Edward Everett Root Publishers Co. Ltd.


ISBN 9780954207533  Paperback   £30.00     Order
ISBN 9781911204145  Hardcover   £40.00     Order
211 x 148mm. x + 1-107pp. 
The History of The Book series, No.1.

Serious About Series 

American Cheap ‘Libraries’, ‘Railway’ Libraries, and Some Literary Series of The 1890s.

​John Spiers

About this book

The innovative, trail-blazing enquiry into the importance, range, and history of the publishers’ series in America and in Britain, by the widely acknowledged leading expert in this field.

Second edition. Includes illustrations of 25 series, 16 in colour.

From the introduction:
“Wherever you look, wherever you live, whichever publishers’ catalogue you open, whichever integral advertisement in a book you consider, whatever your interests, there is the series.

“There seems to be no issue, no concern, no topic, no theme, no adult, juvenile or specialist subject, no way of seeing, thinking about or commenting upon the world which does not have its ‘series.’ Every series carried its ‘messages’ and implied advice, targeting specific readers and market segments….It is fundamental to publishing in every continent.”

About the author

​Senior Research Fellow, Institute of English Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London; Professorial Fellow, London Metropolitan University.


Praised as ... "John Spiers' field-defining scholarship." - Paul Rooney, Railway Reading & Late-Victorian Literary Series (New York & London, Routledge, 2018).

"A handy reference guide to publishers of cheap libraries of the railway age on both sides of the Atlantic can be found in John Spiers’ Serious about Series: American Cheap ‘Libraries’, British ‘Railway’ Libraries, and Some Literary Series of the 1890’s."  - John Adcock