Tuesday, 11 October 2011

David Spencer and Wm. Collins

By late 1946 mass market paperbacks were sold in an estimated 6,000 outlets in Canada:

a) Chain stores – national such as Woolworth, Kresge, Metropolitan and Zellers; regional such as Stedman’s [sic] and Beamish; United Cigar Stores; railway station stands run by The Canadian Pacific Railway News Department and The Canada Railways News Company.
b) Other retailers – in smaller cities and towns through drugstores or general stores.
c) Newsstands – where they were introduced by wholesale news dealers who handled paperbacks along with magazines.

Over the next decade the number of outlets grew to an estimated 9,000 to 10,000.

The 6,000 figure is from Ronald J. Cooke, “Books in Canada”, Canadian Business, October 1946, p. 39.
The list of outlets is from Report on the Canadian Book Trade 1944 (Toronto: Book Publisher’s Branch of the Board of Trade of the City of Toronto, 1944), pp. 23-25.
The 10,000 figure is from Ronald J. Cooke, “The Lure of the Pocket-book Ladies”, Canadian Business, November 1949, p. 130. The 9,000 figure is from in Robert Weaver, “Two-Bit Culture,” The Canadian Forum, July 1953 p. 78.

One of the regional chains not mentioned in the Report on the Canadian Book Trade is British Columbia's David Spencer Limited. In 1942 Spencer's sold the new White Circle Pocket Novels from Wm. Collins & Sons Canada Ltd. Below is one of these books sold in the fall of 1942 at Spencer's.

White Circle T - 1942

White Circle T - inside back cover

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