Books: Cheap Books

U. S. publishers claim that books cannot be sold cheaply, point to Modern Age, which a year and a half ago sank a fortune in less-than-a-dollar books, is only now breaking even. Publishers say that U. S. living standards are too high, that even in bad times U. S. citizens are anti-Woolworth about books.

English publishers used to say the same thing—until 1935. That year, in London, a handsome young man named Allen Lane, 33-year-old son of an architect, quit his job in his uncle's publishing house (the famed Bodley Head) and started publishing...

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