Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

The Imprint
Jackson, F. Ernest Mason, J. H. Johnston, Edward
Persistente ID:
MONG the catalogues that have come my way during the 
last week or two, eight are devoted to surplus books and re- 
mainders. Between them these eight contain seven hundred 
and ten pages ; on many of the pages-Mudie's, for instance- 
there are over a hundred titles, and each title represents many 
copies, in some cases, perhaps, several hundred copies. All 
these, then, are books which no private buyer wanted at the published 
price, while in the case of the remainders not even the public buyer, the 
subscription librarian, would have them at the issued rate. 
Here, then, is a trade out of joint. The parity that should exist between 
demand and supply is all to pieces. A book that is printed, bound, and 
perhaps even written (which is a detail) for, say, the ten-and-sixpenny buyer 
never gets to him. It falls, instead, into the hands of your low, creeping, 
three-and-sixpenny buyer, remarkable for nothing but his patience in the 
matter of laying hands upon the literature of his choice. He is no clapper-on 
of good wares, but protesting that he cares nothing for them at the offset, 
reads the reviews and waits. Sometimes, indeed, the ten-and-sixpenny 
book reaches the ten-and-sixpenny citizen; indeed, such copies as do go to 
him make the way easy for the others. The buyer who takes the publisher's 
word for worth and cost is he who makes it possible for the publisher to 
sell his remainder, a few months later, at a third of the true price, for the 
sale of two hundred copies may pay the expenses of five hundred. 
It is not to the buyer of remainders that one looks for a readjustment of 
a disjointed trade, but to the publishers who are habitual remainderers. 
That this should find a place upon their estimates, that in accepting a book 
and agreeing with the author to issue it, and with the public to sell it, at a 
certain figure, they should in the backsitting-rooms of their business minds 
already see Mr. Glaisher, of Wigmore Street, or Mr. Grant, of Edinburgh, 
waiting for a consignment in original cloth or sheets is all against reason 
and the " royalty " scheme. 
That there are legitimate remainders goes without saying. When Mr. 
Quarich, finding he could not sell the whole Hrst edition of Fitzgerald's 
" Qmar," put the remainder into his penny box, he was wholly innocent of 
guile. The thirty pounds, or whatever the price may be, his successors 
now pay to get back the relics of his early venture, is suiiicient proof of its 
innocence. And there are other innocent remainders. When a publisher is 
bankrupt and his stock thrown upon the market, there is no reason to doubt 
his good faith. At the collapse of the Unicorn Press, there were for many 


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