Sunday, 4 July 2010

Utility - Part I

One definition of utility is "the quality of being of practical use". The three large early Canadian paperback publishers did not see much profit in books with utility. Of the 1083 titles published by Harlequin Books, Wm. Collins Sons & Co. Canada Ltd and Export Publishing Enterprises Ltd between 1942 and 1959 only 21 had utility: Harlequin with 13 (of 481 titles), Wm. Collins 7 (437) and Export 1 (165). Harlequin published two more in 1960 and 1961.

Here we'll look at three examples, one from each of the publishers.

Export's lone utility is an odd ball. Better Your Bridge by Charles C. Platt (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1946) is printed on better paper than other Exports. It is 96 pages long, unnumbered and doesn't have a publishing date. It is typically placed between 18 and 20 in lists of Export's books as there is no number 19.

News Stand Library

News Stand Library back

Moving Ahead On Your Job by Richard P. Calhoon (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1946) was one of three Wm. Collins White Circle books of utility. The other four by Collins were published outside of the White Circle imprint.

White Circle CD 487 - 1951

White Circle CD 487 back

The final book of utility is one of Harlequin's earliest - Bouquet Knitter's Guide. First published in 1949 by Dominion Woollens and Worsteds Limited of Toronto. 

Harlequin 71 - August 1950

Harlequin 71 back

No comments:

Post a Comment