Check out our key milestones as we celebrate 45 years in business!

1974 - 2019

Once upon a time...

For 40+ years, Booksource has been family-owned and operated. Our focus is, and has always been, providing our customers with the best selection of quality literature and exceptional customer service.

Following are some of our company milestones:


In 1974, the company was started when Sandy Jaffe took over the operations of Paperback Supply, a local book wholesaler in St. Louis, MO. We had only seven employees and worked out of a 6,000 square foot warehouse. At that time, the company carried only paperback books from fewer than 75 publishers.


Fueled by an entrepreneurial spirit and a love of reading, Sandy immediately started to grow the company. During the late '70's, in addition to the company's client base of independent bookstores, Paperback Supply began serving department stores, airport stores, and chain bookstores.


Growth and change began to occur in the company with more regularity. In 1984 we purchased San Val, Inc., a bindery services company that turns paperback books into hardcover books.

The wholly-owned subsidiary has grown to be a critical part of our organization, greatly strengthens our ability to serve the education market, and produces about two and one half million books a year.


In the mid '80's, based on a need to diversify its customer base, the company underwent one of the most significant changes in its history to date. We began selling to the education market, including public and private schools from kindergarten through high school.


In 1987 we changed our name to The Booksource, based on the addition of hardcover books to our catalog, and expanded our market coverage beyond the Midwest to cover the entire country.


With a staff of over 110, we made a move in 1995 to our current 67,000 square foot warehouse facility. Our inventory now includes over 30,000 titles from more than 150 publishers.


In 2000, we purchased Peaceable Kingdom Press, the retail-products division of our company. The Berkeley, CA-based company produces cards, gifts and a variety of paper products featuring classic children's books, contemporary artists and unique children's properties.

Another transition came in 2005 when we discontinued selling books to retail bookstores in order to focus on what are now our three core divisions distribution of book to education markets, San Val and Peaceable Kingdom Press.


In 2009 we purchased the assets of Topeka Bindery in order to revive the iconic Turtleback Books brand. With this division we produce library-bound editions of popular literature that are in stock and ready to ship. Our catalog currently includes 17,000 of the most frequently requested titles.

The Booksource has always been family owned and operated. And now, the company is engaged in a natural transition to the next generation of Jaffes. Sandy's sons Neil and Gary are co-presidents of the organization, and his daughter Donna is president of Peaceable Kingdom Press.


GL group formed as the parent company for Booksource, Peaceable Kingdom and Turtleback Books.

Booksource launched Classroom Organizer, a ground-breaking web-based inventory system for classroom libraries and Peaceable Kingdom launched a line of cooperative games.


In the summer of 2013 we launched a rebrand of Booksource, and in the winter we started remodeling our Macklind facility. Also in 2013, we closed our Steelville bindery and opened up shop in St. Louis, creating Jaffe Book Solutions, a short-run, on-demand book manufacturing service.


GL group celebrated its
40th anniversary!


In 2015 we started the Emergent Leader Program, an internal leadership development program for high potential employees within the company.


In 2017, we sold Peaceable Kingdom, the retail products division of our company. Also in 2017, we occupied a new warehouse facility in Hazelwood, MO. With over 200,000 square feet, it is now home to the operations teams of each of our three divisions.