The last post to complete the saga on our dear yellow Readers Club book will be on the colorful binding that makes this book recognizable as a more commercially produced book rather than a fine bound book. The yellow book is a hardcover bound book with eleven signatures sewn together.
The covering of the book is a simple yellow book cloth stamped in red for the Readers Club logo and the title for the spine.
A matching blue and gold headband can also be seen on the book.
Rather than a fine leather binding with gold embossing, this book embraces its use through its binding: everyday wear and tear for a wide audience. Because this book was meant to be a low-cost book of the month club alternative to the more expensive Limited Editions Club and Heritage Press books, a very simple, unremarkable binding makes sense–not only was the publisher saving money, but also the consumer who could read and pass around this copy without worrying that its fine binding might be overworked. Readers Club books were meant more for reading and handling than it’s cousin book of the month clubs with fine bindings. Despite being simply bound, I find that the bright yellow cover certainly adds a dimension of aesthetic appeal for the reader. The bright yellow book looks inviting and while it won’t necessarily add value to a library, it does add color! Looking through other novels printed for the Readers Club, it appears that George Macy could have enticed readers with colorful bindings, as the first year of books published (beginning March 1941) were bound in brightly colored book cloth.
However, interestingly enough, in 1942 and 1943, this bright book cloth seems to have disappeared from the Readers Club novels. Instead, the books were bound in a dull whiteish-gray book cloth, though at least accented by colorful logos. Whether the bright colors were gone due to poor reception or just a decision by the publishing house is not known, but to speculate, it may be that the colorful book cloth was gone in order to save money during the war. As the US did not join in World War II until late 1941 and the George Macy company was based out of New York City in the United States, it could be that the books published prior to the US entry were printed on these book cloths without care of cost, but those after were treated with much more frugal funding.
Regardless of reason, the binding for the Readers Club, though starting off brightly colored, was always a simple hardcover binding. It was a book club for the general public to handle and read, not to be kept on a shelf of a priceless library collection, which I think makes it a book beautiful in it’s own way, on the inside.