Emanuel Haldeman-Julius (1888-1951) moved
to Girard, Kansas in 1915 to begin writing for
, a leading socialist newspaper in pre-World War I America. In 1919, he
purchased a partnership with Louis Kopelin in the newspaper and its printing facility
with money borrowed from his wife Marcet Haldeman. He began issuing the Big Blue Books
in 1925. They were 5 ½ inches x 8 ½ inches and generally 30,000 words in 64 pages.
Customers could order titles from mail order catalogs or visit one of the outlet stores
in Cincinnati, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Venice, Colorado. The Los Angeles store
opened in 1924 in the downtown Mercantile Arcade Building. These larger format versions
cost from 25 cents to $1.00 each.
Emanuel Haldeman-Julius, a newspaper publisher, opened a publishing house in Girard,
Kansas, in 1919 where he published small, inexpensive paperback books, including classic
works of literature and essays on myriad topics, for the working and middle classes. For
his first printing project, he selected fifty classic and socialist works. In 1923 he
named the series "Little Blue Books." Little Blue Books measure 3½" x
5" and took their name from their blue covers. They fit into a pants or shirt
pocket, and were especially popular across the US through the 1930s and 1940s,
especially with travelers. He began issuing the Big Blue Books in 1925. They were 5
½" x 8 ½."
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