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Cardinal C-1

Cardinal C-100

Cardinal C-200

Cardinal C-300

Cardinal GC- 1

Cardinal GC-100 and Beyond

Pocket Cardinal


Pocket Book created the Cardinal editions in 1951. As with the other 35˘ labels such as Gold Medal’s Red Seal books and Bantam’s  and Graphic’s “Giant” editions, an extra dime went a long way, adding more than 100 pages to most early volumes. The books sported a gold spine, while Pocket Book’s regular 25˘ volumes transitioned to the silver spine. Then, as inflation began taking its toll in 1952, the Cardinal C-series books began shrinking in width, and Pocket Book rolled out the GC-series books at 50˘ a pop.

Cardinal is one of the lesser collected labels by the vintage paperback crowd. That’s interesting, since the cover art was generally high quality and the range of Cardinal titles was impressive. I believe the reason may lie in the fact that Cardinals LOOK more like modern paperback books. They were well constructed, thick, and very square.

The "Pocket Cardinal" books were mostly 35˘ books with an identity crisis. Pocket couldn't decide whether to make them Cardinals or regular Pocket Books. Since they have a Cardinal colophon, I've put them here.

Many of Pocket Book’s early labels were reprinted as Cardinals. This was especially apparent with Erle Stanley Gardner’s books, as well as the most-printed paperback of all times (drum roll, please): Dr. Benjamin Spock’s Baby and Child Care.






Updated June 2017