"Buying Books in Wartime" (1939)
- What did Londoners crave to read most during the Blitz?
"Several newly published books have been in great demand
and they include new novels by P. G. Wodehouse, Hugh
Walpole, and John Steinbeck. Poetry, which for years has
not been a profitable field of publication except in rare
instances, is already in considerable vogue, and some
modern poets as well as the classics are being freely bought.
Many gift copies are purchased for troops going to the front
and from addresses in the country orders are arriving for
books on behalf of city children who are making new
"The only type of book which at the moment is suffering
from a definite eclipse is the political survey of the European
field. But publishers do not expect this distaste for contem-
porary history to last long. A number of books on political
subjects is being speedily revised for early publication.
Bookstalls and suburban libraries are having an exceptional
demand for thrillers."
- 'The Living Age,' December 1939, "Letters and the Arts:
Buying Books in Wartime" [Jump To page 389]