ATG Quirkies: What Well Dressed Books Have been wearing since the 1830’s!

The Second Jungle book by Rudyard Kipling

The Second Jungle book by Rudyard Kipling

Avid book collectors know this already but the humble book, or dust jacket can be a key component in a book’s value.  In fact, according to A Brief History of the Dust Jacket “for modern first editions, a book without the dust jacket will sell for only a fraction of the price.”

Although publishers started to encase gift books in “a sort of wrapping paper” earlier, it wasn’t until the 1830’s that what we know as the dust jacket made its appearance.  This brief, but fascinating post traces the dust jacket’s evolution from preserving “the ornate bindings” of the books underneath to today where the dust jacket is the ornate cover to the bland binding beneath.

(The source of ATG Quirkies is John Riley of Gabriel Books)

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