Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Check the attic: Paperbacks turn golden Part III

The first parts of this post have been about the first few paragraphs of a 1981 article in The Windsor Star by Alan Abrams about collecting Canadian paperbacks.

After the discussion of Export, Harlequin and White Circle Abrams has an odd paragraph mixing John Glassco's The Governess with "historian [?] T.T. Kelly's [i.e.: Thomas P. Kelley] book on the Black Donnellys [which] was preceded by a paperback entitled Gorilla [i.e.: The Gorilla's Daughter]." The paragraph ends with "now-senator Donald Graham" without noting the book and Sunburst from Phylis Gottlieb. I wonder if Abrams thought it strange that a historian wrote a book called Gorilla?

Next is a comment from Rollison that some of his best finds have been in Florida, "where sun-seeking Canadians often left behind their light reading." Rollison also says that he has 800 of the 1150 collectible Canadian paperbacks. The article ends with some tips on collecting. My figure for the number of collectible books is over 1800, including reprints and variants, 1300 if only first printings and no variants are counted.

Summing up the article is a mistake filled introduction to collectible Canadian paperbacks. Wonder if anyone started to collect because of the article?

Harlequin 289 - April 1954

News Stand 122 - August 1950


  1. 'Check the Attic' is such an odd and oddly inept piece, particularly when one considers it was written by the newspaper's paperback columnist. No fact checking here.

    Mention of John Glassco comes as a bit of a surprise. After all, neither The English Governess nor Harriet Marwood, Governess appeared until the 'sixties. Not exactly the time period Mr Abrams is focussing on here. And then we have the typical confusion over the two novels. The Governess was the title given to the 1967 pirated edition of The English Governess (a novel that wouldn't be published in Canada until 2001).

    Must say, it was very charitable of Mr Abrams to refer to Thomas P. Kelley as an "historian"... even if he got the name wrong.

  2. I had missed the The Governess confusion.

    This article reminds of the level of journalism that mid size Canadian cities suffer with. Two that I'm familiar with, The Sudbury Star and Halifax Herald, are horrendous newspapers. The paperback article would fit in very well with either of them.