Vintage Greenleaf Classics Books 1959 - 1975

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Where did you get all those books?

The books were bought one at a time, as a result of searching and looking in every possible place.

Collecting Vintage Greenleaf Classics Books In the beginning, every Greenleaf Classics book ever seen was bought, because they were all new discoveries. Over time, it became clearer that the books were published under various imprints using a logical numbering system. That led to having a want list in the traditional vintage paperback collecting way - showing missing numbers and numbers needing an upgrade. With a want list, it became even more work to find the books, because not just any Greenleaf Classics book would do anymore.

Traditionally, Greenleaf Classics books have been actively suppressed. Thrift stores throw donated copies into the dumpster. Used book stores won't buy them for resale. Estates take them to the land fill before the sale. This means that searching for the books is more work and a different experience than building a collection of say, the first 500 vintage Bantam paperbacks.

The primary method of acquisition has been active book scouting in every flea market and used book store in every city ever visited. The tricky moment in searching for vintage Greenleaf Classics books is how to ask about sex novels without appearing too creepy.

"Not that we're the type of people who would be interested in old porn books,
but if we were, where would we go to buy them, or to sell them?

Why does this archive stop in 1975? Didn't Greenleaf Classics Publishing continue to release books until the 90's?

This archive holds the books that were published under the influence of the first management team headed by William Hamling. When Hamling was convicted of obscenity and forced out of the business in 1974, a new management team took over. The set of writers and cover artists changed dramatically at that point. The older style of writing and packaging was dropped and a new approach was adopted. The early period of books are called "Vintage" in this archive to distinguish them from the later period books, which could be called "Modern".

I collect vintage Greenleaf Classics books too. Do you have duplicates you want to trade?

Why haven't we met? Contact the site. Let's do a trade.

Can I use an image from the site on another website?

You are welcome to use images from the site for personal, educational or other non-commercial uses. When publishing the image on a website, include the citation information that appears near the image or the URL for the page where the image came from.

Can I get a publication-quality copy of an image.

Yes. Contact the site for information about obtaining a high resolution version and publication information.

Can I link to the website?

Please do. When you are sharing a link to lead people to the site, use the URL to the entry point page, "" with anchor text of "Vintage Greenleaf Classics Books".

Here is a snippet of HTML that you can cut and paste for use on a website.

    <a href=“”>Vintage Greenleaf Classics Books</a>

What about the books like the 50 titles in the Greenleaf Keyhole imprint published in 1969? Why aren't they included in the archive?

Several imprints have not been published on the web site yet such as the GK imprint you mention and others. Adding imprints to the web site's database is an ongoing process.

The web site is open now, even as other imprints are being added. We reached the "OK to Publish" milestone when all the imprints with colorful painted covers were entered. The other imprints have B&W line drawings and photo covers.

They will be added over the coming weeks.

How do you know about the real authors who wrote the books under pseudonyms?

Over a recent ten year period, Earl Kemp published an award winning eZine that included details about his work at Greenleaf Classics Publishing as senior editor. It is a wonderful memoir of his days working at the publisher. He tells great tales of his days working at what he calls "The Porno Factory". Earl is a major source of information about the identity of the true authors who wrote the books.

Lynn Munroe has been actively researching the writers behind the bylines of vintage Greenleaf Classics books. He publishes his findings on his web site, Lynn Munroe Books. For example, his most recent report covers the latest revelations about titles that Lawrence Block wrote for Greenleaf Classics.

We all owe a huge debt to both of these people for their years of work.

How do you know who painted the cover art?

For many covers, that is still a mystery. The artists who painted the covers did not sign their names and there are no known business records that might tell us.

One artist who became well-known is Robert Bonfils. It took a few years to locate and contact him, as described in this story, Bonfils Cover Art is Back. Robert Bonfils has reviewed most of the books in our collection and has identified which covers have art that he painted and which do not.

He has kindly provided us with the names of several staff artists who worked with him at Greenleaf Classics Publishing and pointed out images that they did, providing us with characteristics of their styles. From this, an attribution can be made with some certainty for the art that has a very distinct style, such as the books with cover art by Tomas Cannizarro.

Before his death in 2012, staff artist Darrel Millsap was very helpful in verifying for us that he did the cover art on books attributed to him.

In a few cases, there is a clear statement from Robert Bonfils that he did not paint the art for book covers that some sources have said he did. For this reason, those books are attributed to the artist "Unknown". Those books also include an explicit note saying that Robert Bonfils has reviewed the cover art and says he did not paint it.

Everybody claims that this or that book has cover art painted by Robert Bonfils while others disagree. Where can I see all the vintage Greenleaf Classics books having cover art painted by Robert Bonfils?

This is the place.

In recent years, Robert Bonfils has continued to review the book cover art in an ongoing process to complete the research and arrive at the correct artist attribution for every vintage Greenleaf Classics book. Robert has given clear statements about whether he did or did not do the cover art for each of the books shown him.

In mid-2013, the last major batch of books were reviewed by Robert, giving the go-ahead to publish the findings. This web site is the first time that the complete and correct information about which book covers have art by Robert Bonfils could be available because the research had not been completed earlier.

Even though the major research has been done, there are still a few books that have recently arrived in the collection, that have not been reviewed yet. The review process continues. But the research is complete enough to publish what is known so far.

It is now possible to browse a set of book covers having art by Robert Bonfils and have confidence that you are seeing the right story.

Click here to browse Vintage Greenleaf Classics Books having cover art by Robert Bonfils.

I see that a seller on the internet is listing a book / original art and says the author / artist is different than is shown on this web site. Should I tell you about it so you can fix your web site?

There are many bits of misinformation about the vintage Greenleaf Classics books that are in circulation because there has been no definitive place to publish it for public review and verification.

In fact, our efforts to share the data to have it reviewed and improved may have inadvertently contributed to the spread of misinformation. Early versions of our data set have been passed around with the intent to have the data reviewed.

Those early versions of the data set may be getting used by folks who do not understand that the review versions contained many default (and wrong) field values as place holders while correct information was assembled. For instance the name "Robert Bonfils" was the value of the artist field for all the books in many imprints, while the correct artist attribution was being researched. In other cases, a field value might have been the best known information at one time but it's been eclipsed by later revelations.

Now that the major stages of research has been done, this web site holds the most complete and correct information. All previous versions of the data set are out of date. The current version is here for public review and correction to establish this web site as the gold standard for information, so that the amount of misinformation is reduced.

If there is authoritative information to support a seller's claim that differs from what is on this site, we want to hear about it. Please contact us in such a case.

Where can I get a copy of one of the Greenleaf Classics books?

The Internet is the place to find all kinds of goods, including vintage Greenleaf Classics books. However, eBay has rules prohibiting the sale of many Greenleaf Classics titles on their site, continuing the tradition of suppressing these books in the used book market. Nonetheless, vintage Greenleaf Classics books can be found on many venues on the Internet.

Local flea markets, tag sales, and used book stores are still good sources, if you have the patience and look long enough.

In the 60's, many Greenleaf Classics titles sold more new copies than some "mainstream" fiction on the best-seller lists. Yet even for those titles, the number of copies still extant is relatively low. With so many active and effective social processes for suppressing the books, they mostly ended up in landfills.

If there is a specific book you would like to have, contact the site to ask about it.

Where can I buy the original art used on the covers?

As related in Earl Kemp's memoirs mentioned above, almost all of the original art work was burned as a way to limit what government snooping could find out about the Greenleaf Classics publishing operations.

By chance, a few pieces of art have survived and show up for sale in various places. Contact the site if you are interested in original cover art.

I have a book that is shown on the web site. What is it worth?

This site documents that the books exist. No effort has been made to report on their market value. The karmic value of rescuing any vintage Greenleaf Classics book from destruction is at least a million plenary indulgences, but that's not cash, which is what you were probably asking about.

Take it to a PBS Antique Roadshow, or better yet, leave it in an unpaid locker that is sold to a Storage Wars winner. Then there will be a sure valuation about the treasures within.

"Wow! That's worth a hundred bucks all day long."
      - Darrell, while digging through the boxes.

"In that condition, for that title, it's worth about three dollars."
      - Book store owner, during the checking-it-out scene.

Do contact the site if you have a large group of the books and want to sell them. We are always buying books in clean condition. We pay more than they're worth. :-)

I have a book that is not shown on the web site. It must really be rare. What's it worth?

A book that is not in the collection is not necessarily worth more than one that is. It's not in the collection because the books arrive in random order and it has not arrived yet. For most books, there is nothing special or more valuable about it because it shows up later than the others. One that shows up later is simply one that show up later.

It's the old joke: "Time exists so the books won't all show up at once."

Do contact the site to offer such books. We want to get copies of every title. There is no better place for the book to be than in the collection, where it will be given respect and treated well.

Please contact us if you have a book in our set of needed books.

I found a mistake on the website. Does anyone care?

Absolutely. Please contact the site and explain what mistake you see. The goal is to have correct and useful information on the site. There is a long history of fixed mistakes. It's part of the package when dealing with so much unknown material.

I have a suggestion about the site - it should ....

Please contact the site and explain what you wish it would do.

I want to make a line of greeting cards / coffee mugs / votive candles / t-shirts and/or publish a POD book using images from your web site.

The images on the site are copyrighted and registered. They are not in the public domain, nor are they free to use in any commercial way. If you have a business plan, contact the site to arrange for licensing. High definition images of very good quality are available and customized image work may be arranged.

The books have dates associated with them that includes both a year and a month. How did you determine what month to use?

Month values were assigned based on the books being published at a rate of four or eight per month. The copyright statement inside the book gives a year. When 48 books in a row have the same copyright year, publised at four per month, it is possible to assign each group of four books to a different month, starting with January. Each book in the group of four can be assigned sequential days of the month.

The intention of assigning this type date value into the "date" for a book is to provide a way to sort them by a single date field and maintain the result in publication order. With just the year value, sorting by date produces a random order within a given year.

Further, the intent of this type date field is to enable browsing books having a given year and month. This shows books that were on the newsstand at the same time. We can then see what it was like to visit a store to shop for books during that month.

This date field is not intended to document the exact day the books were printed and sent to the distributor.

Why didn't you use registration data from the copyright office to document the exact publication date for each book?

That's a great idea. However, a few campaigns have been mounted to review those copyright records with mixed results regarding date values.

Many copyright registration entries have exact dates that make sense as the date the book was published. Others have date values that are not consistent with other books published at the same time. A few books have multiple registrations with slightly different dates in each registration. The conclusion is that the dates in the copyright registration entries are as much fiction as the bylines on the books.

The date in the copyright registration is an unreliable source about when the books were publshed. Also, the value can't be used for sorting while maintaining publication order. Thus, there has been no urgency to get those date values, since they don't serve any useful function except to capture the fact that a given value was submitted on the copyright registration.

If the date information is ever extracted from the copyright records, that would be excellent information to include and publicize on this web site. Similarly, if anyone wants to collate the page count, the exact book size, the front cover blurbs, keywords to tag the cover art or story, or first and last sentence, those would also be interesting attributes to track for each book. Such information would be added to this web site if it were available. Contact us if you have such information or want to help create it.

I saw a book showing the cover art of Robert Bonfils. The author promotes his knowledge of Greenleaf Books in posts to his chums in a Yahoo discussion group. Is he associated with this site?

No. But he did obtain a CD-R of our early data set and cover scans described in the History of the Vintage Greenleaf Classics Books Collection.

The Temptation of Knowledge - About Vintage Greenleaf Classics Books Despite never contributing to the archive, he has promoted himself as an expert on vintage Greenleaf Classic books based on what he has found on the CD, even going so far as to publish a Print On Demand book. The POD book includes text from the Illustration Magazine article about Robert Bonfils along with low resolution images from our data set. If you bought the book, do not trust the story it tells. It is based on uncorrected, tentative information that has been known to be wrong for years.

Now that this web site exists, the guy can find accurate information to share with his chums. He can appear even smarter.

Enough answers to questions. Let's look at the books.

But wait, I have a question. What...? When...? Where...? Why...? Who...? How?

More questions are welcome. Contact us. We'll answer them then.