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New York Times’ Very First Book Coverage

The New York Times published its first issue 162 years ago today (September 18).

To celebrate this anniversary, we used the TimesMachine tool to find the newspaper’s very first book coverage. Check out the Snap-shots at Books” section introduced in this first issue:

The book-men are just now bidding upon the summer’s surfeit of literature, and some time, it may be worth our while to take our readers into the rooms of this traffic; and to show what manner of auctioneering disposes of the blood, brains and worry of luckless authors. We shall sometimes, too–true to our subject-heading,–take note of the books of the day; unravel their narrative into a newspaper column and give the public, whom we have taken in hand to serve,–a running synopsis of their story. And if we give, now and then, a critical shot at their manner, method or morals, we shall do it with all the modesty, and perhaps the occasional misses, which belong to our swift shooting.


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