Graphically illustrating the evolution of Vintage American Paperbacks - 1939 through 1959 (and beyond)
BookScans is a free online reference site listing tens of thousands of .jpg images, arranged numerically, by publisher, displaying how cover images and graphics changed during the early years of paperbacks. Click "Go to the Scans" to see the Database Index Page for easy navigation to the various sections.
Trying to find a particular vintage paperback? There are plenty of resources to help you find a title or author (see "Reference Library"). BookScans is designed to let you see what the book looks like.
Included in the BookScans database are images of significant back-cover artwork. This technique was especially prevalent with early Dell and later Popular Library books, as well as Bantam, Lion, and other publishers.
Also included in BookScans is a section that is made up of different covers for the same title. There are more than 4,000 entries in the "Interpretations" folder.
Thanks to contributors such as Tom Daniels and Bob Gaines, there are now more than 2,700 sets of "Twin" paperback and pulp magazine cover images.
I need collectors to help me fill in the blanks. Please help complete the BookScans Project by sending me scans of your vintage books. I'll be sure to give you credit for your contributions. Click the "About BookScans" link to learn more, and check out "Scans Needed to Complete the Project" to see which ones are needed most.
BookScans is NOT an adult-oriented web site. However, the inclusion of these books is vital for an accurate study of vintage paperback history and marketing techniques. While the covers for the "60's Sleaze" and "Sexy Digests" sections are pretty tame compared to today's adult standards, some viewer discretion is advised. Together, those two sections include 7,400 scans of adult books published in the 1950's and 60's.
4,249 scans added in June!
Many, many thanks to contributors of cover scans during the past four months:
Bill Kelly, Bill Taylor, Bob Gaines, Bob Roper, Brian Anderson, Brian Maginnity, David Biemann, Don Wood, Graham Holroyd, Gunnar Olsen, Hooked on Books, Jerry Boyajian, Jerry Woloshyn, Karl Juergen Roth, Kenneth R. Johnson, Michel Souvre, Michael Brown, Mick Cocksedge, Nancy Kite, Paperback Art.com, Paul Eng, Robert Wiener, Shawn Lavoie, Steve Ericson and Tom Daniels.
Look for the new Update under Update 26.
The total number of unique images is now over 81,000*.
* That figure includes more than:
74,000 vintage paperback cover images
2,000 reference books & publications
5,300 pulp magazines, digest magazines and dime novels
I will update the BookScans web site three times a year: in February, June and October.
Many thanks to vintage paperback enthusiasts who have pointed out errors on the web site. I strive to keep the information as accurate as possible. Please keep emailing me your comments and criticisms.
What's New on the Website?
Thanks to a recent purchase from Graham Holroyd, I now have a pictorial listing of ALL the U.S. vintage paperback dust jackets. Click HERE.
Contributor Jerry Woloshyn has shed some light on the Tempo Books numbering system.
In June, I will move Vintage Books to the Index Page, and I'll update the "Other Publishers" folder.
The Reference Library
Please browse through The BookScans Reference Library, which contains scans of 2,000 books and magazines. Many thanks to Bob Gaines for his numerous contributions.
Free On-Line Reference Books:
BookScans is proud to host Kenneth R. Johnson's book Defunct Paperbacks, which joins his masterpiece The Digest Index as another definitive work on vintage paperback books. Click HERE.
Ken is now working on Lion Books to add to his list of indexes in Defunct Paperbacks. This will become THE defining reference piece for this important vintage label. Check back in the coming months!
A Thousand Vintage Paperbacks for Sale ... Cheap!
Most are between $1 and $3. I will try to keep the "For Sale" section stocked with 1,000 volumes. Check back frequently as I rotate my stock. Click HERE.
Strange! Odd! Weird!
Eight more Vintage Paperback Oddities!
Plus, more LINKS!
Can You Help Identify These Paintings?
BookScans needs your help figuring out where these illustrations were used. Please click HERE. Many thanks to Bob Gaines, Glenn Goggin, Jim Riggs and other viewers who helped us find out what became of these fascinating pieces of original cover art.
This Year's Upcoming Events!
Thursday, July 25th – Sunday, July 28th
Visit their WEB SITE
New York Collectible Paperback &
Pulp Fiction Expo #25
Sunday October, 13, 2013 at the Holiday Inn, 440 West 57th Street, New York City
Visit their WEB SITE
Please report any broken links.
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This page was updated in June, 2013