Monday, March 29, 2010

Landmark Books- Judging a Book by It's Cover

Landmark Books are a series of books that were published in the nineteen fifties and sixties. People would subscribe to them and they would arrive in the mail monthly, kind of like a magazine. They would be about either a historical event or biography. The thing that set this series apart from others that were produced at the same time was the fact that they got first-rate authors to either simplify their adult books for them or the best children's authors of that time. They are very well written! This series was intended for elementary readers, about 3-6 graders. My DH says he has learned more history reading through the Landmark books, than he ever did in school.

These books are currently out of print, for the most part. There are a few that have been reprinted in paperback. Sonlight and a few other curriculums use them. There are still a number of them available at used book sales. This post is to show you what they look like so you can find them at a sale. A hardback lasts longer and is so much nicer to read than a paperback and will cost about the same. At a used book store they go for $5-6 dollars. At a library sale, which is where I bought most of mine, I paid 25 cents to $1.

Here is what they look at from the back as you see the spines. There are two basic styles, the ones that went to the home subscribers and the library editions.

The library editions are white and have a photo or a painting on the cover and will also have the volume number clearly visible on the front.

The home edition has a plain cover in various colors. They were originally mailed out with dust jackets, but most of these are gone or torn up. I have a few with dust jackets, but they seem to fall apart quickly when the children read them. They are just fragile with age.

Here is another library edition. There are two different Landmark series. The first was the regular series which is American history. There are over 130 volumes in that set. Later they published the World Landmark Series which covers world history and figures, I think there are about 100 books in that set. The Korean War book above is part of the World Series. The WWII book is part of the Landmark Series.

Here is a close up of the emblems on the spine. The light green one is a home edition of the regular Landmark Series, The middle one is a library regular series, and the tan one is the home World Landmark Series.
Occasionally, libraries will have rebound the books. If you know the general look and feel of a Landmark, you will recognize them even though there is no evidence of Landmark on the cover.

When you open the cover to the tile page you will see that the Landmark emblem is there. The rebound ones are not of any interest to collectors, however as a home school mom I find the rebound bindings are often sturdier and last 'forever'. They are often cheaper at a used book store also.
Now you know what they look like. Go find them and get them in your children's hands. You will be amazed at what they learn and how painlessly it happens. You might even find yourself learning a few things as you peruse them.
Find them before they are gone!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this!!
    I have started a list of books and authors to keep a watch for at yard sales and thrift stores and these ones will be added to the list :)