The first penguin paperbacks—including titles by Ernest Hemingway, Agatha Christie, and André Maurois—were published on this day in 1935. At six pence each, they were the same price as a box of cigarettes and much cheaper than hardcovers. Mass-producing paperbacks popularized literature for a new class and fundamentally changed the printing industry. Below is a select visual history of the Penguin paperback.
Be glad you aren’t Sentinel HC, the wingnut subsidiary of Penguin. Today it’s publishing Marco Rubio’s new memoir, An American Son. That makes it just about the worst possible time for Romney aides to confirm that Rubio is not being vetted (and therefore is unlikely to be considered) for the vice-presidential slot. A whole lot of copies of Rubio’s book are thereby consigned to the remainder bin.