From the FAQ:

What is The Modern Library?

The Modern Library is an ongoing series of mostly reprints published more-or-less continuously from 1917 to the present. Over 750 titles have been published in the series with at least 1,000 collectible separate books because of variations in editors, forewords, and the like. If you count variations in bindings and dust jackets, the number of collectable pieces rises towards infinity.

The series was created by publishers Albert Boni and Horace Liveright as the first major venture of their fledgling publishing house Boni and Liveright, Inc. in 1917. At first an imitation of the highly successful British Everyman series, the idea was to provide well-made reprints of the classics (and some not-so classics) for the common person at very low prices. Original books in their series cost 60 cents while other publishers were charging $1.00 or more for the same titles.

After World War II when paperbacks became popular, "Hardback books at paperback prices" became the motto for the series. The quality of the books remained consistently high and the price consistently low through 1974 or so when the series was discontinued. New titles were added to the series again in around 1980 and then in the early 90's but at higher prices and in perfect-bound rather than sewn editions. The series continues to this day.

For more information, read Collecting the Modern Library Series and The Modern Library. If you decide that you want to get started collecting the Modern Library, get a copy of the Modern Library Price Guide. To keep current and to get all your Modern Library collecting questions answered, join the Modern Library e-Mail Discussion Group.

Contributors to this FAQ answer include:

Scot Kamins Henry Toledano John Krygier

E-mail a question, correction, or request

Return to FAQ