Advertising on the dust jacket November 15, 2012 – Tags: , , , ,

Dust jacket used by The Book Inn Lending Library, Seattle Washington ca. 1930′s. 

Long before the Kindle Lending Library there were actual brick and mortar lending libraries. These were not public libraries but part of the offerings of book and department stores. Most charged a daily, weekly or monthly rate and many used their own printed dust jackets to both protect the book and as a revenue stream.

Above is one used by The Book Inn Lending Library in Seattle. It features a slew of local advertising from neighborhood merchants (the library was in the now trending Ballard neighborhood). The ads feature the usual suspects; real estate agent, the insurance agent, the gas station and cleaners, 

rear flap of dust jacket used by The Book Inn Lending Library, Seattle Washington ca. 1930′s.

and then there is the rear flap that advertises an “expert” palm reader named Zah and a book that shows you the way to happiness and prosperity for only 25c.

Should publishers be opening up the rear panel for advertising on contemporary dust jackets? The front and spine panels can still be well designed, display-friendly and blurbed. And if the book has legs one can update the ads in later printings and editions.

Also of note, the earliest use of those clear dust jacket protectors that are so  prevalent today can be traced back to both the public and lending libraries of the 1930’s. With books now being circulated the plastic jacket protectors extended their lives.

The Book Inn also offered film processing in addition to the lending library.

While we are talking advertising and bookshops let’s have a look at this ad that appeared at the rear of Kiddy Kookery: Menus and Recipes for Feeding Children From Six Months to Six Years that was published in Seattle in 1923.

Again here we see a Seattle bookshop mixing up its product offerings. In addition to books, the Archway Bookstore sold Kodak cameras and radio electrical supplies.

Finally, here’s a piece from Jennifer Schuessler in the New York Times The Secret History of Ads in Books

both images courtesy of the book patrol archive

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