Thursday, July 29, 2010

Happy Birthday to the Paperback

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."

Read the entire article HERE.

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?


vallerose said...

e-book celebration? I sincerely hope not. Love the cover of the various bird versions of Penguin paperbacks.

Priscilla said...

75 years!? Well, I've enjoyed about50 of them. Lived on Penguins in college. Also remember the Pelicans. As for e-books, I suspect they may be as revolutionary as the p'back was "back in the day". Love them or hate them, I suspect they are finally here to stay.

Joe Barone said...

Will we someday (long after I'm gone) have a happy birthday for the electronic reader? I expect so.

Kerrie said...

This is a lovely post - I love the images Janet.
How about doing a post for the Agatha Christie Blog Tour in September on the first Agatha Christie's published in Penguin? :-)
See Put your hand up for the celebratory Agatha Christie Blog Tour in September

Janet Rudolph said...

Sounds like fun! Love to do something, Kerrie... I'll find all the old covers, etc.