Little Blue Books

This superb ephemera collection from Kindra Murphy pointed us towards the publishing phenomenon that is the Little Blue Books. More information about these eclectic volumes can be found at the extensive site dedicated to the books and publisher, Emanuel Haldeman-Julius:

‘Promoted as a “University in Print,” the Little Blue Books covered a vast range of subjects including literature, politics, religion, history, sexuality, economics, self-help, and fine arts. As the popularity of the Little Blue Books grew, so did the scope of material, eventually bringing in to the fold volumes on cooking, stock prices, and contemporary humour, to name but a few.

At the time of Emanuel Haldeman-Julius’ death on July 31, 1951, the Little Blue Book series boasted an inventory of over 1,800 booklets, and had seen some 2,300 unique titles grace the ranks. Responsibility for the Little Blue Book enterprise then passed to Emanuel Haldeman-Julius’ son, Henry, who would shepherd the series until 1978, when the Little Blue Book publishing plant in Girard, Kansas, was destroyed by fire.’

The site has a massive gallery of covers. There’s only one text at (archive.org (#145 – Great Ghost Stories from 1924) and one at Project Gutenberg (#1195 – First Love, And Other Fascinating Stories of Spanish Life), so for now all you have is the promises of the splendid titles: #1814 – How to Choose a Mate Scientifically.

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2 Responses to Little Blue Books

  1. tim says:

    My friend Jeff has a book business and he buys old book lots by the ton. He’s run across tons of these. I didn’t know there was anything special about them. Sadly, I think I threw away 5 of them last week. :-(

    Thanks for letting me know what they are. I’ll keep my eyes open from now on.

  2. It’s not a little blue book but, it’s similar. My dad had bought this in an antique store a while ago and gave it to me for a laugh. http://passportstation.blogspot.com/2012/01/what-men-really-want-enchanting.html

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