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Today in Literature

March 10, 2009

10 March 1926: The first book-of-the-month club book, Lolly Willowes by Sylvia Townsend Warner, was printed. Salesman Harry Scherman found it more difficult to sell new books than classics, so he imagined that an elite group of critics could name one new book a month worthwhile and drive up the sales of that new book. Readers were assured that their book choices were worth the purchase price and membership to book-of-the-month clubs rose for years and years and, to this day, remain popular.

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