September 12,1963: “Pocketbooks” at the Public Library

Library Paperbacks

Library Director, Paul Ballance, announced on this day in 1963 that the library has a new book rack at the library.  In fact, the new book rack was attracting a lot of attention, particularly among the young readers.

The library was embarking on an experiment with “pocketbooks,” or what we would call “paperback books” today.

Mr. Ballance said that the library had purchased over 600 of the soft-back books, and planned to add about 100 each month.

The high cost of hard-back books prompted a look at the new book format, and he reported that other libraries are also experimenting with the paperback books.  He estimated that one paperback book could circulate 10 to 12 times before it was too worn for use.  At the low cost of 35-cents to a dollar for paperbacks, the library will save money.  And, the library can purchase multiple copies of the more popular titles.  He was a little concerned about the return rate for the paperbacks, and said this would be a factor in whether or not the paperback books would continue to be used.

Photo courtesy of Forsyth County Public Library Photograph Collection.

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