[ModLib] Six Degrees Update and Interesting Observations

Ron Holl ron at scribblemonger.com
Fri Feb 13 08:41:55 EST 2015


Bill Hornick has contributed recommended lists for over 100 MLs, almost
all new entries (the others being additions to existing lists).  There are
now 424 titles available with reading lists as recommended by the ML
(indicated on either the rear jacket flap or jacket back).  The total
number of recommendations is 2,436.  Only 48 titles known to have lists
are left!  (And possibly a couple more, see below.)

One thing Bill noticed is that some Gb and Gd jackets have recommended
lists also.  This is the history, as best we can tell:  The ML placed the
recommended lists on the rear jacket flap on Gb jackets early on (I have
no idea about Ga jackets), then changed to a longer list of "thirty best
selling giants."  That switch was no later than 1937, possibly earlier. 
The thirty best selling list persisted for the remainder of the Gb era, on
all Gc jackets, and switched back to a recommended list at the end of the
Gd era (possibly around 1953/1954).  The switch on the Gd jacket likely
occurred when the regular type i replaced the type h, and also started
including recommended lists on regular titles.  All Ge jackets have these
lists.

This allowed some older giant titles (that did not persist into the Ge
era) to be entered, and added some new recommended titles like "Peter and
Alexis" and "Reigen and Other Plays" which no longer were in print when
the recommended lists returned in the 1950s.  ("Reigen and Other Plays"
now shows up three degrees from one of my favorite ML titles.)

Another interesting thing we found was on Madame Bovary.  When that title
was originally printed with a type i jacket, a recommended list was, of
course, provided (5 titles).  In 1957, a new translation of that work was
released and a new set of 5 recommended titles were used.  None of these
10 titles were new, nor dropped.  The marketing team that wanted the new
translation also did not like the old team's list?  Normally the lists are
consistent.


ron


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