From the FAQ:

Do unusual bindings increase a book's value?

Unusual bindings don't in and of themselves have an impact on the value of a regular issue Modern Library book. The Modern Library is infamous for using whatever binding materials and designs they had in the warehouse, especially during binding transition periods.

Certain short-lived issues came in a binding made especially for them, most notably the three-volume Christmas gift set of 1928. The bindings were covered in a shiny brightly colored material (called keratol) in orange, green, and blue and were stamped in geometric patterns. These copies are extremely scarce.

Modern Library editions were a favorite in binding classes, so you're liable to see some titles in leather. Modern Library did make some special leather editions for department stores in the 30's; these editions are quite scarce.

The first editions of some titles came in transitional bindings. The value is in the fact that the transitional binding is a first edition point.

For a brief discussion of standard ML bindings, see Quick Guide to Regular Binding Styles.

Contributors to this FAQ answer include:

Scot Kamins Henry Toledano Barry Neavill
John Krygier

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