Farah's Guide, by David Farah is a book most Nancy Drew collectors are aware of and many use. The book, now in its 12th edition, allows a collector to identify a first printing of a Nancy Drew book. The guide lists 2745 printings of Nancy Drew books published between 1930 and 1979. It is 556 pages long, and has numerous additional articles beneficial to the Nancy Drew collector.
I find the guide very useful in identifying the printings of the Nancy Drew books I own. The guide concentrates primarily on the first 56 books published in the series. It does have a short entry on the Simon and Schuster books #57-78. I would love to see someone put together and publish a guide to the paperbacks, with artwork included.
The guide gives a history of the series, as well as biographical information on the authors and illustrators. It has 135 photos of authors, illustrators, models photos of poses used for cover art, and pictures of ledger pages kept by Mildred Wirt Benson as she received payments for her work on the Nancy Drew series. Additionally, there is information on collectibles spawned by the series over the years.
Mr. Farah has been printing his guide now for twenty years, and has been a collector since 1967. This 12th edition is considered a 20th year anniversary edition, and is available in a hardcover dust jacket copy as well as a spiral bound copy. The spiral bound edition sells for $95.00, while the hardcover lists at $130.00. The hardcover has been produced to look like a 1930's Nancy Drew book, complete with orange lettering and a spine symbol. Though seemingly hefty in price, either edition of the guide is well worth the investment spent.
I have found the guide useful as I buy and sell Nancy Drew books. I often dream of having a complete collection in high quality first printings, and this guide is an excellent tool in identifying those elusive firsts. Clicking on the picture in this blog will take you directly to Mr. Farah's web page, where you will find additional information and be able to download an order form. I highly recommend Farah's Guide to my readers.