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Catalog of Rare & Early Dust Jackets Available & Highlights from the Collection

By Andrea Koczela. Sep 25, 2017. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, Dust Jackets

Throughout the nineteenth centuryand even beyonddust jackets were intended to be disposable. As such, they were often discarded after purchase. Given their frail construction and the likelihood of them being thrown away, it can be quite rare to find nineteenth books that retain their original dust jackets. Books Tell You Why is pleased to offer a remarkable selection of such titles. Many of the books represent the earliest known examples of classic works in dust jackets. You may view our catalog for the collection here or browse a sampling of ten notable titles below:

     
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Specialist Announces Earliest Dust Jacket Dates from 1819

By Andrea Koczela. Aug 18, 2016. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book News, Dust Jackets

Even among bibliophiles, the subject of early dust jackets is an often unexplored area of knowledge. Yet early dust jackets have an important place in book history: they reflect historical attitudes towards bookbinding, publishing, and advertising. The mystery and challenge of the dust jacket is that as they were initially intended to be disposable, few early examples remain today. In fact, no one knows with any certainty when dust jackets were first produced by publishers. Early dust jacket specialist, Mark Godburn, suggests that less than one percent of the total number issued now survive and writes that there is no archival record of dust jacket use before 1870. It's not surprising, then, that title holder of "earliest dust jacket" has changed many times according to new discoveries.

     
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The Bond Dossier: Live and Let Die

By Nick Ostdick. May 18, 2016. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Rare Books, Book History, James Bond, Dust Jackets

The saying goes that an artist has his or her entire life to create their first major work, but only a few years to finish their second. It’s an adage often used to rationalize a drop-off in quality or ambition between an artist’s first two major pieces, which is an all too common occurrence. But Ian Fleming is perhaps the shining exception to this rule.

Fleming’s second James Bond novel, Live and Let Die, was published April 5, 1954 and was completed just a few months before the release of the debut Bond novel, Casino Royale—in fact, some Bond scholars contend portions of Live and Let Die were actually composed before Casino Royale was written. Live and Let Die defied the expectations of diminishing returns in following up such a massive success with great critical acclaim in both the U.K. and U.S., coupled with brisk sales in Great Britain and throughout Europe.

     
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Interesting Editions of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book

By Leah Dobrinska. Nov 27, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, Dust Jackets

Numerous authors have taken their cues from the great Rudyard Kipling. Readers, too, find him to be incredibly compelling, and as we’ve said before, the man had a gift in that he was able to speak to individuals who hailed from vastly different sides of the social spectrum. And he still does so. Perhaps that’s what makes the works of Rudyard Kipling so highly sought after for the collector. Today, we hope to help the Kipling collector by detailing some of the interesting editions of one of Rudyard Kipling’s most famous works, The Jungle Book.

     
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Interview About Dust Jackets with David Whitesell

The Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia has a fantastic dust jacket collection. We had the chance to talk with David Whitesell, a curator in the Special Collections library and faculty member at Rare Book School, about some of the many dust jackets the university owns and the significance of these items.

     
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Four of the Earliest (and Most Remarkable) Publisher's Dust Jackets

By Andrea Koczela. Mar 30, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, Dust Jackets

The subject of early dust jackets has been somewhat neglected in bookish circles. After all, how can plain (and often tattered) paper compete with a beautiful binding beneath? Yet early dust jackets have an important place in book history, one full of uncertainty and mystery. Initially, dust jackets were intended to be disposable and thus, most were discarded and destroyed. Few early examples now remain and no one knows with any certainty when dust jackets were first produced by publishers. Moreover, even in cases where early examples have survived, many later disappeared again and remain lost to this day. Below, we detail four of the earliest (and most remarkable) publisher's dust jackets.

     
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Case Studies in Collecting: Louisa May Alcott

By Audrey Golden. Mar 5, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Book Collecting, Dust Jackets

For many readers, Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women was a powerful novel. Despite the fact that most of her works were published nearly 150 years ago, they feel strikingly modern and relevant. Whether you’re interested in collecting early dust-jacketed editions of some of Alcott’s most famous novels or rare literary magazines containing contributions from the writer, you may not need to look too far.

     
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A Brief History of the Dust Jacket

By Andrea Koczela. Feb 1, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, Book History, Dust Jackets

As most collectors are aware, a dust jacket in fine condition can greatly enhance the value of a book. Indeed, for modern first editions, a book without the dust jacket will sell for only a fraction of the price. Once intended to be temporary and disposable protection for beautifully bound books, dust jackets have become--in some ways--more valuable than the books they protect. How and when did this change occur? 

     
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Rare Collection of Early Dust Jackets Available for Purchase

By Andrea Koczela. Jan 9, 2015. 2:52 PM.

Topics: Rare Books, Book Collecting, Dust Jackets

Books Tell You Why is pleased to announce a significant collection of 19th-century books in dust jacket, featuring a number of scarce and rare items, including several one-of-a-kind copies. While subject to adjustment, preliminary estimates of the collection's value range from $300,000 to $500,000. The collection spans the 19th century, with a heavy concentration in the 1870s, 1880s, and 1890s. It includes fiction, biographies, travel journals and guides, natural history, and more.

     
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About this blog

How can I identify a first edition? Where do I learn about caring for books? How should I start collecting? Hear from librarians about amazing collections, learn about historic bindings or printing techniques, get to know other collectors. Whether you are just starting or looking for expert advice, chances are, you'll find something of interest on blogis librorum.

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