The Trade in War and Peace
The triumphant progress of Penguin Books through its first four years shows how accurate Lane’s instincts had been. There was a market to be tapped quite outside the limited range of those who normally bought books. Far from being a dying art in the age of cinema and radio, reading was still a form of entertainment and enlightenment which could command a mass audience. The underlying power of the attraction of the printed word was to be graphically demonstrated during the five years of World War II, when the demand for books rose to an unprecedented level, and the difficulties of supplying them were equally unprecedented.