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Later Dell Books
Some of the most collectible of all paperbacks, the Dell Mapbacks were primarily mysteries with a few token westerns and romances thrown in for good measure.
Dell used a great deal of original art to grace their back covers, the most famous of which included the "Scene of the Crime" maps featured on most of the first 600 books. I've included original back-cover art whenever I could.
Dell obviously used a different glue than most paperback houses, and that, combined with a fabric binding for their pulp pages, has had some interesting aging effects. The books are generally more pliable than most other paperbacks. Cocked (or “tilted”) spines are more prevalent in Dells. High moisture can have a warping effect on some books, especially those issued without laminate, or whose laminate has been removed. This makes Dells more difficult to scan, especially the back covers, since the books tend to tilt or warp toward the front.
Usually, no printing information is listed in Dell books except for the original copyright date. Often, later printings simply took another edition number, and all cover art, front and back, remained the same (where different cover art DOES appear on different edition numbers for the same title, I’ve listed them in my Artistic “Interpretations” section). Dell 233, for example (The Upstart), was reprinted with the same cover art as Dell 341 and then again as Dell 1341. This adding of the one thousand digit was common in Dell reprints. This meant that later, as Dell broke through the 1,000 edition level, they had to shift exclusively to other labels, such as Dell First Edition and the Dell lettered-series books.
The Dell 10˘ editions constituted a failed experiment in 1951. Each of the 36 books in this label was 64 pages in length and comprised a complete novelette.
D-Series books were Dell's 35˘ offerings and the "F" series were "fifty-cent" books. In the "First Edition" series, "A" books sold for a quarter, "B" for 35˘, and "C" for 50˘.
The Special Series section (at the bottom) will include a wide range of books. There were four "No-Number" books. Two were printed in 1947 (the cartoon character books). The two digest-sized "Told in Pictures" books (which are exceedingly rare) were printed in 1950 (for more information, click HERE.) Also included: Dell Candlelight and Dell Purse Books from the 70's.
Dell started life as a major publisher of magazines and comic books (including several Disney comics). You can find many of their detective and crime magazines, plus several sports and entertainment digests in the "Pulps and Mags" section of the database.
Updated December, 2013