For those of you who remember the eighties, you may have had that one friend who partook in the hobby of paperback collecting. The goal was to make a collection of one copy of every book produced by a certain publisher. Some enthusiasts still partake in this hobby.
Lance Casebeer and Bob Speray in 1984 started a collection that stood out in the book collection community. The goal was to get one copy of every book published by Greenleaf Classics. Greenleaf published under many different imprints over the years, including Adult Books, Ember Library and the reputable Corinth’s. Amassing an archive of all these books has proved challenging for these two enthusiasts. They focus on books published from 1959 through 1975, though Greenleaf continued to produce sleazy books many years after that. When you search their gallery you’re bound to come across some rather peculiar titles — The Last Orgy; Sex and the Single Gay Girl; Doubled in Lust; The Demon Dyke; and thousands more.
Greenleaf also had a focus on the more taboo sort of fetishes, with titles such as: God Save the Swingers; My Wife for a Horse; The Unconventional Family; and It’s Only Incest. Now these are only the ones published up until 1975. Taboo books published after include: Rich Bitch Roped and Raped; Scatslavers; Son on a Leash; See Mom Spread; Two Cousins to Torture; and several others along those lines.
It wasnt all just sleaze. Under the imprint of Case History, Greenleaf published studies of real-life kinks: After Wife Swapping; Bisexuality and the American Female; Sex in the Family: A Study of Incest; and A Dog in my Bed. As part of the counterculture movement, Greanleaf also published several books on politics: The Truth About Vietnam, Memos from Purgatory and The Dark Messenger. Earl Kemp, founder of Greenleaf Classics, got his start into the publishing career with books that critiqued and analyzed sci-fi literature of the day. So Greenleaf isn’t all smut.
Explore the site to get a more in-depth idea of how these enthusiasts made their personal archive. One struggle they faced was figuring out the actual names of many of the authors who published under pseudonyms and the names of artists who designed many of the books. To avoid being charged with obscenity laws, the staff at Greanleaf did a good job trying to bury the true identity of these names.
The Greenleaf Classics book collection was started in 1984 when the partnership of Lance Casebeer and Bob Speray was established to pursue the vintage paperback collector’s goal of having one copy of each book published by Greenleaf Publishing, shelved in book number order. This was how vintage paperback books were collected within the collecting hobby when a publisher was added to the collecting focus. The goal was to have fun collecting the books while building an archive that documented what was published.
The West Coast vintage paperback collecting community had already built up information about many mainstream publishers such as Pocket Books, Avons, Dells, Popular Library, Ace, and other paperback imprints. The legacy was based on the work of dedicated collectors over many years. Diligent searching of paperback exchanges and used book stores filled in missing books in the collections. The collections supported creation of checklists and shared information about what books existed. Many early hobbyists were completist collectors, having a goal to get one copy of each published book from their favorite imprint to form an archive of books to enjoy.
Lance Casebeer’s paperback collection filled his house in Portland, Oregon. Its existence was an important resource for those wanting to know about the details of paperback publishing history. He produced the influential fanzine “Collecting Paperbacks?” that promoted the fun and excitement of collecting vintage paperbacks, and helped maintain contact among collectors all over the world. Lance hosted a convention at his house every year in late August. LanceCon, as it was called, was a party for collectors where they could celebrate their shared book collecting obsessions.
Here are some different covers (these are NSFW):
See more on Greenleaf Classic Books.