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Sex Still Supercharges Pulp Trade

Two Bits a Throw

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

Maybe they call it erotica, but local college students like their sex wrapped up in pulp paper for spare time reading just as much as their less-educated contemporaries, a survey of Square newspaper stand operators, spa keepers, and candy store owners disclosed this week.

Girlie magazines are year-in year-out favorites, and although many students seem to confine themselves to furtive browsing, some buy every one of them that comes out. A magazine called "Art Photography" led the field in popularity until it was banned from the stands a short while ago. "We're still getting calls for it, though," one vendor reports.

Quarter reprints sell in astonishing amounts all along Massachusetts Avenue. The F. Scott Fitzgerald boom has hit the paper-covered market and some stands can hardly keep up with the demand; "they're all after him now," one salesman declared.

Western Trade Small

Many other titles go out of stock a few days after they arrive--George Orwell's "1984" has been selling at a brisk pace. Westerns and most detective stories lag-far behind.

But sex is undeniably the keynote of the trade. A new publisher, Gold Medal books is becoming a dangerous competitor for his big brothers, Bantam, Avon, Signet, and Pocketbooks, Inc. Gold Medal specializes in the facts of life at the expense of plausibility, and is making a big success of it in the Square. Sample titles: "Satan Is A Woman," "I, Mobster," "Women's Barracks." Titles like "Forever Amber" and "Star Money" (at 50 cents apiece) are of course, old favorites.

Other popular items include all science fiction magazines (Galaxy loads here) and racing publications (Armstrong's is the first choice of Harvard men). All the news weeklies sell very well, with "Time" overwhelmingly tops. Sales of sport magazines, crossword puzzle books, and "little magazines" are only fair.

Seek Gotham Journals

There is a steady demand for all New York papers, from the Daily Worker to the Wall Street Journal. One stand sells two or three Russian language newspapers every day. The sale of Irish newspapers seems to be restricted to local inhabitants.

One of the most popular papers is Boston's unique "Midtown Journal," which confines itself to crimes of all sorts, and such human-interest matter as gory murders, divorces, and all forms of bedroom farces that and up in court. It's sold out every day.

The Yale Record consistently and overwhelmingly outsells the Lampoon.

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