16 May 2011

Penguin books delivery van, 1937

I didn't know there were such specialized vehicles.  Did they just distribute to shops and stores, or did this vehicle sell items to the public? (Someone across the pond may perhaps have an answer for us).

It would have carried books like these:
And, btw, from Wikipedia - the first ten books published by Penguin -

* Ariel: a Shelley Romance — André Maurois
* A Farewell to Arms — Ernest Hemingway
* Poet's Pub — Eric Linklater
* Madame Claire — Susan Ertz
* The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club — Dorothy L. Sayers
* The Mysterious Affair at Styles — Agatha Christie
* Twenty-Five — Beverley Nichols
* William — E.H. Young
* Gone to Earth — Mary Webb
* Carnival — Compton Mackenzie

Photo credits:  Van - I Hate Music, via Libraryland.  Shelved books - Book Oasis, via Bugs Eat Books.


  1. I recognize some authors, but not others. Are there some books on this list that are overlooked treasures that I should place on my reading list?

  2. I doubt it Ninabi. I've only read two of these, and wouldn't highly recommend either. The Dorothy Sayers would probably be good; I haven't a clue about the others.

  3. Crazy thing it's starting to remind me of that Simpsons episode with the Book Burning Van, lol.

    Other than that, I think they used to have book vans when I was younger, mainly for the book fairs at school, mainly elementary schools.

    However, a book delivery van owned by the Penguin company? I'm going to guess it might've been a deliver van to distribute to the public, since I'm guessing this was before big brand bookstores.

  4. Yes, Bellona Club is brilliant, with lots of satire about fads and fashions of the time. Mysterious Affair at Styles was Christie's first book - not up to later ones, but ingenious and interesting. And readable!

  5. This van might inspire me to learn to drive..


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