A Short History of the Paperback

An interesting history of the paperback book, including information regarding “collectable” paperbacks, https://www.ioba.org/standard/2001/12/a-short-history-of-paperbacks/.

As a child growing up in the city of Liverpool, I well remember a glass bookcase full of paperbacks, in my grandfather’s house in Speke (a suburb of Liverpool).

Most Saturdays my Grandfather and I would go into W. H. Smiths and buy a paperback, often by Enid Blyton, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enid_Blyton.

I lost the majority of my vision at 18-months-old due to a blood clot on the brain. Consequently my grandfather would spend hours reading to me, as I was unable to read print books.

I think of my grandfather whenever I pass by a branch of Smiths. The scent of books and magazines eminating from the store brings the memories flooding back.

Sadly I no longer have the books my grandfather bought for me, Some of which where, no doubt collectable. However, where they still in my possession, I would not part with them as some things possess value which can not be measured in monetary terms.

2 thoughts on “A Short History of the Paperback

  1. V.M.Sang

    As A child, I, too, loved Enid Blyton. She has been given a lot of stick over the past
    decades, but she did write good stories!
    Apart from accusations of racism, due to her use and characterization of gollywogs in her Noddy books, I remember that she was accused of being too simplistic and not extending children’s vocabulary.
    I, and my friends were not turned into racists by Noddy, in fact, the opposite, and aren’t we, as writers, told to keep our words simple because readers don’t want to keep a dictionary by their side when reading?
    What she did was get children reading, and I have loved it throughout my life. Largely thanks to those exciting stories. That is the most important thing, I think.
    I’m sorry you no longer have those books, Kevin. I’ve not got mine, either.

    1. K Morris Poet Post author

      Thank you for your comments, Vivienne.

      I have heard the accusations of racism, but not those of limiting the vocabulary of children.

      As regards the former, as a child, I was not aware of racism and I certainly never saw anything in Blyton’s books which was offensive to me. I did own a Golly, of which I was extremely fond and never in my wildest dreams construed in it’s ownership anything remotely racist.

      Turning to the latter accusation, if anything, Enid Blyton helped to instill in me a love of literature and my grandfather reading her books encouraged me to read for myself and develop my understanding of language.

      I’m sorry that you also no longer have your collection of Enid Blyton books.

      All the best, Kevin


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