When Ariel Mendez rediscovered his first edition paperback copy of Dune about twenty-five years after it was gifted by his high school English teacher, he decided someone else should have the joy of coveting the collectible.
“I really enjoyed having this book for as long as I have because it’s a special piece of history. The first paperback edition of Dune, what some people say is one of the greatest science fiction works ever written, and it’s signed by the author himself,” Mendez said.
That’s right, Mendez’s paperback copy of Dune has a signature from author Frank Herbert just inside the detached cover.
“It’s clearly well-loved, it’s not going to fetch a price for being in pristine condition, but for someone who loves Dune, and would love to own a piece of history that has a connection to the author like this I think it would be fantastic,” Mendez said.
So Mendez decided to raffle off the book online, with all proceeds going to Bend Bikes, a group advocating for bike safety, and the Warm Springs Community Action Team, a organization providing services for the Warm Springs Reservation.
Extremely rare signed Dune book GIVEAWAY!!! Donate to Warm Springs Community Action Team or @BendBikes for a chance to win this 1965 1st ed. 1st print Ace Books Dune paperback signed by Frank Herbert.
— Ariel Méndez (@atmendez) November 28, 2021
Each $5 donation gets you one chance to win the book, and by the second day, donations already surpassed $500.
The winner will be selected at random on Sunday December 5th.
Mendez hasn’t found another version of his copy anywhere online, and is unsure of the value the book would have due to its uniqueness and wear.
“Dune was published as a serial in the beginning because nobody wanted to publish the book and it started to get serialized in, I think, an auto magazine. And then it became published later as a full book and so it’s actually pretty rare to have a first edition or early edition of Dune,” said Cassie Clemans the owner of Roundabout Books.
With the new movie recently released in theaters, the craze around Dune is bigger than ever.
‘It has always been a regular seller in our science fiction section like we always keep it stocked. But since the movie has been promoted, we cannot keep it in stock,” said Clemans.
The book has several ties to Oregon, not just in the desert landscape mimicking the sandy shores of Florence, but also in its themes of equity and treatment of indigenous folks.
Mendez thinks the newfound buzz around the book, along with the novel’s themes matching the charities benefiting, leaves the Oregon connection as the cherry on top.
“I think anyone who loves this book and this story will find a natural affinity to both of these organizations,” Mendez said.