Joe Sonderman’s “Route 66 Then and Now” book finds an unexpected second life

Thanks to an out-of-the-blue feature by a British newspaper, Joe Sonderman’s “Route 66 Then and Now” book suddenly has found new interest nearly four years after its publication.

Sonderman’s “Route 66 Then and Now” (Amazon link) was published by London-based Pavilion Books in May 2018. The book compares old images of Route 66 to what they look like now. The Route 66 News review of the book is here.

A few days ago, writer Ailbhe MacMahon referred to Sonderman’s book and took it one step further for The Daily Mail newspaper by using an interactive slider to compare old and newer photographs from the book.

Having The Daily Mail plug a book is a big deal. The newspaper boasts a circulation of more than 900,000 and holds an extensive online presence. As of Monday morning, the story has been shared almost 200 times from its website and drawn more than 170 comments.

And, because of the Mail’s extensive influence, at least two other news outlets have picked up the story.

Reached Monday morning via Facebook Messenger, Sonderman said his email box was full due to all the renewed interest in the book, though he isn’t sure what prompted the Daily Mail article.

“I sure was thrilled, though,” he wrote. “I mean, the Daily Mail! That’s just so cool. Too early to say what effect on sales it will have.

“My only regret is that some things have changed since the book came out,” he added. “I wish readers could see the Painted Desert Trading Post restoration, for example. But I am thrilled to see Route 66 get this kind of exposure. Maybe we will get our European travelers back.”

“Route 66 Then and Now” basically served as a cousin to Russell Olsen’s two “Route 66 Lost and Found” books from the 2000s that were compiled into one volume (Amazon link).

An attempt to reach MacMahon for comment through the Daily Mail was unsuccessful.

(Cover image of Joe Sonderman’s “Route 66 Then and Now” book courtesy of Pavilion Books)

One thought on “Joe Sonderman’s “Route 66 Then and Now” book finds an unexpected second life

  1. Things along Route 66 do change, some good and some not so good. But change is inevitable. Thank goodness for Ron Warnick and his Route 66 News blog.

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