Everyman's Library - Very Tough Books

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Everyman's Library - Very Tough Books

Mar 28, 2012, 2:05 pm

Whenever I need a book that I know I'm going to use a lot over a long period, I always go with Everyman's. These books are seriously tough and durable. The bindings are very, very good for the price.

I have two books in particular - Herodotus, and Casanova - which I have had for a few years and have taken on many journeys. They have been well used. I tend to bend the spines 360 degrees as I read, as I like to face a single page rather than two. Consequently, the spines are battered and almost all the paint has come off. They have been dropped; had liquid spilled on them; been left out in the sun; tossed around in the cargo hold of planes; stored in boxes; bent and stressed in every way imaginable; and all manner of other abuses.

And yet, open the cover and they are like new inside, and the bindings are still very strong and tight.

My Herodotus (believe it or not) actually went into a bucket of water on holiday. It took about 4 weeks to dry out completely, but you honestly wouldn't be able to tell today.

Superb books, especially for the price. I personally think the bindings are every bit as good as the Folio Society, if not better (although the Folio Society's paper is superior).

So, yeah, perhaps a bit of a pointless thread, but I would certainly recommend Everyman's for any titles you are going to use a lot.

Jul 23, 2012, 6:05 am

To counter some of the praise I have to say, with sadness, that, even though I don't own a copy of a Folio Society book (on it's way), the binding is in fact inferior on Everyman's Library. By this I mean the titles with glued spine. Everyones praise did make me believe that the binding were superior to other hardbacks and that it was in fact sewn for every book. But as I have come to notice it's not true, the thinner seem to be glued. The fatties (that I own, three and one other have reported on his) are sewn and should last a long time (you might be fortuned to own them) although I find LOA books to be less stiff and it does look like they use less glue to bind the grouped and sewn sheets to the back. Now I do not know anything about bookbinding but I hope Folio Society books don't use any glue at all (if it now is possible) for real durability. It does look like they open really flat which would indicated this but I'l have to report back on this.

But Everyman's Library are nice books that have nice paper, better then the average book, and the cloth is nice as well but I ask my self, what am I to do with cloth on the covers when the internals of the book are glued. At least I have associated cloth with more quality books but this changed that view.

I do know it's no Fine Press we are talking about but the general picture was that everything was sewn and superior to other hardbacks bought in usual bookstores. Thats why I'm so frustrated, as I did not expect it.

Hope it helps somebody, there is another thread dedicated to this and if you have the time and volition please state your books title, number of pages, publishing date and if it's sewn or glued. It would help me a lot.

Edited: Jun 4, 2021, 7:08 pm

I wrote requsting confirmation as to the method of bindings on the Pocket Poet Series and received this response:
"Dear Frank,
Pocket Poets – both in the UK and US, whose editions are always identical – is the only series which has glued bindings. Adult Classics and Pocket Classics are both sewn."

Sad to say the least! I guses I will have to keep looking for a better constructed set.

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