I agree completely with the recent post at The Millions about bringing back the little guys. Considering the cottage industry of books about classic Penguin covers, there’s bound to be interest in a pocket-sized series of books, with some continuity in cover design, that you can get at $10 a pop.
The whole article’s here, and worth a read. I’m excerpting the following, because I want to spotlight this move by HarperPerennial toward making good fiction inexpensive:
But perhaps the pendulum will swing back towards pocket editions again. HarperPerennial recently introduced the Olive Editions collection. According to the marketing material, “they fit in your back pocket and only cost ten bucks each.” (And eight bucks on Amazon). So far the line includes three titles, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh by Michael Chabon, The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera, and Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer. At 7 inches by 4 1/2 inches, they are a touch larger than the pocket paperbacks you see in used bookstores, and while their cover design is smart looking, they are not as inviting as the pulpy art that used to emblazon even the classics. Nonetheless, they represent a smart move by HarperCollins, and one hopes that they will announce more titles in this format and that other publishers will follow suit.
I have yet to see the insides of these books, so can’t speak to the quality of the paper, the print, etc. but am curious to know more. Hard to argue with $10.