shelves of the Reading Room in Onoway Museum are
filled with books on every
topic. Many of the older ones are heavy tomes that
would not be that common in
the average rural home. But as more and more
people were able to attend school
longer, reading and books became sources of
became more affordable.
printing industry had changed radically by the
1900s. The pages of books could
now be made of cheap "pulp" paper and, rather than
hard board and later
cardboard for covers, low quality paper could be
used. This meant that the
cover could be brightly coloured with eye-catching
illustrations of glamorous
women, rough and tough heroes, or mysterious
reduced cost meant that the book market was huge;
newsstands were flooded with paperbacks
of every genre. You didn't need to be "rich" to
afford to buy a book.
mysteries and crime thrillers were best-sellers
then as they are today. Who
doesn't remember Erle Stanley Gardner's Perry
Mason? David Hume and Christopher
Hale were pen names of writers who wrote other
genres of paperback fiction
under their real names. Some of these writers
churned out books almost monthly.
mysteries: Too Dangerous To Live by
David Hume (1946)
and Midsummer Nightmare
by Christopher Hale (1947)
were big sellers. Max Brand's Destry Rides Again
was published as a paperback
in 1930 (and was in print for another 70 years).
Max Brand, too, was a
pseudonym. He wrote a completely different series
under his real name featuring
the character Dr. Kildare – these were adapted
into movies and a television
journalist Ralph Allen made it big in the
paperback market after his novel Peace
River Country was published by Harlequin in 1962.
The hardcover version was
published in 1958 by Doubleday.
we were to see all those paperbacks lined up on
the shelf in the living room!
Rides Again (1944)
A page at the end of the book brings
the reader back to
WWII reality: HELP WIN THE WAR!
waste anything. You can help by saving
useful waste and scrap. Save all old
paper, rubber, metal and rags. Give it
to a charitable organization, such as
the Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts, the
Salvation Army, or the Police
some cities – or sell it to a junk
Country by Ralph Allen (1962)
follows a woman and her children as
they flee a