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Collecting Old Teach Yourself Books

What's this site about?
This site shows most of the old hardback Teach Yourself series of books.  They were published by The English Universities Press Limited (often shortened to EUP).

From a handful of titles published in 1938 it grew to many hundreds and continues to this day.  One of my particular interests is the wrapper (dustjacket) design of the hardback editions and their change over time.

"A concise guide to teach yourself" was helpfully published in 1958 and this lists all the then published titles in print (a few had gone out of print by this date so the numbering sequence had some gaps).
From 1949 the wrappers started displaying the trade reference number (for booksellers' use).  This was displayed only on the wrapper - whether on the back of the wrapper itself or on the flap folded inside the back cover of the book.  Unfortunately it was never printed inside the actual book.  
The style of the wrappers changed over the years and examples can be seen on this site using "Design" on the menu at the top.
What's the point?
There is still much to find out about the Teach Yourself books.
There are a number of titles for which the trade reference number (TRN) has not yet been seen by me, and conversely there are a number of TRNs for which I would like to find the title.   If you have any information that would be helpful please contact me.  My quest is to match up all the TRNs and titles to get a final grand listing.
If you are a fellow collector of these books please let me know.  Click on the Contact button on the menu at the top.  
Where can I buy "Teach Yourself" books?  Try:
Second hand bookshops
Charity shops
Ebay or
Abe books
Car boot sales
Book auctions
Where can I sell my "Teach Yourself" books?  
Try the same places as listed above.  

Useful Terms



Trade Reference Number - a stock number printed on the wrapper only.  It began in 1949 and was applied retrospectively to all the books currently in print at that time - these were listed alphabetically and then numbered from 1 to 149.  Following this new titles were added to the list. Some separate sequences were created from time to time.



The dust wrapper or dust jacket (sometimes book jacket or dust cover) of a book is the detachable outer cover in this case made of paper and printed with a design incoroprating text and illustrations. This outer cover has folded flaps that hold it securely within the front and back covers.  I use the term "wrapper" as this is the word that was used by the publisher on the 1944 edition of Salesmanship.  In this edition (and similar ones of the period) there is often a test paper on the inside (reverse) of the wrapper.( "...and then try the Test Paper on the inside of this wrapper")



Notes on the listings


"From A to Z" is the main listing with all the copies I have come across listed alphabetically.  The other listings "by TRN" and "Design" have selected items to illustrated a particular aspect, trend or grouping of Teach Yourself Books. These are not meant to be comprehensive.  However I do I hope to show one example for each TRN tha is known.   Where known the prices shown on the wrappers are shown in the "from A to Z" 


Dates with an * (asterisk) beside them have not been seen by myself.  They come from either the British Library Catalogue or from various booksellers' listings.  The dates of the wrappers may not be correct.  Thus those without an * are ones I possess or have seen pictures of and the date can thus be relied upon.  


The printing date of item displayed has shown following it.  For example: Investment (seen on the right) would be : 1970 (shown)

NB: A date with an * (shown) means these are not from my collection.  As I get new items these examples can be replaced.


[TRN] Square brackets around a TRN are used to show that the TRN is correct as listed in the book "A concise guide to Teach Yourself" (1958) but the edition shown did not have the number actually printed on the wrapper (as TRNs were only decided upon in 1949).  The books printed before 1949 were given their TRNs posthumously.  Only editions or impressions printed after 1949 will show the TRN printed on the wrapper.


Above : The standard colour combination for hundreds of titles


Below : Wrappers of some of the special series titles







The last hardback wrapper.

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