I think mine is a pretty early edition (1993) spiral bound.
It has glue and paint all over it.
It looks well used.
The two spiral-bound books Peter Alway did in the early 90s were:
Scale Model Rocketry - a Guide for the Historian-Craftsman, in 1990. I guess it could be considered as ROTW Beta 0.5, since ROTW has much of the same content, but many many more rockets in it. Could you have been thinking of that?
And then The Art of Scale Model Rocketry, in 1994. It has some scale data content that also later was in ROTW, but its main focus is about researching and building scale models, including some plans for scratchbuilding some specific rockets. I wish this book was still around, due to the scale tips that were unique to it (I have a copy, I mean still around for others)
Rockets of the World, first printed in 1993, I think has always been hardbound, not spiral bound.
It certainly makes for a much better book that way. When I have gotten invovled with a project that used info from the book, I have usually photocopied pages and only allowed the copies in my workshop, so as not to risk the book getting messed up.
Ive not had a significant issue with getting photocopies from the book. But if it really bugged a person badly enough, they could buy two of them, and cut up one of them. I think that most of the people who do have the book enjoy it as a hardbound book. If you threw in the significant number of non-modelers who have bought that book to use it as a reference book (or even a coffee-table book, and some libraries), the percentage who prefer it as hardbound over spiral bound would skyrocket.
It is ironic that a year ago, to even get a copy of this book you had to pay $100 or more for a rare copy, if you found anyone willing to sell it. Now that it is back in print, the complaint is over how it is bound.
- George Gassaway