Ads In Books: 1884

We think ads in books is a New Thing.

Broken Toys, a novel by Anna Caroline Steele, was published in 1884.

Right past that cover, we get this:

Ah, are we at the book now?


Now we are:

And after The End, we get:

And then more ads:

Some day we could wind up with all eBooks being free and stuffed with ads like that.

You doubt?

At one time everyone thought Internet advertising would be restricted to a single banner ad.

And look where we are now.



Filed under Books: General

6 responses to “Ads In Books: 1884

  1. Reblogged this on E-reading, virtual worlds and HCI and commented:
    Advertising in books – not a recent phenomenon.

  2. Pingback: Ads In Books: 1884? Try 960-1279, Sung China! | Books On Books

  3. 24 pages of ads? How long is the book?

    • mikecane

      Over 400 pages.

      • That’s a fair size, but 24 pages still seems like a lot.

        What always struck me as strange about seeing ads in books was the incongruity between the useful lifetimes of the book and the ad. While advertisers could probably match products to books rather well, since books are often read years after being published, there would be a good chance the ad was no longer relevant.

        Now with digital books this is no longer a problem. Booksellers can customize the ads seen by each reader at the moment the book is sent to them, or even dynamically as the book is being read.

        How depressing.

  4. Eric

    When I used to regularly haunt my local library a lot of the older books had advertising in the back cover or a few pages after the story for other books in the publishers catalogue. I always liked that as I found other books to search for and read.

    The advertising I did not like was the cigarette advertising of the mid to late 70s where a return postage card would be bound into the book. The card was perforated and could be easily removed but it still left a gap in the middle of the book and looked ugly.

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