|Synonyms:||"F.B.", "Slam book"|
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Some "friend books" were sized small enough to fit into an international envelope (2-3 inches), and consisted of no more than a few pages. The covers could be pages cut from magazines or advertisements and were stapled or taped into a booklet shape. Many were multi-fandom, but some focused on single fandoms like Star Wars.
Fans would write their name and address, and list their interests. The book would then pass along to the next fan. When the booklet was filled it was to be returned by mail to the original fan. Often times questions were asked (ex: Who is your favorite Star Wars character?)
Below is a sample of images from some late 1970s "Friend Books" that were obtained from an estate sale in Anaheim, California in 2016.
Tracing The Path of Brian's Friend Book
Ellen in Nazareth, Pennsylvania had specific requests: "Answer only people who like: ST, Star Wars, Logan's Run, Star Maidens, Rush, Bowie, Moody Blues, [actor] Sal Mineo." She adds that she has a "Collection [of] Sal [Mineo] items [and ] will trade stuff on current stars." Her friend Teresa wrote more simply: Tolkien, Sal Mineo."
Up next was Lori who was attending college in Jacksonville, Illinois: She liked actors "Sal Mineo, Harrison Ford, Rodney McDowall (sic)." On her page she also wrote "NNP". Bethy in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania had a "Collection [of] Wm Shatner, Star Trek and Rodney McDowell."
On the final page of Brain's Friend Book, Deborah in Bethesda, Maryland wanted people to know she had a "Collect on (sic) Man From Atlantis, Patrick Duffy and Star Wars." Linda from Perryburg, Ohio made it clear that she loved: "Harrison Ford, Dirk Benedict, Man From Atlantis.....Or Any Corellian In A Port."