Today marks the date in 1935 when modern paperbacks were first published...and trivia buffs all know that the very first paperback was Lost Horizon by James Hilton (it says so right on the cover!).
Or was it?
Penguin, based in England, printed a set of 10 classic titles in paperback back in 1935, and number one on that list was Ariel by Andre Maurois. It took four more years for production of the first paperbacks in the United States, from Pocket Books. Their first title was indeed Lost Horizon. However...as Pocket Books prepared to roll out this new format, they tested a very small paperback print run of Pearl Buck's The Good Earth, which was sold only in New York City. (Those prized copies now change hands for approximately $15,000 apiece!)
So what really was the very first paperback published in modern times? It all depends on your definition of the word "first," but for convenience, affordability, and variety, we can all agree that paperbacks are still the way to go!