New ML jackets

J Godsey gods at
Thu Jun 19 06:49:03 EDT 2003

>the local independent bookseller kindly ordered a replacement, but it took
her weeks before
>the publisher sent her one that wasn't more screwed up than the first

if something is in print and you need a new jacket just call the publisher
(go to their website and find their CS number)
tell them you bought it damaged and need a new one.
99% of the time they sent it to you directly even if they have to take it
off another book.
it doesn't come fast, but it does come.

i haven't had much reason to do it over the years but it's a lifesaver.
i have at times purchased a fine used copy of something recent with a torn
jacket and the just ordered up a new jacket.


  -----Original Message-----
  From: owner-modlib at [mailto:owner-modlib at]On
Behalf Of Matthew Buckingham
  Sent: Thursday, June 19, 2003 3:03 AM
  To: modlib at
  Subject: Re: New ML jackets

  Actually, color is probably the least of the many things I find
dissatisfactory about the post-1992 Modern Library. For some reason, the
books seem to have had quality control problems from the first: jackets
fitted crookedly or too loosely on the books (sometimes requiring the buyer
to essentially re-crease the jacket to get it to fit properly); bindings
with uneven boards (viewed from the top, one board sticks out substantially
farther than the other); I once purchased a copy of The Snopes Trilogy where
the jacket had these weird white polyps from some kind of defect in the
laminating process (the local independent bookseller kindly ordered a
replacement, but it took her weeks before the publisher sent her one that
wasn't more screwed up than the first). Although quality seems to have
improved somewhat in recent years, I'm convinced whoever ran the presses for
the Modern Library must have been legally blind to overlook some of the
defects that found their way into bookshops.

  Then there are the design issues: At first, spines featured a thumbnail
portrait of the author at the top with the title and author's name printed
horizontally below. This created a problem, of course, for thin volumes with
long titles; customers couldn't read the small print at a distance. So a few
years ago the publisher started printing the title and author's name
vertically (not a bad idea, actually) but also started putting the thumbnail
portrait anywhere along the spine (not always at the top like before). The
result is, if you shelve your books alphabetically by author, the portraits
on the older books all line up nicely until you come to one of the newer
books, which bounces the portrait to some random point along the spine. To
overcome this discordant effect, I shelve the older books alphabetically,
followed by the newer books. All of which sort of defeats the purpose of
publishing a series of books with uniform jackets in the first place. I now
wish the Modern Library would ditch this uniform design altogether and give
each book its own illustrated jacket (like they did with the new
Charterhouse of Parma or the striking Rimbaud volume they did recently) and
simply keep the uniform volume size and the torchbearer colophon at the base
of the spine.

  ----- Original Message -----
    From: J Godsey
    To: modlib at
    Sent: Wednesday, June 18, 2003 4:01 PM
    Subject: RE: [Fwd: Illustrated Holy Bible]

    does anyone besides me detest the new modern library dust jackets?
    that green/gold color doesn't go with anything.

    J. Godsey
    14 Pleasant St.
    Methuen, MA 01844
    gods at

    Selling books since 1980
    Member of the IOBA - Independent Online Booksellers Association
    Publisher of Sic, the Book Humor magazine
    Distributors of "Book Deodorizer"

    > -----Original Message-----
    > From: owner-modlib at [mailto:owner-modlib at]On
    > Behalf Of j b krygier
    > Sent: Wednesday, June 18, 2003 6:02 PM
    > To: ModLib List
    > Subject: [Fwd: Illustrated Holy Bible]
    > forwarded by modlib admin.
    > -------- Original Message --------
    > From: "David Medsker" <davidmedsker at>
    > To: <modlib at>
    > Subject: Illustrated Holy Bible
    > Date: Wed, 18 Jun 2003 13:23:16 -0500
    > Anyone know where I can find an Illustrated Bible? Thanks
    > Also, Modlib made the cover of the Wall Street Journal today. Story
    > about Barnes and Noble publishing similar titles and coming in a
couple of
    > dollars cheaper. Also said Bertelsmen UK owned Modern Library. They
    > have meant that Bertelsmen owns Random House?
    > David

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