Outside it sounds as if there is a torrential downpour, but it is just the melting snow running off the roof of the barn. I have popped in to work to pick the orders and make sure that they are posted. It's a fag having to do a 16-mile round trip for a few packages, but my seller ratings depend on the speed of delivery.
Glancing at the orders, I notice that there are a several titles that have sold many times over the last year. The bestselling one used to go for around £5, but now fetches at least £15, so the demand must exceed the supply. I wonder why the publishers haven't reissued these books.
I have a pile of Pelicans in front of me. I love this series, particularly the ones printed during the 1960s and 70s, when they had witty, strking covers like this:
But the ones that amuse me most are those from the 1940s and 50s. The uniform cover designs aren't particularly exciting:
There seem to have been two poses that were deemed appropriate for intellectual gentlemen like Sir Mortimer Wheeler: holding a pipe or head in hand:
A. L. Bacharach (no relation to Burt, sadly)
A defiantly pipeless and handless Roy Lewis, with a pensive looking Angus Maude
William Baring PembertonConsidering that author photos on books were relatively rare in those days, it's odd that Pelican went to such lengths to get these mugshots on such a dry old range of titles. Did they think that they reader would feel reassured by a photograph of a serious-looking chap in tweeds?
Perhaps it was to prove that Cecil Ffoulkes-Worthing was a real gentleman and not some bluestocking writing under a nom de plume, like George Eliot. Perish the thought!
On the rare occasions that Pelican threw caution to the wind and published a title by a woman, the photo nearly always seemed to depict a Margaret Rutherford clone.
Sadly, Pelican paperbacks are nearly always worthless. The huge print runs have meant that the supply will nearly always exceed the demand. My copies usually end up being recycled.
I'll be going home soon, as it's too cold to work here. At the moment the countryside looks like this:
It's nice if you're a small child, but I can't wait for the spring.