28 October 2013

An Increasing Degradation

An anonymous author in a book-trade newspaper, quoted in J. Lewis May, John Lane and the Nineties (London: Bodley Head, 1936), p. 199:
I believe that commercial competition amongst publishers is leading to an increasing degradation of everything for which the bookseller stands. Books are becoming a commodity of no more sociological value to the community than chocolates or newspapers. They are the amusement of the passing moment. To the masses they convey neither ideas nor ideals nor any kind of aesthetic quality. And the firms who succeed and grow to monstrous prosperity are just those who god is quantity.
A related post: The Herd Instinct