Mar 17, 2010

Why we are so excited

In 1935, if you wanted to read a good book, you needed either alot of money or a library card. Cheap paperbacks were available but their poor production tended to mirror the quality between the covers.

Penguin paperbacks were the brainchild of Allen Lane. After a weekend visiting Agatha Christie in Devon, he found himself on the platform of a train station searching its bookstall for a book to read on his journey back to London, but discovered only popular magazines and reprints of victorian novels.

Appalled by the selection, Lane decided that good quality contemporary fiction should be made available at an attractive price and sold not just in traditional bookshops but also in railway stations, tabacconists and chain stores.

The first Penguin paperbacks appeared in the summer of 1935, and included works by Ernest Hemingway, Andre Maurois and Agatha Christie. They were colour coded (orange for fiction, blue for biography, green for crime) and cost just six pence.

Penguin changed the way the world thought about books.

We hope just maybe to change what you might be doing this Sunday morning.

The original Popular Penguins series now available at rockstar.

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