Wednesday, July 16, 2008

1940s Book Rental Jacket

It was the era of the book rental library during the 1940s. We often see books come into the shop bearing the stamps and desecrations of the rental librarian. The poor dust jackets arrive with lots of sticky black residue along the margins from old-fashioned jacket protectors, ripped-out flyleaves and multiple bold stampings of rental library addresses and announcements of daily overdue fines all over the endpapers.

Not so with this natty arrival. This copy of John Hersey's "A Bell for Adano", though shaken from many readings, is sporting a rather smart jacket protector featuring a pipe-smoking, elegantly-attired gent. Our man peers far-sightedly at his novel, imagining romance, swashbuckling adventure, historical journeys and intrigue on the high seas. A dashing jacket and one that I think I will hang on to for my museum of interesting books.

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