Saturday, July 30, 2022

Paperback Book Day – A Holiday Review

Paperback Book Day is celebrated yearly on July 30. 

Image of a paperback book

Back in the 1930s, the only paperback books were cheap pulp novels. Popular novels were in hardback. These hard cover books were attractive and more durable than the paperbacks we know today, but they were also very heavy and quite expensive.

In 1935, Allen Lane, owner of the English publishing house, Penguin, was in financial straits. Even though he published very good authors, such as Agatha Christie, his publishing business was going broke due to the Depression.

One day, while waiting for his train, he was browsing through a station stall for something to read. Finding nothing good except for magazines and low-quality paperback fiction, he suddenly realized that he could publish his authors' good novels in high-quality paperbacks. This would automatically raise profits because more people could access good fiction at lower prices. 

Thus, Paperback Book Day is observed as the anniversary of the date that the first Penguin paperbacks were published in England in 1935.  The first paperback published and released in the United States was titled “The Good Earth” by Pearl S. Buck. 

Reasons for Reading Paperbacks vs. Hardbacks

  • Easy to carry them with you anywhere
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Inexpensive
  • Many of your favorite books, including the most recent best sellers, are now available in paperback. 


Reading a paperback book
Image Source: Pixabay
We are all aware that with today's E-readers and books downloaded to our cell phones, books, even paperbacks, are not as popular as they once were. 

But, there’s still just nothing quite as satisfying as holding a book in your hands. A small lightweight paperback allows you to curl up on the couch on a rainy afternoon, or laze in a backyard hammock on a soft summer day. It is still a relaxing way to spend an afternoon. So pick up a new paperback today for just such a moment of relaxation. It's a good way to spend Paperback Book Day!

Paperback Book Day
July 30

Recommended Links

If you need help choosing your next 'read' in paperback, has a collection of excellent book reviews for you to peruse to help you with your selections.

Paperback Book Day Holiday Review written by Wednesday Elf

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


  1. I've spent many wonderful hours curled up with a good paperback. Thanks for an interesting review.

  2. Paperback books were once my constant companion. As you pointed out, I have mostly replaced them with my Kindle, but I still have shelves full of fabulous paperback books. One thing I love about them, they don't require charging, plus the printed word can't be changed on a whim. Let's celebrate paperback books and applaud Allen Lane for his ingenuity!

  3. It was so interesting to read the genesis of paperback books, Elf! Allen Lane’s ingenuity and legacy are impressive, even in this day of e-reader literary dominance in much of the world. I’ll never think of Penguin again the same way!

  4. Oh Mary Beth, this is a great holiday to observe! Paperbacks have changed the world and while I also have an e-reader, I still like the feel of those pages being turned. The only time I don't like this feeling is when a book is so good and you know you are coming to the end. Thanks for putting this day on my radar!

  5. Opps, gave credit to the wrong contributor, sorry about that Pat Austin. I have corrected myself.

  6. Thanks for this bit of history of paperback books. We have shelves full of paperback books. Fran and I both would rather hold a book in our hands vs. reading from tablet.

  7. It was interesting to read about the history of paperback books. Although I use tech often, I love to read a paperback book rather than on tech and always still take a paperback with me on holiday. There is just nothing like curling up and relaxing with a good paperback!

  8. Ms. Elf, there is nothing like holding a book to read, versus a phone, tablet or computer. I appreciated learning this tidbit of history on the birth of paperback book day - very interesting! I know I was holding and reading a bit from a book on the 30th, so I unknowlingly observed it lol

  9. Very interesting history of which I was unaware. You always open up my world with these new tidbits of information about origins (and much more). I love holding a book in my hands. Though I use digital readers on a daily basis, I often long for the substance of a good, solid, three-dimensional, physical reading experience.

  10. Thanks, everyone. Seems as though most people enjoy their e-readers for convenience, but still have a soft spot for actually holding a real book in their hands. And most of us still have a collection of real paperbacks in our home libraries. :)


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