Where Have You Gone Ignorant Intellectual?

It has been a few weeks since I have written a post so I thought I would inform readers of the reasons for my absence. To be more precise, it hasn’t been so much of an absence as more of a “working behind the scenes” scenario. Back in mid-November I attended two book fairs (unfortunately I forgot to take pictures), which resulted in a large number of book-finds. If I include all the books I found in the NCL’s competitors as well as the NCL itself, the books numbered over forty. For the last twenty days I scanned all of these books, then prepared them all for upload onto the site. The preparations mostly included cleaning the images so that they would be presentable in The Book Covers Project section of the website. These improvements are quite time-consuming; in the period of a few hours per image.

After I cleaned up the images, I added most of the new titles to the site. You may have noticed if you visited and looked on the right-side widget where I list all the new additions I have added. After posting the new books, I then checked to see if they were already represented in The Book Covers Project pages and if not, I added them there. I also checked the author’s pages to see if any of the books had biographies which were needed on those pages.

Son of a Smaller Hero Variation

Son of a Smaller Hero Variation

A few of the books I found were of the variation type, and I found one book with an error. These I added to the Variations & Errors page.

Lord Nelson Tavern Numbering Error

Lord Nelson Tavern Numbering Error

Because I now had multiple variation books in Series Two to compare, I also updated the Series Two page to include a run-down of the changes that the series went through over its decade of printing. I will be doing the same for Series Three in the near future. The Series Two and Series Three books were not uniform through their printing histories, there were subtle and not so subtle changes as time went forward. These changes have been noted for Series Two, Series Three will be taken care of in the near future once I gather together all of the information.

I mentioned in my last post that I added the Clarke Irwin Paperback series to The Competition section of the site. It is the last dedicated series of books that I know of which competed with the NCL that had not been included on this site. But saying that, there were other paperbacks which, although not a dedicated series, also competed for sales with the NCL. Two in particular are Paperjacks and Penguin.

Paperjacks - Surfacing

Paperjacks – Surfacing

The Paperjacks and Penguin books had their place in publishing Canadian books which meant they could be considered as competitors to the NCL. M&S, the publishers of the NCL, also competed with itself with its Seal/Bantam books. But it all depends on whether you think mass market paperbacks aimed at general readers, rather than the academics which the NCL’s main purpose was, can be considered in competition with one another. Unfortunately because these books had no dedicated series attached to them, it is quite difficult or near impossible to know how many different titles are in existence. Because of this I am a bit hesitant to include them on the site.

Canadian Fiction Sudies #2

Canadian Fiction Sudies #2

I also found a series of books that could be seen as a competitor to the NCL’s “W” series although its main purpose was to be a Canadian version of Coles Notes not a dedicated book on a particular Canadian writer. The series was called the Canadian Fiction Studies Series. Its purpose was to be a companion book to a great Canadian novel explaining the novel’s significance in a literary and historical perspective. But the books also paid attention to the novel’s author, which is where it could be seen as a competitor to the NCL’s “W” series. For this reason I will probably add them in the near future.

If anyone knows of any other series of books that competed with the NCL that has gone unnoticed by myself and this website, let me know with a comment below.

One thought on “Where Have You Gone Ignorant Intellectual?

  1. And here I am still worrying about Joe DiMaggio.

    General’s Canadian Fiction Studies titles are reprints of an ECW series. If memory serves, these were only issued only in hardcover – sans dust jacket – and were aimed primarily at the library and school markets. (I was working for a library wholesaler at the time.)

    Another series you might be consider a competitor was the Oberon Library, which was published by HarperCollins in the ‘nineties. These were mass market reissues of 24 of the more commercially viable Oberon Press titles. I don’t think it worked.

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