Yellow Back Books is a reading room with a collection of artist books, currently hosted at Arcade Campfa, which is an artist-led gallery and project space located in the Queens Arcade shopping centre in Cardiff, Wales. 

As Yellow Back Books, we’ve collected together around an interest in working with artist books, expanded publishing and artists who write and work with sound. When Yellow Back Books started, there wasn’t anywhere in Cardiff for artists to buy, read, or sell the publications they’d made – so the group was formed in response to a desire to create a space for that. We’ve previously been an intermittent distribution project, hosted pop-ups in spaces in the city, travelled to book fairs, and also hosted exhibitions, publication launches, reading events and workshops. Connecting all of this together is an interest in how artist books can be affordable, intimate and mobile – to be collected, shared or brought home. 

Our name comes from Yellow-Backs – which were an early example of cheap paperback books printed for the mass market and distributed throughout train station shops. Yellow-Backs included sensational fiction, adventure stories, educational manuals and biographies, and they had really bright covers. Yellow-Backs were designed to appeal to a growing reading and travelling public and played a critical role in democratising the publishing world at that time.  

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