Field Notes Dime Novel Books

$17.00 CAD

Field Notes Dime Novel Books

"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.

Beadle’s Dime Novels eventually topped 300 titles, each selling 35–80,000 copies, and inspired countless other publishers to imitate (or often steal outright) the Dime Novel’s format, style, characters, and content. Along with imitators came an epic brotherly feud and a long series of lawsuits. It’s a complicated story, but in the end, a fair argument can be made that the Beadles created the mass-market American paperback.


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.

The format and construction of our “Dime Novel” Edition is all-new for us. They’re 4¼"× 6½", right between our “Memo Book” and “Note Book” sizes. The 100# French Paper Co. Construction “Safety Orange” cover is far more durable than what was used on the original Dime Novels, and the “Natural White” Strathmore Premium 70# you’ll find inside is the highest-quality body paper we’ve used in any Field Notes edition ever. The 72 body pages are Smyth-sewn in three, 24-page signatures with Coats Dual-Duty thread, then securely glued into the cover.

Aside from a black-and-white engraving of an Adams “Power Press” from the mid-1800’s on the first page, and page numbers (the Beadles tended to skip a few page numbers in the front to make sure they ended up with a “100-page” book), we’ve left the pages blank so you can write or sketch your own tales of mystery, romance, and adventure on the luxurious wove-finish Strathmore paper.

The Field Notes “Dime Novel” Edition is available now in 2-Packs. We hope this tribute to a fascinating sliver of Americana will spark you creatively, and also provoke you to dig deeper into the world of Story Papers, Nickel Weeklies, and Dime Novels. Northern Illinois University’s “Nickels and Dimes” site is a great place to start!"


Proudly printed by the good people of eDOC Communications, Mount Prospect, Ill.

Cover: French Paper Co. Construction 100#C “Safety Orange,” with a thick, brute force, 1-color application of “Dachshund Nose Black” soy-based Saphira ink, and very gently debossed by Nu-Wave Die Cutting & Finishing, Chicago, Ill.

Innards: Strathmore Premium Wove 70#T “Natural White” with a fine, 1-color application of “Dachshund Nose Black” soy-based Saphira ink.

Cover and innards printed on a Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 105 40" 6-color press.

Bound with Coats Dual Duty C8167 “Natural” thread on a Smyth Freccia sewing machine and Muller Martini Norm binder at Harris Bindery, Downers Grove, Ill.

Corners precisely rounded to a 3/8" (9.5mm) radius with a Challenge SCM double round-corner machine.

Pages more-or-less sequentially numbered for your convenience.

“Dime Novel” dimensions are 4-1/4" × 6-1/2" (108mm × 165mm).

FIELD NOTES uses the Futura family (Paul Renner, 1927) and occasionally the Century Schoolbook family (Morris Fuller Benton, 1918) in its materials, two typefaces wildly anachronistic to this particular project, but timeless enough to work.

All FIELD NOTES memo books are printed and manufactured in the U.S.A.

UPC: 858493003615