary fiction and nonfiction and reflect the acclaimed authors hosted by the store’s award-winning event series. Selections are personally chosen by our discerning staff of readers. View the complete archive of previous club selections here, view recent picks and see why our staff loved these books here, and check out upcoming selections at the top of this page.

The books in this program are guaranteed first editions, personally signed by the author. Each book arrives in pristine condition with its jacket in a transparent protective wrapping to extend the life of the book. 

Starting in Summer 2019, selections will come with a custom-made bookmark, with a few words from a member of our staff on why we loved this book.

How much does membership cost? 

There is no sign-up cost. All you pay is the publisher's list price on the book ($26 - $30 on average per month) plus a flat shipping and processing charge and Massachusetts sales tax (if applicable). Current terms can be found on the sign-up form.

Can I give a membership as a gift? 

Of course! A gift subscription is a thoughtful, sui generis present for loved ones, recent grads, and newlyweds alike. You may choose to give a gift membership for six months, one year, or indefinitely, and you may cancel the membership at any time. You may download and print out a gift insert to give to the recipient. The inserts are available for six months, one year, and indefinite memberships.

Do I have to provide my credit card number? 

Yes. In order to efficiently manage this unique program, Harvard Book Store requires that all members provide a credit card number upon sign-up.

What if I don't want a certain month's selection? 

Harvard Book Store stipulates that members with six month and one year memberships may not refuse selections. Those with ongoing memberships may refuse up to two (2) books in a calendar year. To refuse a selection, members must respond within seven days to the title announcement email.

May I return a selection? 

All Signed First Edition titles, after purchase, are non-refundable and non-returnable.

Is there a limit to how many people can sign up? 

Yes. As signed first editions are difficult to procure in large quantities, Harvard Book Store must limit the number of members. If the member limit is exceeded, a wait list will be started.

Are there additional signed book clubs I can join? 

In the spring of 2019 we launched a second signed book club, focusing on debut novels. Learn more about that club at harvard.com/signednewvoices!

I have a question that isn't answered here. Whom do I ask? 

Ask a bookseller in the store, call us at (617) 497-1156 ext. 5, or write to signedfirst@harvard.com.

How do I sign up? 

 Sign up using our secure online form.

Signed 1st Edition Club

Sign Up Form

Join our Signed First Edition Club, or give a gift membership, using our secure online form:

» SIGN UP HERE

The above sign-up form also includes current shipping and processing rates as well as the terms of membership. Thank you for supporting Harvard Book Store, a landmark literary institution, with your membership!

Recent Selections

January 2019 Selection

The Age of Light by Whitney Scharer

"The Age of Light is based on the story of Lee Miller, who was the assistant to and lover of the artist and photographer Man Ray. As Miller grows into a successful artist in her own right, the dynamics of their relationship shift, and both parties are forced to re-examine their artistic and personal needs and priorities. The prose is brilliant, capturing the time and place with near photographic detail and composition. The bohemian art world of 1930’s Paris comes vividly alive; the reader feels part of the scene, shopping for eclectic items at Paris’s flea markets and going to parties with Jean Cocteau and Picasso. This is a gorgeously written portrait of an exceptional woman refusing to be constrained by the norms of her time."

—Linda S., Harvard Book Store

February 2019 Selection

Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James

"Black Leopard, Red Wolf is chillingly original. In Marlon James’s epic, the extremes of fiction become obsolete—creatures and landscapes stretch the confines of imagination, villains drip with unparalleled horror and revulsion, fantasy tropes get squashed and replaced. The novel follows Tracker, a vengeful and violent hunter with a legendary nose, as he searches for a boy who’s been missing for years. James envelops you in Tracker’s quest, but the real reason you’re reading is clear: to be wholly submerged in a mythological, jarring, ancient Africa, a place where demons whisper the fears of your heart and forests steal your time, a world so unbelievable and terrible you’ll forget to come up to breathe.”

—Kate B., Harvard Book Store

March 2019 Selection

The Heavens by Sandra Newman

"To give away too much of Sandra Newman's The Heavens—rich with narrative twists and knots—would be a great disservice to its reader. And to suggest that The Heavens is simply a puzzle to be solved would be a great disservice to its incandescent prose, its crackling humanity, and its brain-breaking questions about fatalism, dreaming, the nature of reality, and the manner in which history is made and remembered. Newman's evocative world ties and blends the stories of a privileged and uncertain group of twenty-somethings in New York, whose futures seem tangled but bright, and a cast of characters navigating a plague-ridden Elizabethan England. This world is a vividly realized mishmash of hope, idealism, selfishness, catastrophe, ambition, love, and failure. Newman's The Heavens is our world."

—Alex M., Harvard Book Store

April 2019 Selection

Sing to It: New Stories by Amy Hempel

"Amy Hempel is a short story artist. Since Reasons to Live in 1985, her work has warranted veneration alongside the likes of Alice Munro, George Saunders, and Lydia Davis. The stories in Sing to It are no exception. Deft, playful, and quietly devastating, they are so perfectly designed and constructed that perhaps 'short story architect' would be the better term. Without a false note or a wasted word, Hempel takes the faceless stranger on the bus and strips them down to their humanity. Reading this book is like peering through your neighbor’s living room window on a Thursday evening—all they’re doing is watching TV and brushing the dog, but somehow that simple, private moment tells you everything."

—Serena L., Harvard Book Store

May 2019 Selection

Memories of the Future by Siri Hustvedt

“All the tawdry details I’m dying for are in these stories, but they’re given out like old sweaters—without shame, without guile. Amy Hempel is the writer who makes me feel most affiliated with other humans; we are all living this way—hiding, alone, obsessed—and that’s ok.”

—Wendy Smith, The Washington Post

"The women in Hustvedt’s novel, including the older and younger versions of S.H. our narrator, her friends and neighbors, even the characters in our narrator’s novel-in-progress, struggle to define themselves—sexually, creatively, professionally in a society that would prefer they shut up and sit down. This is abildungsroman for a new era, one in which women no longer seek shelter in the shadows, but stand up and scream."

—Nathalie K., Harvard Book Store

June 2019 Selection

The Flight Portfolio: A Novel by Julie Orringer

“No book this year could possibly compare with The Flight Portfolio: ambitious, meticulous, big-hearted, gorgeous, historical, suspenseful, everything you want a novel to be.”

—Andrew Sean Greer, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Less

"With The Invisible Bridge in 2010, Julie Orringer proved to the world that she was a name to be watched in historical fiction. And now, nearly ten years later, she's cemented her place among the greats. The Flight Portfolio is a superb work of World War II fiction, but it's also a love story, a thriller, and a meticulously researched portrait of one man and the very real, and devastatingly impossible, decisions he faced every day. It's somehow both sweeping and intimate, beautiful and gripping, heartbreaking and hopeful. It has the feeling of a classic and the immediacy of the best kind of modern fiction. Orringer's writing is so good you'll want to both tear through it and savor it—she's achieved that rare and wonderful feat: a 500-page novel without a wasted word."

—Serena L., Harvard Book Store

July 2019 Selection

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

In this bravura follow-up to his Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning bestseller The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead brilliantly dramatizes another strand of American history through the story of two boys sentenced to a hellish reform school in Jim Crow-era Florida.

"Possibly the single most anticipated novel of the year." —Michael Schaub, Los Angeles Times

August 2019 Selection

Chances Are. . . by Richard Russo

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning Richard Russo–in his first stand-alone novel in a decade–comes a new revelation: a gripping story about the abiding yet complex power of friendship.

“Russo’s first standalone novel in a decade mixes his signature themes—father-and-son relationships, unrequited love, New England small-town living, and the hiccups of aging—with stealthy clue-dropping in a slow-to-build mystery . . . In the final stretch, surprising, long-kept secrets are revealed. This is vintage Russo.”

Publishers Weekly

Fall 2019 Selection

Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson

An extraordinary new novel about the influence of history on a contemporary family, from the New York Times–bestselling and National Book Award–winning author of Another Brooklyn and Brown Girl Dreaming.

"One of the quietly great masters of our time."—Kirkus Reviews

"Jacqueline Woodson has such an original vision, such a singular voice." —Ann Patchett, bestselling author of Commonwealth

Past Selections

2019 Selections

  • January 2019: The Age of Light by Whitney Scharer
  • February 2019: Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James
  • March 2019: The Heavens by Sandra Newman
  • April 2019: Sing to It: New Stories by Amy Hempel
  • May 2019: Memories of the Future by Siri Hustvedt
  • June 2019: The Flight Portfolio by Julie Orringer
  • July 2019: The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
  • August 2019: Chances Are. . . by Richard Russo
  • September 2019: Gun Island by Amitav Ghosh
  • October 2019: Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson
  • November 2019: To be announced . . .
  • December 2019: To be announced . . .

2018 Selections 

  • January 2018: The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin
  • February 2018: An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
  • March 2018: White Houses by Amy Bloom
  • April 2018: The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer
  • May 2018: Wrestling with the Devil by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o
  • June 2018: There There by Tommy Orange
  • July 2018: Florida by Lauren Groff
  • August 2018: Certain American States by Catherine Lacey
  • September 2018: The Fighters by C.J. Chivers
  • October 2018: Gone So Long by Andre Dubus III
  • November 2018: She Would Be King by Wayétu Moore
  • December 2018: The Library Book by Susan Orlean

2017 Selections 

  • January 2017: Elizabeth Bishop by Megan Marshall
  • February 2017: Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
  • March 2017: Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
  • April 2017: The Idiot by Elif Batuman
  • May 2017: Out of Line by Barbara Lynch
  • June 2017: The Leavers by Lisa Ko
  • July 2017: The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy
  • August 2017: You Don't Have to Say You Love Me by Sherman Alexie
  • September 2017: The Burning Girl by Claire Messud
  • October 2017: Fresh Complaint by Jeffrey Eugenides
  • November 2017: Five-Carat Soul by James McBride
  • December 2017: Leonardo Da Vinci by Walter Isaacson

2016 Selections

  • December 2016: Swing Time by Zadie Smith
  • November 2016: The Mothers by Brit Bennett
  • October 2016: Mercury by Margot Livesey
  • September 2016: The Nix by Nathan Hill
  • August 2016: The Hour of Land by Terry Tempest Williams
  • July 2016: Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
  • June 2016: LaRose by Louise Erdrich
  • May 2016: Imagine Me Gone by Adam Haslett
  • April 2016: Until We Are Free by Shirin Ebadi
  • March 2016: What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi
  • February 2016: The Past by Tessa Hadley
  • January 2016: Your Heart Is a Muscle the Size of a Fist by Sunil Yapa

2015 Selections

  • December 2015: City on Fire by Garth Risk Halberg
  • November 2015: The Witches: Salem, 1692 by Stacy Schiff
  • October 2015: Sweet Caress by William Boyd
  • September 2015: The Visiting Privilege by Joy Williams
  • August 2015: The Marriage of Opposites by Alice Hoffman
  • July 2015: Music for Wartime by Rebecca Makkai
  • June 2015: The Green Road by Anne Enright
  • May 2015: Ordinary Light: A Memoir by Tracy K. Smith
  • April 2015: From the New World: Poems 1976-2014 by Jorie Graham
  • March 2015: Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson
  • February 2015: Screening Room: Family Pictures by Alan Lightman
  • January 2015: Let Me Be Frank with You by Richard Ford

2014 Selections

  • December: The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore
  • November: Fire Shut Up in My Bones by Charles M. Blow
  • October: The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters
  • September: We Are Not Ourselves: A Novel by Matthew Thomas
  • August: What Is Visible: A Novel by Kimberly Elkins
  • July: The Rise & Fall of Great Powers: A Novel by Tom Rachman
  • June: All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel by Anthony Doerr
  • May: Casebook: A Novel by Mona Simpson
  • April: Cambridge by Susanna Kaysen
  • March: Book of Hours: Poems by Kevin Young
  • February: Ripper: A Novel by Isabel Allende
  • January: Radiance of Tomorrow: A Novel by Ishmael Beah

2013 Selections

  • December: The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism by Doris Kearns Goodwin
  • November: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  • October: The Men Who United the States by Simon Winchester
  • September: MaddAddam: A Novel by Margaret Atwood
  • August: The Realm of Last Chances: A Novel by Steve Yarbrough
  • July: TransAtlantic: A Novel by Colum McCann
  • June: The Son by Philipp Meyer
  • May: A Constellation of Vital Phenomena: A Novel by Anthony Marra
  • April: The Book of My Lives by Aleksandar Hemon
  • March: Red Doc> by Anne Carson
  • February: Vampires in the Lemon Grove: Stories by Karen Russell
  • January: Poems 1962-2012 by Louise Glück

2012 Selections

  • November: Flight Behavior: A Novel by Barbara Kingsolver
  • October: Ancient Light by John Banville
  • September: Winter Journal by Paul Auster
  • August: The Collective: A Novel by Don Lee
  • July: Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead
  • June: The Green Shore by Natalie Bakopoulos
  • May: Paris, I Love You but You’re Bringing Me Down by Rosecrans Baldwin
  • April: The Cove: A Novel by Ron Rash
  • March: Mudwoman: A Novel by Joyce Carol Oates
  • February: The Orphan Master's Son: A Novel by Adam Johnson
  • January: The Flight of Gemma Hardy: A Novel by Margot Livesey

2011 Selections

  • December: The Prague Cemetery by Umberto Eco
  • November: Blue Nights by Joan Didion
  • October: The Marriage Plot: A Novel by Jeffrey Eugenides
  • September: The Submission: A Novel by Amy Waldman
  • August: The Family Fang: A Novel by Kevin Wilson
  • July: Ten Thousand Saints: A Novel by Eleanor Henderson
  • June: State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
  • May: Caleb’s Crossing: A Novel by Geraldine Brooks
  • April: Horoscopes for the Dead: Poems by Billy Collins
  • March: Townie: A Memoir by Andre Dubus III
  • February: Ghost Light: A Novel by Joseph O'Connor
  • January: The Fates Will Find Their Way: A Novel by Hannah Pittard

2010 Selections

  • December: Luka and the Fire of Life: A Novel by Salman Rushdie
  • October: Great House: A Novel by Nicole Krauss
  • September: Freedom: A Novel by Jonathan Franzen
  • July: The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet by David Mitchell
  • June: The Spot: Stories by David Means
  • May: If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This: Stories by Robin Black
  • April: Parrot and Olivier in America by Peter Carey
  • March: The Surrendered by Chang-rae Lee
  • February: The Infinities by John Banville
  • January: Where the God of Love Hangs Out: Fiction by Amy Bloom

2009 Selections

  • December: Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis by Al Gore
  • November: The Year of the Flood: A Novel by Margaret Atwood
  • October: A Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore
  • September: Homer & Langley: A Novel by E.L. Doctorow
  • August: That Old Cape Magic by Richard Russo
  • July: Border Songs by Jim Lynch
  • May: Brooklyn: A Novel by Colm Toibin
  • April: Essential Pleasures: A New Anthology of Poems to Read Aloud edited by Robert Pinsky
  • March: The Book of Night Women by Marlon James
  • February: Cutting for Stone: A Novel by Abraham Verghese

2008 Selections

  • November: Sea of Poppies: A Novel by Amitav Ghosh
  • August: Man in the Dark: A Novel by Paul Auster
  • July: The Enchantress of Florence: A Novel by Salman Rushdie
  • June: The Story of Edgar Sawtelle: A Novel by David Wroblewski
  • March: Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri
  • February: The Soul Thief: A Novel by Charles Baxter
  • January: Memo to the President Elect: How We Can Restore America’s Reputation and Leadership by Madeleine Albright

2007 Selections

  • December: The Alphabet from A to Y With Bonus Letter Z! by Roz Chast
  • November: Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain by Oliver Sacks
  • Introductory Title: Other Colors: Essays and a Story by Orhan Pamuk

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