How Paperbacks Transformed the Way Americans Read (via @mental_floss, HT: @text_publishing)

It's good to have a read of this, just to give some perspective if you run into someone telling you how e-books are going to destroy the publishing industry, if such folks still exist.

Here’s a little perspective: In 1939, gas cost 10 cents a gallon at the pump. A movie ticket set you back 20 cents. John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, the year’s bestselling hardcover book, was $2.75. For a nation suffering 20 percent unemployment, books were an impossible expense.

But in just one day, Robert de Graff changed that. On June 19, 1939, the tall, dynamic entrepreneur took out a bold, full-page ad in The New York Times: OUT TODAY—THE NEW POCKET BOOKS THAT MAY TRANSFORM NEW YORK’S READING HABITS.

The article is a really fascinating look at the last revolution in the industry, so worth a look. you can read it here: