A.C. McClurg & Co. Publishers, 1910

A.C. McClurg & Co. Publishers, 1910

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Want to know what sort of creepy shadow is lurking behind these fashionable ladies? Well, you’ll have to read the book, “The Paternoster Ruby,” which was “an enthralling mystery story of the kind everyone likes.” Back then, book sellers just knew what everyone liked, I guess.

This ad for books from A.C. McClurg & Co. Publishers states, “with nothing else can you make so personal and intimate a gift for a dollar or so. And how little trouble—you go to your bookseller with a list of titles, tell him where to send them, and your Christmas shopping is done in about five minutes.” In today’s bookstores, that dollar or so probably won’t buy a nice bookmark.

The book descriptions are kept intriguingly short, such as the one for “Platter and Pipkins: “A charming little gift book of matters of interest to every housewife.” “The Rout of the Foreigner” is promised to “be a joy to young people studying English history.” We can see the youngsters now, unwrapping the book and leaping into the air.

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