• The Official Preppy Handbook

    Music & Books  

    There were whispers of a limited gift edition of Lisa Birnbach's original preppy bible. Part satire, part reference guide, The Official Preppy Handbook, when published in 1980 became an instant cult classic. Given the book was published over 30 years ago, I have never actually seen a hardback copy (the few hardback gift editions went quickly). The secondary market proved not much better. After watching eBay for a couple of years for kicks, only a handful of hardback copies popped up cuffed with asking prices of $200+...until last month. Indian madras print slipcover, a linen hardback cover, and a fill-in-chart family tree make up this “completely outstanding gift edition.” While the demand has cooled in the wake of True Prep, landing a copy (for $50, no less) still made for a fun story over drinks with Birnbach last week.

    May 22, 2013 | Permalink (9) Total Comments

    Derek left a comment on 9/28/2013 at 1:47 PM:

    Still have my ratty old paperback version of the original. Have to say, I thought True Prep was very, very disappointing.  She omitted/ignored pretty much any reference to southern prepdom (a healthy part of the first book).  I think it should have included color photos, seeing how it was an update from 30 years ago. The first book was over-the-top WASP-y, the second a little too self-consciously PC.  I shelved it pretty quickly.

    On another note, I used to have a Ralph Lauren windbreaker/Baracuta jacket with the exact same madras pattern as the book cover…which I sadly can’t fit into anymore.  Been looking for a replacement for years.  SO hard to find good madras these days.


    Angela left a comment on 6/11/2013 at 2:50 PM:

    I got my hardcover copy at Amazon (sans dust jacket).  I don’t remember exactly how much I paid for it, but it was reasonable, and it’s in good shape.  Now I can mark up my ratty paperback copy. :)


    Cedric left a comment on 6/9/2013 at 10:00 PM:

    Pretty content with my paperback copy aswell, though I do wish I had a hardcover. haha, good stuff FEC!


    Casey left a comment on 6/5/2013 at 3:32 PM:

    I’m happy with my paperback copies but, oh, how I would love that family tree to give to my husband as a gag gift.


    Thomas left a comment on 6/4/2013 at 10:35 AM:

    I picked up a hardback gift edition with the madras sleeve on ebay a couple years ago for around $20. It is in excellent condition but no gift sticker on the outside sleeve. Had no idea they were going for so much. Thanks


    BMOC left a comment on 6/4/2013 at 10:20 AM:

    Have one in better than mint condition. Never even been opened. In the gift box and everything. I am shocked to know what it is worth. Thankfully I probably have at least 3 other well-worn paperback versions around the house.


    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 6/4/2013 at 6:58 AM:

    @PSP—This gift edition with slipcover isn’t available on Amazon. Not to mention none of the Amazon listings (which quickly escalate to $150+) have any pictures of the hardback copies for sale.


    PSP left a comment on 6/3/2013 at 6:56 PM:

    Try Amazon for $50 for this addition.  I like it much better than True Prep.  It was more optimistic.  FEC still interested in your advice for Nantucket on July 4th?


    Valerie left a comment on 6/3/2013 at 2:27 PM:

    Ten years ago, I bought mine from Ebay at $70 (which was too much). I can’t believe it’s up to $200 now. Yikes! Glad you scored on for $50.


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