Advert for the Picture Library Penny Novels
Medium: Print on paper
With the dramatic development in printing technology, and a general reduction in the cost of paper, there was an enormous increase in the number of novels printed during the 19th century. At the same time literacy rates in Britain greatly improved, increasing the demand for affordable and interesting works of fiction.
Important works of fiction were originally printed in limited editions, bound in expensive and elaborate covers, and very few families could afford to have libraries. On the other hand, almost everyone could afford the paperback penny novels advertised here. They were especially popular with the suburban commuter as they could be read on the journey to work.