Hardback
December 12, 2018
9781625343826
English
248
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
1 Pounds (US)
$90.00 USD
v2.1 Reference
Paperback / softback
December 12, 2018
9781625343833
English
248
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
.75 Pounds (US)
$29.95 USD
v2.1 Reference

Books for Idle Hours

Nineteenth-Century Publishing and the Rise of Summer Reading

The publishing phenomenon of summer reading, often focused on novels set in vacation destinations, started in the nineteenth century, as both print culture and tourist culture expanded in the United States. As an emerging middle class increasingly embraced summer leisure as a marker of social status, book publishers sought new market opportunities, authors discovered a growing readership, and more readers indulged in lighter fare.

Drawing on publishing records, book reviews, readers' diaries, and popular novels of the period, Donna Harrington-Lueker explores the beginning of summer reading and the backlash against it. Countering fears about the dangers of leisurely reading—especially for young women—publishers framed summer reading not as a disreputable habit but as a respectable pastime and welcome respite. Books for Idle Hours sheds new light on an ongoing seasonal publishing tradition.

About the Author

Donna Harrington-Lueker is professor of English at Salve Regina University.

Reviews

"Books for Idle Hours is especially interesting on the emergence of a new type of textual diversion: the American summer novel . . . it takes these books—and the culture that shaped them, and the culture they shaped—seriously, even while acknowledging how transitory they were."—The New Yorker

"Books for Idle Hours is a well-written, carefully researched work on the history of the summer novel and summer reading. This is an important topic in the history of reading in America that has received little scholarly attention."—Tom Glynn, author of Reading Publics: New York City's Public Libraries, 1754–1911

"This book's research is impressive, including summaries of popular literature, both by known and unknown authors; the economics of nineteenth-century publishing; discourses generated by the literary press and marketing strategies; and the exploration of space and reading practices."—Ardis Cameron, author of Unbuttoning America: A Biography of "Peyton Place"

"A summer read about summer reads."—The Public's Radio

"Harrington-Lueker traces the interplay between the growing ability and need of a (predominantly white) middle class to engage in leisure activities, the development of a veritable national tourism industry and a restructuring of the literary market."—Journal of Tourism History

"Through painstaking research and with a keen eye for interesting and thought-provoking detail, Harrington-Lueker has assembled a scholarly study of summer reading in the late nineteenth-century United States that historians of reading and print culture would do well to consult for its incisive commentary on the relationship between market forces and readers' tastes . . . [A]s enjoyable as it is informative."—Reception

"Books for Idle Hours is a fascinating study of a distinct but largely overlooked body of nineteenth-century American fiction and the authors, readers, publishers, and economic and social conditions that gave rise to it."—New England Quarterly

9781625343826 : books-for-idle-hours-harrington-lueker
Hardback
248 Pages
$90.00 USD
9781625343833 : books-for-idle-hours-harrington-lueker
Paperback / softback
248 Pages
$29.95 USD

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