The New York Times February 19 obituary page announced that Betty Ballantine passed away at the age of 99. If you’re wondering who Betty Ballantine is, she was the publisher who brought paperback books to the United States by establishing the American division of the paperback house for Penguin Books in 1939.
As her obituary reads “Betty Ballantine… helped transform reading habits in the pre-internet age by introducing inexpensive paperback books to America.” Where a hardcover book would cost between $2-$3, a paperback would only cost a quarter! Because of her work not only were books more available and affordable to own, but new genres began to emerge and become popular. You can read the NY Times article here.
So today we’d like to ask you, what is your favorite paperback book?
-Jessica Bielen, Adult Services Librarian
P.S. Did you know that you can obtain online access to the NY Times with your Livingston library card? Check it out on our website!
One Reply to “Betty Balantine”
I was mentored by Betty Ballantine during the 1970s. When I went for the job interview I encountered this reserved, unpretentious British lady with electric blue eyes and ghost white hair.. Under her desk was Rufus the dog and on her window sills were sea shells. In the corner was a stack of Dr. Scholls shoes.
She had an old manual typewriter on her desk and a bottle of scotch on the floor. She definitely was an original. I thought I had died and gone to heaven.
Many famous science fiction authors passed through her office, bringing her their manuscripts. Betty did a light editing job being careful to keep the writer’s special voice. She didn’t intrude on their vision.