Obituary: John Boon

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The Independent Online
May I correct two small points in Jack Adrian's obituary of John Boon [20 July]? writes John Buchanan-Brown.

Methuen may have been "notably careless over its more creative employees", but Frederick Muller set up his own business because he was one of the three directors who inherited the company on the death of the founder in 1924. Alan White bought out Muller and the other director and, with the proceeds, Muller set up his own imprint.

Secondly, it was not television which killed the commercial libraries so much as the post-war policy of direct competition from the Public Library system, which made new books available for free loan on publication. By the mid-1950s, when I entered publishing, Boots was the sole survivor of the up- and mid-market libraries. When public libraries included crime, westerns and romance among their new fiction, not only did Boots close its libraries, but such down-market chains as, for example, Argosy went out of business.

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