"every thing announced it to be from a circulating library"
Circulating library
Creative Commons AttributionCirculating library - Credit: MonkeyMyshkin, Flickr

Circulating libraries, or public libraries, started to appear in the early 17th century. They were designed for those who wouldn't have access to books otherwise. They provided a wide array of books, including the new novels that were rapidly gaining in popularity at that time. They also offered booksellers and publishers a new place to sell or lend their books. The association with poverty and 'frivolous' novels led people from the upper classes to look down on circulating libraries.