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Field Notes Dime Novel

Inspiration for Field Notes Quarterly Editions can strike anytime, from anywhere. For our Fall 2017 edition, it struck from all the way back in 1860 in New York City and a pair of brothers: Erastus and Irwin Beadle. The Beadles had published a variety of inexpensive paperback books on subjects ranging from the tax code to baseball, but when they released Ann S. Stephens’ frontier tale Malaeska as the first of their orange-covered “Dime Novel” series, it sold more than sixty thousand copies and started a trend for cheap pocket-sized genre fiction.

 

After stumbling upon Dime Novels online, and then purchasing a few examples from collectors, we became obsessed with their form as physical objects: the typesetting, the printing, the compact size, the paper stock, and the sewn bindings. For our 36th Quarterly Edition, we’ve reproduced them as best we could, right down to the iconic dusty-orange covers and overheated advertising copy. We did take a few liberties: Field Notes wouldn’t be Field Notes without rounded corners, high-quality paper, and the totally-anachronistic-to-1860 Futura typeface.

 

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