Read Street, a Blog for readers in Baltimore and beyond had a great post today about the dawn of the Paperback. This week 75 years ago, Penguin brought out the first modern paperback. Not surprisingly there is a mystery tie-in.
The idea for the paperback came from British publishing exec Allen Lane, who was looking for a solution to the Depression-era revenue slump. Here's how Penguin's corporate history describes Lane's epiphany: "After a weekend visiting Agatha Christie in Devon, he found himself on a platform at Exeter station searching its bookstall for something to read on his journey back to London, but discovered only popular magazines and reprints of Victorian novels.
"Appalled by the selection on offer, Lane decided that good quality contemporary fiction should be made available at an attractive price and sold not just in traditional bookshops, but also in railway stations, tobacconists and chain stores."
The paperback had an incredible impact on reading and of course, the publishing business. Paperbacks were cheap and available to many more people.
Will we have an ebook celebration in the future?
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