International Fiction Library

International Fiction Library (Cleveland, US)
Series dates: 1929-1935
Size: 5″ x 7.75″

interfictlib_logo1A series of low and mid-grade fiction issued by a publisher’s imprint with a name that sounds like a series. The International Fiction Library was first published around 1929 and ultimately published at least 60 titles. The name of the series may have been chosen for its exotic ambiance, given that most of the titles were US or UK authors. With its vivid dust jacket artwork over a relatively poor quality book the series somewhat resembles the British Readers Library (which was at its peak popularity around 1929).

Over the two copies of International Fiction Library books I have there are three different series logos, printed on the jackets, inside the book, and on its cover: one is in the paragraph above, the other two below.
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The International Fiction Library was an imprint of the World Publishing Co. of Cleveland, Ohio. Alfred H. Cahen founded the Commercial Bookbinding Co. in 1905. In 1928, Cahen bought the World Syndicate Publishing Co. of New York and changed the name of the combined firms to the World Publishing Co. The publisher specialized in bibles, dictionaries and children’s books but began publishing cheap fiction, some in series, in 1929. Cahen’s son-in-law joined the firm in 1934 and developed series of cheap titles to be sold in drug and dime stores. In 1940 he initiated the Tower Books, a .49 cent hardcover series. The company was a significant publisher of dictionaries after 1950, when they also published the Living Library series. The company was sold in the 1960s. (Source)

This copy of James A. Cooper’s Sheila has a 1921 and 1922 copyright but is probably from around 1930. The publisher name / series name is on the jacket spine. Unique artwork graces each dust jacket. The book blurb is included on the front jacket flap. Overall the design of the jackets and books remains the same over the 5 or so years the books are published.

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A related title is advertised on the rear jacket flap. A subset of titles with brief descriptions are included on the back of the jacket.

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A cheap red cloth binding is used, with black printed text.

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The title page includes a monochrome logo for the series with the letters I and F and L in an open book.

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Copyright is included in some of the books, but it is not the printing date.

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A list of 60+ titles is in the back of the book. Categories include mystery, history, western, biography, romance, and adventure.

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Another copy, this one Drummond’s The Justice of the King includes a few series titles on the rear flap (along with another series logo) and repeats the jacket artwork on the rear of the jacket. The book is also undated, but, again, probably printed around 1930.

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A rather elaborate series colophon is printed on the book cover.

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