I recently found a first printing of All the King's Men (1946) at a local haunt for $1.29. I had to try not to act all insanely excited when I placed it on the counter by the cash register, irrational paranoia flushing my face and rushing through my veins whispering the cashier might know it's real value and snatch it away from me at the last second, demanding I pay up pronto, Pal, it's true value or ... or never be let inside the basement-bargain store again!
Thankfully, such a sickening scenario did not come to fruition. But, unfortunately for me, the dust jacket (as you can see above) has seen better days -- nowhere remotely close to mint or near-mint condition -- and it's got those dratted library stickers that leave that godawful residue I can never completely eradicate no matter how persistently and thoroughly I try rubbing it off, and glued-on library checkout card inside also, both of which are automatic value-terminators (or value-termites!), munching away the book's monetary worth in huge chomps, but still, it's a wonderful starter first edition, if I may say so myself.
Abe Book's listings has it going between $20 (for a copy like mine), all the way up to $9,500 for a signed, mint condition copy. Dream on, Freeque, dream on.
I love the cover artwork -- worth the buck twenty-nine I spent alone -- regardless of the book's meager resale value.