About ICL Books

Book Sample

“The International Collectors Library is a publishing program dedicated to the preservation of the immortal masterworks of the past and the significant books of our time… the great classics of fiction, history, biography, poetry, drama, travel, and adventure… clothed in bindings truly worthy of their imperishable contents”  — From an 1951 ICL Book insert

The International Collectors Library was a book club series published by Doubleday Book & Music Clubs, Inc. from the late 1940’s through the late 1980’s.  They were produced in Garden City, New Jersey.   They were intended to be inexpensive reprints of great literature similar Everyman’s Library (Random House), Modern Library (Random House), Penguin Classics (Penguin Publishing), and Oxford World’s Classics (Oxford University Press).

Generally, the books followed the 8-1/2″ x 5-3/4″ Octavo or 8vo book size format.  The binding designs were adapted based on old “Golden Age of Bookmaking” bindings, and made to look like leather-bound copies (Faux Leather or Leatherette).  The bindings were embossed with 24K gold embellishments, and some copies had gilt edges (thin layer of gold leaf) applied.  A sewn in satin ribbon marker was also added in most books.  There were over 400 editions published in a variety of bindings.  Some editions came with loose-leaf inserts that described the book club, the bindings and design styles, and a story synopsis of the book-in-hand.

Collecting ICL books is relatively inexpensive to other similar series, with many books able to be purchased for less than $10 USD for a VG common copy.  Since this series was meant to be inexpensive to the average reader, the quality of materials and bookmaking process are not of high-quality.  The paper is not archival, acid-free type, and as a result the paper has yellowed on many of the books.  The binding covers and spines are also susceptible to chipping, cracking, and separation.  Occasionally, the gold embellishments on the bindings were not printed straight.


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