Little Leather Library

Thu Jul 11 17:29:33 EDT 2002

I don't know of a complete list of Little Leather Library 
titles.  I have about 70 of them, including one of the boxed 
sets of 30 volumes that were sold by mail for $2.95.  Albert 
Boni started the Little Leather Library in partnership with 
Harry Scherman, who was then a young copywriter at the J. 
Walter Thompson advertising agency.  Scherman had a flair 
for writing mail-order ads for books.  Max Sackheim, another 
advertising man, was also involved in the enterprise.  The 
Little Leather Library was significant mainly because of 
what it led to--Boni left the Little Modern Library and went 
on start the Modern Library in 1917; Scherman built on his 
Little Leather Library experience to start the Book-of-the-
Month Club in 1926.  

The books aren't expensive ... I've often seen them in 
antique shops, and at any given time there are usually a few 
on eBay.

G. Thomas Tanselle has a note about "The Little Leather 
Library Corporation's 'Fifty Best Poems of America'" in 
Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, v. 62 
(1968), pp. 604-7, and Sackheim discusses it in his 
autobiography, My First 65 Years in Advertising (1975).  
There's also a chapter about the Little Leather Library in 
the Book-of-the-Month Club oral history (Oral History 
Office, Columbia University Library).


---- Original message ----
>Date: Thu, 11 Jul 2002 14:51:45 EDT
>From: Allbooks at  
>Subject: Little Leather Library  
>To: modlib at
>Apparently the Little Leather Library was a sort of 
predecessor of Modern 
>Does anyone know of a complete list of titles?  Apparently 
there were the 
>greenish bindings, followed by red bindings, followed by 
another version I 
>can't recall but something like Little Lexor Library.  Also 
a multi-volume 
>Holy Bible.
>A friend has about 65 of the green ones, in two boxes +.  
She wants to sell 
>them as a lot.
>Thanks for your help!
>Don Ramsey
>10408 Montgomery Ave., Kensington MD 20895   (301) 929-0036
Gordon B. Neavill
Associate Professor
Library and Information Science Program
Wayne State University
Detroit, MI 48202
aa3401 at 

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