"As W. W. Norton and his colleagues at the Council on Books in Wartime had hoped, the Armed Services Editions helped create a generation of men accustomed to having a book perpetually at hand. As a result, the book industry boomed in the late 1940s and through the 1950s."

During WWII, book publishers (including W. W. Norton), booksellers, and the American Library Association teamed up to produce pocket-sized paperbacks for soldiers known as Armed Services Editions. These books were “as popular as pin-up girls” and “as essential to morale as candy and cigarettes.” Caitlin Newman has written an excellent, must-read history of this campaign for reading that the Saturday Evening Post called “the greatest book publishing project in history.” Read it.

"As W. W. Norton and his colleagues at the Council on Books in Wartime had hoped, the Armed Services Editions helped create a generation of men accustomed to having a book perpetually at hand. As a result, the book industry boomed in the late 1940s and through the 1950s."

During WWII, book publishers (including W. W. Norton), booksellers, and the American Library Association teamed up to produce pocket-sized paperbacks for soldiers known as Armed Services Editions. These books were “as popular as pin-up girls” and “as essential to morale as candy and cigarettes.” Caitlin Newman has written an excellent, must-read history of this campaign for reading that the Saturday Evening Post called “the greatest book publishing project in history.” Read it.