Historical information

In the early 1950's Lionel Nowlan had a Hairdresser & Billiard Room in Nicholson Street (where the Caltex Service Station stands today).
A circulating library is a small library with books lent for a small fee to subscribers and was often inside an existing business. Circulating libraries were common before a more substantial local library was established. Circulating libraries offered an alternative to the large number of readers who could not afford the price of new books in the nineteenth century but also wanted new material. Circulating libraries rented out bestsellers in large numbers, allowing publishers and authors to increase their readership and increase their earnings. They were also profitable for those businesses that established them.
Nowlan's, Marshall's and McCoys were circulating libraries which operated in Orbost in the first half of the 20th century.

Significance

Circulating libraries offered an alternative to the large number of readers who could not afford the price of new books in the nineteenth century but also wanted new material. It was common for them to stock the latest novels.

Physical description

A red cloth covered hard back book with a repaired black spine. It is titled "The Cost of a Promise" and is a novel in Three Parts by Mrs Baille Reynolds.

Inscriptions & markings

Stamped on some pages - McCoy's Circulating Library On inside front cover - No 249
Contains a sticker for Nowlan's Library Orbost
Stamped - Marshall's Circulating Library
McCoy's Circulating Library