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Durable Trifles

Brian Alderson

Independent Scholar

Wallpaper and Hairy String

Long before the makers of adult books perceived the value of bringing some version of the inside out with a toothsome cover, the children's book publishers were using fancy bindings of one sort or another to whet the appetite of young customers -- or even the parents of young customers -- for their products. Attractiveness may have been governed by whatever standards and materials were prevalent in their time, but there was always room for experiment and this paper will look at some of the ploys introduced in hopes of garnering sales. Attention will be paid especially to paper covers (often referred to as "wrappers"), trifles whose durability was at constant risk.  Something may be said about endpapers too.

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