Sunday 28 October 2012

Penguin and Harlequin Part I

Penguin began publishing mass market paperbacks in 1935, 14 years before Harlequin. Both are very much still in business, but it is unlikely that the same title has been published by both publishers in over 50 years. However until 1959 there were a few titles so honoured. How many? Not sure yet. For your viewing pleasure, here is one.

Harlequin 210 - July 1953

Harlequin 210 back

Penguin 1116 - 1954

Penguin 1116 back

Saturday 27 October 2012

Black and White

In 2011 Vintage Books, a division of Random House, started a new series - Pocket Black Lizard. Four books were published then four more in 2012. The format of the series appeals to me because it mirrors a favourite series of mine from the 1940s - White Circle Pocket, published by Toronto's Wm. Collins Sons & Co. Canada Ltd. In addition to an obvious mirroring of the names the new series has a feature rarely seen today - stained edges. In this case black. The White Circles were stained red or green/blue in the early years then red only.

Another feature is the trim size. The new series is a bit larger than a mass market paperback but smaller than a trade paperback. They have the feel of the well made White Circles.

Also the new series has published in a genre that was very popular in the White Circle series - crime/thriller. Crime and Guilt is a collection of true crime stories. White Circle had a similar collection.

White Circle CD 378 - 1949

White Circle 378 back

Sunday 21 October 2012

Marshall McLuhan Part II

"The paperback itself has become a vast mosaic world in depth..."

Understanding Media, 1964

What paperbacks might Marshall McLuhan have relaxed with while writing his first book, The Mechanical Bride, published in 1951? Did he have a beer at the end of a hard day? Here a few possible answers.

Beacon BP 265 - 1967

News Stand Library 130 - September 1950

News Stand Library 134 - September 1950

News Stand Library 138 - September 1950 

Saturday 20 October 2012

Like, Literally, Totally Random

Immanuel Velikovsky's Worlds in Collision was published in April 1950 by New York's Macmillan. I can remember reading the Dell edition in the late 1960s. The copy below is the 10th printing from August 1972. The first, not surprisingly, is May 1967, the Summer of Love. Velikovsky's anti-(science) establishment text fit right in.

I've just read the newly published The Pseudoscience Wars (Chicago: University of Chicago Press) - highly recommend. Fascinating and well written.

What other books might have been found in a bookstore or on a newsstand in April 1950? Here are three, the first two in Canada, the last in the US.

Dell 9702 - August 1972 (10th printing)

Dell 9702 back

Harlequin 42 - April 1950

News Stand Library 103 - April 1950

News Stand Library 23A (with DJ) - April 1950

Saturday 13 October 2012

Imitation is the ...

William Bogart's Hell on Friday was first published in 1941 (New York: Jonathan Swift). Then Winnipeg's Harlequin Books published its edition in 1950 with a new title Murder Man. But you wouldn't have known that if you were living in Australia in 1955.

The Original Novels Foundation proudly announces on the cover "An original PHANTOM Mystery | not a reprint". The copyright page states "THIS IS AN ORIGINAL STORY, | ESPECIALLY WRITTEN FOR | PHANTOM BOOKS". They even stole the artwork - for shame.

Harlequin 57 - June 1950

Harlequin 57 back

Phantom 640 - 1955

Phantom 640 back

Sunday 7 October 2012

Westerns Part V

Between 1942 and 1952 Wm. Collins Sons & Co. Canada Ltd published 43 westerns in their White Circle Pocket Library series, exactly 10% of the 429 titles in the series. There were only nine authors with one, Charles Horace Snow, accounting for 31 titles under four pseudonyms. Here are Snow's last three White Circles under the Wade Smith pseudonym. All were first published by the Scottish-British parent Wm. Collins Sons & Co.

White Circle C.D. 491 - 1951

White Circle C.D. 491 back

White Circle C.D. 504 - 1951

White Circle C.D. 504 back

White Circle CD 536 - 1952

White Circle CD 536 back

Friday 5 October 2012

1960s Harlequin in Orange, Red and Black

Three more of our colourful Canadian Harlequins. The first reddish orange, the second deep red and the third black.

Harlequin 617 - October 1961

Harlequin 521 - April 1960

Harlequin 616 - October 1961

Tuesday 2 October 2012

Cherchez la femme x 2

Two Cherchez la femme. The first (with a "?") is a paperback original published by Hamilton's Beaver Publications in December 1941, the last of three books from that publisher. The second is one from the Collection Petit Format series by the Montreal publisher Les Editions Moderne. The English first, The Follower, was published in 1950 by Simon and Schuster.

Beaver nn - December 1941

Collection Petit Format 226 - June 1951