Consider the humble paperback: While often derided as low budget or an airport read, these workhorses are beloved by millions of readers for their compact size and inexpensive cost. First introduced in Britain in the mid-1800s, the paperback enabled many literary debuts and extended the reach of classic and scientific authors through reprinting and wider distribution.
The first American paperback was Pearl Buck’s The Good Earth in 1935. Once it proved how popular and profitable the format could be, publishers began launching their own lines—notably Ace, Dell, Bantam and Avon.
July 30 is Paperback Book Day, so why not celebrate with one of these great newer titles, now in paperback?
The Atomic City Girls: Set during the race for atomic domination, a cast of characters works on the Manhattan Project in the secret town of Oak Ridge, Tenn. Not told what exactly they're doing, some see it as a way out of poverty while others see it as a patriotic duty to help the war effort. June, a local girl, begins to piece together what the project is about while another character, Joe, struggles against racism in 1940s America.
Frankenstein in Baghdad: A junkman protests the bombing of his city by making a creature out of the human pieces left from the bombing victims. Then the creature disappears and a series of murders begins across the city. A dark satire of the occupation of Baghdad with literary overtones.
The Good Son: A riveting psychological thriller about a young man who wakes in his own house to find his mother murdered. He suffers from seizures and memory loss so he struggles to find out if the screams he remembers were his mother calling for his help or trying to escape him.
My Lady's Choosing: So are you going to choose the scandalous noble or the humble horse trainer? Or travel to the continent as the companion of a spirited free-thinking Lady Evangeline? Make your choice and find your happily-ever after in this interactive romance!
The Kiss Quotient: A 30-year-old woman with autism sets out to discover how to kiss so it doesn’t feel like “a pilot fish cleaning the teeth of a shark.” She hires an escort to help her practice relationships, and they embark on an odd and humorous courtship.
Binti: A young girl travels to an intergalactic university and falls into the hands of an alien race that is at war with the rest of the universe. Binti must use her emotional intelligence and the knowledge of her own Himba people to survive.
The Hellfire Club: In this political thriller set in the dark days of America’s 1950s Red Scare, U.S. Representative Charlie Marder runs afoul of powerful lobbyists who will stop at nothing, including murder.
What's your favorite paperback? In a match-up between mass market and trade paperbacks, who would win? The trade paperback is bigger, but the mass market paperback is small and tough.