Gifts and experiences to inspire and delight book lovers.


The Penguin story began with Allen Lane, who created Penguin Books in 1935 with his brothers, Richard and John.

Legend has it that Lane conceived the idea of producing good-quality, affordable paperbacks after a visit to Agatha Christie in 1934, when he found himself stranded on the platform at Exeter St Davids train station with nothing to read.

The Penguin logo was first created by 21-year-old office junior Edward “Teddy” Young, after a day of sketching at London Zoo’s Penguin Pool, and was refined in 1948 by designer and typographer Jan Tschichold. It would lay the foundation for Penguin’s modern and progressive approach to design.

The first Penguin book vending machine was installed in Charing Cross Road in 1937, and dubbed the “Penguin-cubator”. The books cost sixpence each (about the same price as a packet of cigarettes), and in less than a year, a million had been printed.

Now you can browse our Penguin Shop online and discover a world of gifts and experiences to inspire and delight book lovers.