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Sold: Lillian Smith and The Paper Editions Book Club, 1955, and people who like books

This catalog almost ended up in the trash, but I couldn’t do it. It was too book-like. It would go into a sale box.

This like, or love, of books saved this midcentury artifact just long enough so that I spent a minute reading an inspiring essay by Lillian Smith, a Southern progressive, and her praise for inexpensive paperback books.  Read it. It’s great!

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What a writer! One part really hit home for me, because I was a paperback reader. I couldn’t afford the hardcovers, and they were so far out of reach, I never even yearned for them. The range of my hope was reduced to fit my narrow reality, until I opened the books.

So, again, I had a similar hope that this slim catalog would find a buyer.  The catalog is for sale on Ebay.

On the first page, read the box underneath the essay. The book club made of Smith’s two important books, Now Is The Time, and Strange Fruit, special bonus picks. That meant that anyone purchasing a book from the catalog could get one of these books for free.

If you haven’t already read the link on her name, above, do it now. Smith was the leading Southern liberal progressive Civil Rights writers, and Strange Fruit, a novel about an interracial romance, was a bestseller that got banned, and the book couldn’t be delivered in the mail. Eleanor Roosevelt had to intervene and tell FDR to cut out the racist nonsense, and allow the book to be delivered by the USPS.

By that intervention, her novel could be in this mail order catalog.

Now Is The Time was a defense of desegregating schools, written in 1955, the year this catalog was published! So, I think it would be a fair guess that the Book Club was liberal or progressive.

If you have many spare dollars, please buy this old catalog and give it a good home. If you do not, you should try to find what sounds like a far more important book: Killers of the Dream, by Lillian Smith. In Killers, Smith deconstructs Southern life and racism and sexism.  She did this in 1949.

1 thought on “Sold: Lillian Smith and The Paper Editions Book Club, 1955, and people who like books

  1. […] Somewhat related is another paperbacks publisher Lillian Smith and The Paper Editions Book Club, 1955, and people who like books. […]

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