In the 1930s, publisher Allen Lane built a vending machine for paperback books, nicknamed the Penguincubator–an important piece of publishing history.
Last week Publishing Perspectives ran an essay by James Bridle about the vending machine and the introduction of the paperback in that same decade. eBookNewser spotted some contemporary similarities to another piece of publishing technology.
Here’s an excerpt from the Bridle piece: “I see the same bored gaze on the bus and tube today, as people reflexively flip open their phones and start poking at email or casual games, as Allen Lane saw on the platform at Exeter in 1933. And slowly–oh, so slowly–publishers are seeing that what we are presented with is not the death of everything we trust, value and hold dear, but a similar widening vista of opportunity to that which arrived with the mass-market paperback.”