Sunday, December 4, 2011

Cuneo Christmas Books

A part of the Christmas season that I love as much as the music is Christmas reading.  I have a decent collection of Christmas fiction - short stories and novels - and non-fiction.  Spending the early hours of the weekends during the holiday season with a Christmas book and a pot of coffee is an important part of the holiday for me.

Earlier this year I bought a lot of books from eBay sight unseen, and without knowing anything about them.  There were 4 or 5 books in the lot, advertised a Cuneo Christmas books, collections of Christmas stories.  Since the price was low, I took the risk and bought them.

They were beautiful books.  Each in red cloth binding, gilt edges, and generally in unread condition.  Each book contained 4 or 5 stories, some Christmas-themed, some not.  And each book ended with the previous year's Christmas broadcast from the Pope.

Over the next few months I acquired several more from Internet sellers, so now I have the editions issued in 1958-1969, plus 1971, 1973, and 1975.  The 1958 edition was volume 17, making the first edition issued in 1942. 

There is not a lot of information available about the Cuneo Press or these books.  I believe that the Press was located in Chicago, and that these books were issued via subscription, or as a premium for a certain set of customers, or both.  The search for information continues.

These books are of extremely high quality - John Cuneo quite apparently cared greatly about this set.

One interesting thing - and this is noted in inserts in some of the books:  these were printed in the 'old style' where certain pages were not pre-cut.  The reader needed a letter opener to complete the page cuts.  Most of the books I have do not have many cut pages, hence the "un-read" condition.

These have become a signature part of my Christmas media collection.  I hope to collect them all, but the pre-1958 ones are scarce and/or very expensive.  Still, I'll keep looking.

I hope you enjoy the representative pictures of the book spines and pages.


  1. Do you have American Christmas tales Original illustrations by Cuneo press inc. in hardcover? How many does it cost/ Thank you!

  2. I do have that, it's the 1952 edition. But I have just the one copy in my personal collection. Amazon or eBay may be a source for a copy.