I don’t outright collect vintage paperbacks, but I can’t help purchasing first editions of classics with provocative or, in some way, stunning cover illustrations. Consequently, I’m amassing a careless assortment, from John Steinbeck to Earl Stanley Gardner (the author of the Perry Mason series), F. Scott Fitzgerald to Ian Fleming. Given the advancing progress of the e-book, I figure paperbacks eventually will become a dinosaur. So I like that my library contains some of the early ones, from the golden years of publishing.
Regarding the provocative aspect of vintage covers, Dawn Powell (1896-1965), a critically acclaimed Ohio author (Hemingway said she was his favorite), wrote a book Angels on Toast that went into paperback “specially revised by the author” as A Man’s Affair (1956). The change attempted to encourage more buyers with a suggestive title and cover illustration. I don’t know if it increased sales or not, but today, now collectible,the first edition of A Man’s Affair sells for about $125.