Why We Exist

Marshall McLuhan memorably said that the medium is the message. In the twin realms of
language and ideas this means that what we absorb from what is put before our eyes or into our ears will depend on the manner of its putting.

The foundations of our intellectual being in recent centuries have been overwhelmingly put to us in print. In our minds even yet we are people of print, whatever dilution its influence may have suffered with the arrival of other visual and aural media. Print remains king, whether it comes to us on paper or screen, and increasingly so as screens become more pervasive in the literary world.

Screens by their nature enforce some simple rules, such as: “Keep It Short”, and, within reason, “Large Print”. In the realm of print on paper the booklet, by its nature, insists on the first. The second is more negotiable, but a publisher who cares about his readers’ eyes can easily accommodate it, to the great enrichment of the reading experience and the absorption of ideas.

We exist to marry the booklet, an old medium, with the wonderful capacities of new desk-top machinery, in order to make accessible some literary curiosities we discover from time to time, some old, some new, and some merely obscure. Publishing of any kind is a public art, one of the highest purposes we can imagine, and its timehonoured form of print on paper will never die as long as publishers care about it and readers read.

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