Sunday, 15 January 2012

Mass Market Paperback (1935 - ?) Part II

In an article for The Atlantic's on-line edition, "The Revenge of the Paperback Book", Steven Heller discusses a "new book series [that] attempts to revitalize the printed word with innovative design." He argues that "[b]efore Kindle and Nook, the mass-market paperback book was the publishing industry’s crown jewel. Convenient and compact, it was the inexpensive alternative to bulky tomes and ripe for avant garde experimentation."

Heller quotes Adam Michaels, the creator of the series,: ”Neglected by publishers in recent years, the mass-market paperback format remains highly desirable for its accessibility, both in terms of portability/usability and its low production and purchase costs.”

This and the recent news about the end of the Canadian publisher McClelland & Stewart made me think of the M&S mass market New Canadian Library series which began in January 1958 and ended in January 1978. A modified series began in 1981 and continues. Here are the first and last of the original NCL series.

NCL 1 - January 1958

NCL 1 back

NCL 152 - January 1978

NCL 152 back

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