Book League of America

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Book League of America
Type Private
Industry Book publishing/Bookselling
Founded 1930
Defunct 1950s
Headquarters New York City, New York, USA
Area served United States
Key people Lawrence W. Lamm
Products Contemporary and world classic books
Services Mail order book sales club
Owners Doubleday, 1936

The Book League of America, Inc. was a US book publisher and mail order book sales club. It was established in 1930, a few years after the Book of the Month Club.[1] Its founder was Lawrence Lamm, previously an editor at Macmillan.[1] The company was located at 100 Fifth Avenue, New York City, New York[2] in a 240,000-square-foot (22,000 m2) office building that was constructed in 1906.[3] It printed and distributed a variety of volumes in the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. A victim of the Great Depression,[1] the Book League of America was purchased by Doubleday in 1936.

Products[edit]

Book League of America printed and published contemporary and classic books. The clothbound hardcover was commonly a dark navy-blue, though sometimes red or black. There was an embossed logo on the front. Depending upon a variety of exposure conditions and perhaps publishing years, the spine cloth faded differently, with some of the spines remaining dark navy, while others turned purple or navy-green. The spine featured book title and author in gold or silver gilt lettering, along with decorative scrolling, sometimes in an art deco motif.

Most of the pages were smooth-cut on the top and bottom edges, and deckled on the outer edge. Some books contained the note: "This book is standard length, complete and unabridged. Manufactured under wartime conditions in conformity with all government regulations controlling the use of paper and other materials." This explains the yellowed or tanning paper condition, more noticeable in some books than others. Some books were illustrated. Many of the books did not include a publish date. Dust jackets were not included.

Services[edit]

Approximately 5,000 subscribers received monthly fliers that offered a selection from a variety of contemporary and world classic literature choices.[1]

"The famous Board of Editors selects for you 2 books each month: the best new book -AND- one of the greatest classics. The Book League of America supplies these 2 books each month at 1/3 of the usual cost![4]

Some books, published by other companies but carrying the Book League of America imprint, were included in the club sales offerings. These publishers included:

There was no membership fee to join the plan.[5] The subscription cost $16.68 and entitled the subscriber to twelve books each year.[6]

Partial list[edit]

A—G[edit]

H—S[edit]

T—Z[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Van Gelder, Lawrence (1995-08-30). "Lawrence Lamm, 99, Pioneer in Book Packaging". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-08-06. 
  2. ^ "Book Clubs". Profitfrog.com. Retrieved 2008-08-06. 
  3. ^ "Atlas flips 100 Fifth Avenue for $152M". therealdeal.com (The Real Deal Online). February 21, 2008. Retrieved 28 November 2009. 
  4. ^ "1930s - The Book league of America ad". tias.com. Retrieved 2008-08-06. 
  5. ^ "1948 Book League of America Club Ad". adsvintageads.com. Retrieved 2008-08-06. 
  6. ^ Welky, David (2008-05-02). Everything Was Better in America: Print Culture in the Great Depression (History of Communication). University of Illinois Press. p. 157. ISBN 0-252-07504-8. 

External links[edit]