PAN Fans Club

Let's talk about PAN paperbacks, the blog for those that do judge a book by its cover. Main site is at or

PAN Fans Club - Let's talk about PAN paperbacks, the blog for those that do judge a book by its cover. Main site is at or

BYO or Bind-Your-Own plus JAWS etc.

I recently rediscovered a packet of bookmarks including those for ‘Bind-Your-Own books’ or how to turn a paperback into an awful hardback, a precursor vaguely reminiscent of those ‘library cases’ for VHS cassette tapes!
I found I’d actually got two, one for PAN and one for Fontana. Unfortunately the PAN one was plain on the back but the Fontana advertised the book ‘Reach for the Sky’ from 1957. I have several unopened packs plus one half used and an advertising flier for Fontana and not PAN. I also found a few American packs online at more than I want to pay but interestingly although they have a US address they were actually made in England. Click HERE to see the page.

I always frown when I see copies of PAN’s that have been put into card covers and then described as ‘rare’ I’m just glad they are ‘rare’ as that means that another copy of what might have been  a  perfectly good book, has not been mutilated. Here is a current example but at least they are being realistic and only asking £1.99

I managed to phone Ken about the ‘JAWS’ cover I saw on eBay and he says it is a PAN but a really early one, before the film came out when they changed the shark to the one on the film posters. PAN was printing run after run of 250,000 at a time and was one of their most successfully titles causing Ralph Vernon-Hunt to say “We’ve been saved by that ****** fish”

I was also contacted by a graphic artist trying to speak to Alan Cracknell to ask if it was possible for him to use some of the artwork Alan painted for the album “El Pea” featuring amongst others Jethro Tull. Alan was happy to speak to him and I await the outcome.

No work on the ‘library’ last week as we went away in the camper for a few days to a town where there was supposed to be two bookshops but sadly no more! It got really wild, wet and windy in the night – and the weather was awful as well! We also had a funeral in North Yorkshire and extended it into a couple of days. Fingers crossed as there is a very empty calendar this week I hope to crack on apace!

Jackie Collins and a JAWS mystery cover.

With the weather being fine I seem to have been spending more time on sorting out our disused railway track than on sorting out my books but when it gets cold at least I can do one of them in the warm and dry. We have dug drainage channels lowering the water which has now exposed the source of it, a cracked cast iron pipe nobody knows anything about (the foot is for scale, I’m not really that bad a photographer!)

While trying to contact Adrian Chesterman about the covers he painted for Jackie Collins titles in the 80’s I came across someone selling this standee for “Hollywood Wives”I couldn’t resist it but not sure where it’s going to go. It has made me try to sort out the other Colliin’s covers I have from this period and I’ll add a page next week.

While looking on eBay as I usually end up doing I saw a cover listed as ‘rare, not see another on net’ etc. and they wanted £35. This of course made me try and find out if this was right and so far I have to agree. The seller lives in Greece and I was wondering if it was an international edition although the scans of the first few pages don’t indicate as such. I’ve email Ken, who was studio manger at PAN at that time and was involved with ‘JAWS’ and as I’ve mentioned before is miffed as he designed the icon text but got no credit.

Finally I’ve Heard from Gordon Young to tell me he is now working on the next instalment of his memoires so watch this space.

Georgette Heyer in the Catalogues + Monsarrat

Still looking through the catalogues I mentioned last week and three of them have full pages for Georgette Heyer titles. I’m including scans of them below. The first one is from December 1966 and lists how many of each title had been sold up to that point. Next to where it says ‘the unknown best-seller’ there is a blank book cover and I’m trying to work out if this is clever or a mistake. It is numbered M150 which was “Cotillion’ In the text it also says “She has millions of fans but none have seen a picture of her” which just shows how far we’ve come with technology as if you search now you get dozens. The second scan is from December 1967 and the third and fourth from January 1968.

A couple of weeks ago I featured 10 covers by Nicholas Monsarrat and was awaiting an eleventh. After two weeks and no sign of it I contacted the seller, one of those warehouse companies, who apologised and said they would send me another copy straight away. I was sure it was going to be the earlier edition but surprisingly not but what they didn’t mention was the sticker on the front

I was quite annoyed until I had a better look and saw it was for another PAN title. I tried my usual methods to remove it, lighter fuel and a hair dryer, but no luck so I’ve had to work on the cover in PaintShop. I’ve included it on the page HERE 

The title “The Red Fox” is in shiny gold lettering and no matter how hard I try my scanner still wants to give me black!

“New PAN Books” November 3rd 1967

I ‘won’ four PAN catalogues on eBay a while ago (thanks for not bidding against me Jules) and now we are in November I’ve got around to looking at them.

What I really hate is looking at the lists of “Special Display Materials such as:

I would love a few of those “Pan Books on Sale Here” stickers to go on the bi-fold doors of my ‘library’ where I am currently(!) rearranging the electrics as the sockets all appear to be in the most inconvenient places i.e. behind bookcases. What I also need are a few of these:

So if anyone out there has any of these bits and pieces they no longer need please let me know ( email ) as I find this material every bit as interesting as the books themselves and talking of books there was a ‘plug’ for the book “Our Mother’s House” reissued to tie in with the 1967 Venice Film Festival where it was British entry (It didn’t win, it was “Belle de Jour” also published by PAN) I’ve been trying to decide if the picture used in the catalogue was the same as the one actually used for the book cover. I’ve added a scan of the book to the catalogue entry and put them side by side.