This post was written by Friday guest blogger Annie Reid.
Over at Slate, Jacob Weisberg has a lovely series on searching for books in Britain, with all kinds of little nuggets on the Mitford sisters and bookshops and book culture in general:
To me, there is no greater story about the social impact of design than the Penguin series. Beginning in 1935, these were the first really portable and cheap books published in English – originally costing sixpence (about 70 cents today, adjusted for inflation). Various claims have been advanced for the influence of Penguins, from electing a Labor government in 1945 to midwifing the birth of graphic design as a profession. But their most important legacy may be the robust literary culture that survives in contemporary Britain, where the Man Booker Prize is treated like the World Series, and the black-and-orange Penguin logo is a hieroglyph for the nation’s literature.