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

M6Toll Question, Proof Copy and Visits

Last week I posed the questions as to what might be the link between the M6Toll and PAN? Well the answer is Mills and Book, the publishers of romantic fiction founded in the UK in1908. They had an informal arrangement with Harlequin (Canada) up to 1971 when Harlequin bought Mills and Boon. Back in the 1950’s Harlequin jointly published 11 titles with PAN which can be seen HERE Note to self – yet another page where they all need to be scanned at a higher resolution..

One  example ‘The Four Just Men’  can be seen above on the back cover of this brief history which unfortunately, as I mentioned before, makes no reference as to why these 11 titles apart from listing them.

To finally answer the question the M6Toll surface contains over 92,00 pulp paperbacks per mile of which about 45,000 are Mills and Boon titles that were returned as unsold etc. Apparently it gives a springier surface, good job is was soft romance  and not hard core fiction! When we were visited by M6Toll staff recently who gave us money for our track clearing I asked if this was true and they said “Yes, 100%”

While sorting out bits and pieces on a shelf I came across an unopened package which turned out to be a 1975 proof copy of ‘Valley of Fear’ by Arthur Conan Doyle. I can’t remember where or when I got it which is most unusual as although I can’t remember things that happened yesterday, I can usually recall something about all my acquisitions. I’m not getting old am I?

Hopefully this blog will have launched itself as we are down in Kent staying with my son, his wife and the little one on the way. We have a list of National Trust properties to visit as most of them have second hand bookshops plus I haven’t added any thing to the ‘PAN Books as seen in NT properties’ for quite a while. Fingers crossed.
Next week I have a return visit planned to the home of a late artist. I’ve visited before but this time something has changed and I’ll say what if I am allowed later.
The week after that is a visit to a relative of a very famous, but unfortunately also late artist who’s name appears on literally hundreds of book covers.
I’ll post updates after the visits.

QUICK UPDATE Just spotted that Richard Booth died last Monday aged 80.
“Mr Booth’ King of Hay-on-Wye’  helped the border town become renowned for its book shops. The renowned Hay resident once owned the largest second-hand bookshop in Europe, and was crowned with an MBE. He was a determined entrepreneur who persevered in his quest to create a book town. Mr Booth even resorted to such stunts as his 1977 declaration of independence for Hay in which he proclaimed himself King and his horse was made Prime Minister” (Extract from local paper)