Peanuts Library Books

Do you collect Peanuts library books? I don’t! At least, I thought I didn’t until I accidently added some to my collection. I bought a lot of Holt, Rinehart and Winston books at auction because I didn’t know what they were. After over 30 years of collecting, this seemed impossible! While the mystery is solved, it opens new mysteries I can’t solve at this time.

Collecting Library Books

Library books have to go through a lot of people. A basic paperback isn’t going to last years of being checked out week after week. Instead, most libraries have rebound copies to lend using a heavy cardboard to increase their longevity. Once a books starts to look its age or hasn’t been checked out in a while, it’s time for the discards pile. Sometimes, these get rescued by patrons.

While Peanuts library books turn up on the secondary market, I generally give them a pass. If they’ve been used a lot, they’re generally not in collectible condition. If they’re still in good condition, they’re not in the usual condition I want my books in. A rebound book can lose some of that original charm. However, my collecting preference are my own. Collect what YOU love! If you love the smell of the library, or the uniqueness of an old library book, more power to you.

My Mystery Peanuts Books

While my “new” books didn’t have the hallmarks of being used in a library, their covers told a different story. Even without the checkout card pocket or a library stamp, the hardback books with a waterproof finish felt undeniably like a library book. The inside revealed that these were originally part of the Mattel “The World of Charlie Brown” box set. In the original set, each book was actually two Holt, Rinehart and Winston books combined into one flip-over double book. The rebound version has just one book taken from the double-book.

The only other clue was a logo on the back of each book. A simple “FLB” text logo. I did not recognize it. In today’s world, a search on three letters is nearly impossible. However, Nancy Drew came to my rescue. I was able to find a post on “The Nancy Drew Cookbook” that had been rebound by FLB. This discarded library book was picked up by a collector who shared her story about the cookbook and other library-bound Nancy Drew books. Using this new information, I was able to find out that Follet Library Binding rebound these Peanuts mystery books.

The rebound books caught my eye because of the bold covers in interesting colors. Their design is a little more haphazard than the original covers. The image used isn’t always the same as the original cover. Small modifications were made to some images and typefaces. Whereas the FLB Nancy Drew stories all seem to use the same image on the covers, these Peanuts books seem to be searching for a style and trying out some different approaches. Was this a trial by FLB to sell this line of books? A small order for a specific reader? The last remnants of a long-lost series of Peanuts books? If you have clues to solve this mystery, reach out!

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