Not a lot of surprise to my recent poll about the importance of buying first editions. 77% of the respondents replied that they specifically sought out first editions, assuming they were "affordable." I keep thinking of a commentary I read as to why the author bought only first editions. His reply was "Because I can't afford not to." First editions are the only versions of books that have any chance of holding their initial cost or even appreciating. That's certainly not to say that they will, but at least the chance is there. Reprints or paperbacks are strictly depreciating assets. If the Civil War book collector ever hopes to recoup anywhere near what she invested, it will only happen if the collection is comprised of first editions.