Thursday, September 3, 2009

The wonderful world of vintage paperbacks

In addition to collecting records, for many years I collected vintage paperbacks from the 1940s , 50s and 60s. I collected these largely or their artwork, although there were many, particularly by "Noir" writers such as Jim Thompson and David Gaddis that were well worth reading . There were others I liked for their bizarre plots, poor writing, or because of the way they sensationalized issues of the time , such as juvenile delinquency.

Here are some great covers from the golden age of paperback art.

Three from the website "Good Girl Art"

Williamson was a prolific science fiction writer with a PH.D. in English who taught for many years at Eastern New Mexico State University.

Brown was one of the great writers of the vintage paperback era. He was primarily a writer of science fiction and mysteries.

The early works by writers who later became well known sometimes started out as paperback originals. The first edition of Kurt Vonnegut's "The Sirens of Titan" was released in 1959. The first hardback edition didn't come out until 1961.

Frances Crane was a mystery writer, who wrote a series of novels featuring the exploits of Pat and Jean Abbott. She wrote regularly for the New Yorker, and had an interesting life. She lived in Nazi Germany for several years, and was eventually expelled for her views.

The cover of an early Charlie Chan novel.


  1. for lack of more sophisticated verbage, these are so cool.

  2. Thanks:) - I remember buying about 100 of these at once in a used book store in Gaithersburg a few years ago. My friend from my record club had a copy of "The Green Girl" and showed it to me.

  3. These are great. This summer when I got into hollowing out books i found a ton of those funny novels you pick up at the supermarket for cheap after searching through my basement. Lots from to 70's and 80's, with great covers.

    I think i would definitely read The Chinese Parrot, hehe.

  4. Thanks Anna:) I remember one time some station was showing a lot of Charlie Chan movies, and my mom wrote down all these quotes from the films.

  5. Intersting read Bob !
    I have a collection of "Cindy" vintage paperbacks. Also I attended a Vintage paperback & Pulp show in NYC and California and what an experience it was to view the sellers rare collections.
    Thanks and please keep on "blogging" Bob as I always enjoy your writing and topics.
    Cyndy :>)

  6. ooooops spelling errors above sorry lol