Reading Old Books: Book Advertising

For this next bit it helps to know that I've always lived/stayed in houses with people who had loads of old books, and whenever I'd visit I'd read them. Which is how I know about how the end of book advertising has changed - because I used to read that too. I'm pretty sure there's a jargony term for it (which I can't seem to google up) - but it used to be that at the end of your book there'd be a section where the publisher would hawk other books. Now when you see this happen it's almost always books by the same author - such as giving you the first chapter of the author's next book to hook you on it. (Which I particularly hate when that book hasn't been published yet.) But ages ago you'd get blurbs about multiple authors and books, often not in the same genre as the book you were reading.

 

So I just finished reading a book from 1912, and because the ebook isn't formatted perfectly the last sentences of the novel are right next to the ad. And it took me a second to realize that the book had ended and this was something entirely different - and then I was snickering over "reading aloud in the bosom of your family."(capitalization as it is in the text):

 

Seventeen

By BOOTH TARKINGTON

No ONE but the creator of PENROD could have conceived and portrayed so intimately and inimitably the love-lord Willie Baxter and the shining Lola Prat I, to say nothing of Jane - the immortal Jane, Venjant terrible - and Genesis, owner and sometime master of the dog Clematis.

 

Beyond question the funniest book of our generation. Its humor is irresistible, at times overwhelming, to all but the luckless William, to whom it seems tragic most of the time.

 

A book to be read aloud in the bosom of your family because it is too good to be unshared by others; full of chuckles, and reminiscent of the many ecstatic and despairing moments we have all known when we were Seventeen.

 

GROSSETT & DUNLAP Publishers, New York, NY

Informational links:

 

Booth Tarkington - I only know him from the Magnificent Ambersons, but I somehow don't think that blurb is his style of writing.

 

Seventeen (1914) - on that link to the wikipedia page you can see a copy of the book which is subtitled: "A Tale of Youth and Summer Time and The Baxter Family, Especially William." There are links to the Gutenberg and Internet Archive ebooks, if you're so inclined, at the bottom of that wiki.

 

Penrod (1914) - wikipedia calls them "comic sketches," but the important bit is the list on that page of plays and silent films. Because today at least Tarkington is known more for his films - or at least in film and theatre histories that I've read.

 

This book has a second advertising area - on the back cover of the paper book jacket, which has helpfully been scanned into the ebook. It's interesting to see what the children's/YA books of that time were:

 

Thrushwood Books

Here are the books every boy and girl wants to own, read and read again for countless years of entertainment. Each of these handsomely printed and bound editions of modern classics has been designed in an attractive, large-size format printed in easy-to-read type and wrapped in a beautiful full color jacket. Originally published at $2.00 or higher, these famous copyright titles are now available in the Trushwood series at only $1.00 each.

 

Bambi - Felix Salten

Bob Son of Battle - Alfred Ollivant

The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett

Peter and Wendy - H. M. Barrie

Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm - Kate Douglas Wiggin

Understood Betsy - Dorothy Canfield

Heidi Grows Up - Charles Tritten

Heidi's Children - Charles Tritten

Uncle Remus: His Songs and Sayings - Joel Chandler Harris

Bambi's Children - Felix Salten

The Call of the Wild - Jack London

White Fang - Jack London

Daddy Long Legs - Jean Webster

Seventeen - Booth Tarkington

Penrod - Booth Tarkington

Penrod Jashber - Booth Tarkington

Penrod and Sam - Booth Tarkington

The Biography of a Grizzly - Ernest Thompson Seton

The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come - John Fox Jr.

Beautiful Joe - Marshall Saunders

 

Some of those sequels I only heard about a few years ago thanks to wikipedia - Heidi and Bambi. And none are available as ebooks that I can find, sadly. (Original Heidi is though. And the sequels weren't written by original author.) But then I think I found out about the Jungle Book sequels the same way. Oddly I think I did have a copy of the book Bambi - not the Disney version, this one - but I can't remember reading it.

 

Randomly Bob Son of Battle is a dog story. I would not have guessed that. (Gutenberg) But then there are several dog stories on that list, so perhaps they've always been big sellers.

 

It's reading this sort of thing and then going off into wikipedia that keeps me from reading more recent books. But on the up side, they're all free!