Emanuel Haldeman-Julius (1888-1951)
moved to Girard, Kansas in 1915 to begin writing for
a leading socialist newspaper in pre-World War I America. In 1919, he
purchased a partnership with Louis Kopelin in the newspaper and its printing facility with
money borrowed from his wife Marcet Haldeman. He began issuing the Big Blue Books in 1925.
They were 5 ½ inches x 8 ½ inches and generally 30,000 words in 64 pages. Customers could
order titles from mail order catalogs or visit one of the outlet stores in Cincinnati, Los
Angeles, San Francisco, and Venice, Colorado. The Los Angeles store opened in 1924 in the
downtown Mercantile Arcade Building. These larger format versions cost from 25 cents to
Emanuel Haldeman-Julius, a newspaper publisher, opened a publishing house in Girard,
Kansas, in 1919 where he published small, inexpensive paperback books, including classic
works of literature and essays on myriad topics, for the working and middle classes. For his
first printing project, he selected fifty classic and socialist works. In 1923 he named the
series "Little Blue Books." Little Blue Books measure 3½" x 5" and took their name from
their blue covers. They fit into a pants or shirt pocket, and were especially popular across
the US through the 1930s and 1940s, especially with travelers. He began issuing the Big Blue
Books in 1925. They were 5 ½" x 8 ½."
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