Lois Elsden writes about a time before Amazon, when books arriving by post were something quite different!
I have written before about book clubs; my mum was a member of the Companion Book Club, and I remember how exciting it was when a new book arrived in the hands of the postman. I have the feeling, although I don’t know, that there was no choice in what you received, it just came through the letterbox in its wrapping, and how exciting that was in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. Supposing you didn’t like the book? Well, as with a modern book club, if you are a member you read what has been chosen, which might be tedious, or frustrating, but can also introduce new authors, new genres, and new views of the world!
As a child I was as excited as my mum, and struggled may way through all sorts of ‘adult’ books – and I mean books written for adults not children, not the risqué meaning of the word! ‘Exploration Fawcett’ I remember, books by Hammond Innes, Ngaoi Marsh, Agatha Christy, ‘The Long Walk’ by Slavomir Ravicz, my first introduction to Nevil Shute… I read and reread them, until the beautifully designed covers wore away. The covers were real works of art, very attractive, by artists such as Roger Payne, Mike Charlton, Barry Wilkinson and Roger Micklewright. and I would have thought much sort after now.
The books were published by Odhams, and continued until the 1970’s when a different sort of postal book seller emerged. If I wasn’t trying to get rid of stuff, I would start collecting them!!
If you want to receive one of Lois’s books by post, here is a link – not to the Companion Book Club, but to Amazon: