(From Wikipedia -- not necessarily definitive, of course, but since it squares 100 percent with my own recollections, not to mention the old library discard copy I own of, IIRC, the Gnome Press edition of Foundation & Earth, I'm going with it.)Foundation was originally a series of eight short stories published in Astounding Magazine between May 1942 and January 1950. According to Asimov, the premise was based on ideas set forth in Edward Gibbon's History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, and was invented spontaneously on his way to meet with editor John W. Campbell, with whom he developed the concept.
The first four stories were collected, along with a new story taking place before the others, in a single volume published by Gnome Press in 1951 as Foundation. The remainder of the stories were published in pairs by Gnome as Foundation and Empire (1952) and Second Foundation (1953), resulting in the "Foundation Trilogy", as the series was known for decades.
With precious few exceptions, there was simply no commercial market for original, book-length sf until well after the '40s. If you own or have read any volumes of same, novels included, odds are that the contents was at the very least originally serialized in a newsstand pulp or digest.
Then apparently you're less interested in it as a story, as a creative work produced by diverse hands, than you are as an artifact. Nothing wrong with that, but IMHO you're preferring apples & those of us who like reprints just fine are fond of oranges.For me the most important thing about a com is the cover, 50% of it, on average, less if it's a Marvel.
It's almost as if you're a heavy metal fan going onto a rock music forum & starting a thread titled Please Explain Appeal of Synth Punk.