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.
3,225 scans added in October!
Many, many thanks to contributors of cover scans and information during the past four months:
Bill Taylor, Bob Gaines, Bob Roper, Brian Anderson, Brian Maginnity, Cipher, Gunnar Olsen, Hooked on Books, Jerry Woloshyn, Kenneth R. Johnson, Kyle Katz, Mick Cocksedge, Paul Eng, Robert Wiener, Steve Ericson, Tim Friesen and Tom Daniels.
Look for the new Update under Update 27.
The total number of unique images is now over 84,000.
That figure includes more than:
77,000 vintage paperback cover images
2,000 reference books & publications
5,500 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?
In order to maintain the overall theme of the BookScans website, as well as to aid viewers, I have added two new sections: Philosophy & Religion and Adolescent & Children's Books. I have removed publishers' folders from elsewhere on the website that fit into those categories. The largest publishers affected are: Anchor, Dutton, Harper and Moody; as well as Archway, Scholastic, Tempo and Young Readers.
(Both scans shown here are courtesy of Brian Maginnity)
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!
Ten more Vintage Paperback Oddities!
(The picture on the left, which has been added to the "Outrageous Covers" section, is courtesy of Tom Daniels.)
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!
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
PULP ADVENTURECON 2013
Visit their WEB SITE
Please report any broken links.
The BookScans Website is protected by SiteLock
This page was updated in October, 2013