- Title Pages
- A Note on Money
- 1 W. & R. Chambers and the Market for Print
- I Organizing a Proper System of Publishing
- 2 Industrial Book Production
- 3 Reaching a National Market
- 4 Production and Steam Power
- 5 New Formats for Information
- 6 Reaching an Overseas Market
- 7 A Modern Printing Establishment
- II Railways and Competition
- 8 The Coming of the Railways
- 9 Centralizing Business in Edinburgh
- 10 Routledge and the New Competition
- 11 Railway Bookstalls
- 12 Instruction in the Railway Marketplace
- 13 The Dignitaries of the Trade Take on Routledge
- III Steamships and Transatlantic Business
- 14 Transatlantic Opportunities
- 15 Getting to Know the American Market
- 16 The Dissemination of Cheap Instruction
- 17 A New Spirit of Engagement
- 18 Building Relationships with Boston and Philadelphia
- 19 Piracy and Shipwreck!
- (p.135) 11 Railway Bookstalls
- Steam-Powered Knowledge
- University of Chicago Press
This chapter reports in detail the railway bookstall, one of the most visible ways in which cheap print came to the attention of the educated middle classes in the late 1840s and 1850s. By transforming the availability of cheap print, the railway bookstall was an unexpected solution to the problem that had for years beset the publishers of cheap instructive works. The Chambers imagined the use of door-to-door salesmen, but the railway bookstall soon proved an equally viable alternative. Railway bookstalls produced a new link between customers and print, and provided a new retail outlet for cheap print. The Chambers, Charles Knight, and the RTS had all deplored the difficulty of getting their cheap books and magazines to the readers who needed them, but here was a way of doing it at last.
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