Monday, July 18, 2022

July 30 is Paperback Book Day!

July 30 is Paperback Book Day because on July 30, 1935, Penguin Books in England published its first paperbacks.  Prior to this, most books were published in hardcover, which made the average book too expensive, heavy, and cumbersome for most consumers.  “Paper” books were either magazines, or low quality.  Penguin Books saw an opportunity to emerge from the worldwide recession by providing books by high-quality authors like Agatha Christie and Ernest Hemingway at lower prices that common people could afford.

In the first 12 months, 3 million paperback books were sold, each at a price roughly equal to the price for a pack of cigarettes.  How much did things cost in 1935?

Minimum wage $0.25 per hour
Average wage $0.45 per hour
Average salary $1500 per year
House $6300
Car $580
Gas $0.11 per gallon
Hardcover book $2.50
Paperback book $0.25

I usually read audio books.  What about you?  Do you usually read hardcover books, paperback books, ebooks, or audio books? Tell us in the comments!

1 comment:

Natalie Aguirre said...

I never knew how paperback books started. Thanks for sharing the cool tidbits.