I would advice this is a good book to begin with Systematic Theology. It is far shorter and not as thick a set as Hodge's 3 volume set. It is however only one sided so if you are not a Calvinist or if this is the only Systematic Theology you plan to buy don't buy this one. Buy Hodge for Hodge's set while it is still Calvinist does give you more then one side of the debate usually 3 to 4 (Calvinist,Arminiust,Lutheran and Catholic.) Berkhof's is a good place to start for it is a faster read and is not as technical as Hodge. But only covers the Calvinist side for the most part. So I consider it to be a one sided Systematic theology but for what it is a good one and at a wonderful price at that. So if you are a Calvinist or are just starting a Systematic theology then this is a much easier place to start then say Hodge. But it covers less and at that is once more one sided in it's approach but with proper balance to other views it comes highly recommended and at a great price here as well.
I won't spend too much time commenting on the contents of this work. I think it's been pretty well established that this is a must have for any well stocked Reformed bookshelf. With regard to the binding-while it's true that this book is not bound in a high quality, library grade binding, for the money, I think it is just fine. The paper not the most expensive and the type is a little small, but not too hard to read. I gave $15 for the book and feel I got a good deal. Given the quality of the contents, I'd certainly recommend this book at this price to anyone interested in Reformed Theology.