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.

Looking for buzzworthy fiction? Learn about an additional club launched in Spring 2019, delivering four debut fiction titles each year, HERE. It's called the Signed New Voices in Fiction Club.

Each Signed First Edition Club pick is a first edition and first printing, signed by the author, delivered to you in pristine condition with its jacket in a transparent protective wrapping to extend the life of the book. You'll also receive a specially made Harvard Book Store "Signed First Edition Club" bookmark, featuring a few words from a Harvard Book Store staffer on why they loved this book.

Recent and Upcoming Selections

  • January 2024: Alice McDermott, Absolution
  • February 2024: Hisham Matar, My Friends
  • March 2024: Margot Livesey, The Road from Belhaven
  • April 2024: Cristina Henriquez, The Great Divide
  • May 2024: Julia Alvarez, The Cemetery of Untold Stories
  • June 2024: Claire Messud, This Strange Eventful History

 

June 2024 Selection

The Cemetery of Untold Stories by Julia Alvarez

“Claire Messud’s This Strange Eventful History is a grand saga, the story of multiple generations of an extended family struggling to survive and perhaps thrive, as revolution, war, and the vicissitudes of life pull them apart and bring them together. Although Messud’s canvas is vast, her exquisite prose and attention to detail transport us, so that we effectively live the lives of her protagonists, experiencing their joys and feeling their pain, most acutely as they age. Along the way, we confront a multitude of issues, perhaps most importantly the complicated nature of identity felt by people who are never quite of' the place they are 'in.'  But, at its heart, this is a book about family — complicated, messy, yet centered on love. Their stories will stay with the reader, as they have with me, long after reading this marvelous novel.”—Jeffery M., Harvard Book Store

"It’s almost unbearably moving, wise and full of the most gorgeous prose." The Guardian.

What comes with 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.

In addition to regular monthly selections, members will also receive exclusive offers on other special limited-edition signed books.

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, first printings, with the author's signature. Each book arrives in pristine condition with its jacket in a transparent protective wrapping to extend the life of the book. You'll also receive a specially made Harvard Book Store "Signed First Edition Club" bookmark, featuring a few words from a Harvard Book Store staffer on why they 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.

How do I update my credit card information?

Credit card information cannot be updated online. In order to update card information, please give us a call at (617) 934-8143, or leave us a voicemail outside of office hours. Please state if you do not want to leave card information via voicemail and we will call you back.

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 https://shop.harvard.com/clubs-services/signed-new-voices-club!

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

Ask a bookseller in the store, call us at (617) 934-8143, or write to signedfirst@harvard.com.

How do I sign up?

Sign up using our secure online form.