26 November 2013

Big Books

Edwin Grabhorn interviewed by Ruth Teiser in Recollections of the Grabhorn Press (Berkeley: University of California, 1968), pp. 79-80:
Teiser: As I remember, people used to kid you about never printing little books, always printing huge books.

Grabhorn: Well, I found out, too it was a matter of price. You print a little book and put a lot of work into it and the most you get for it is $3. You print very big books, even if they have only half a dozen pages, you can justify $20, $25 for the price .

Teiser: So that was really why?

Grabhorn: Yes. I printed the [Diary of Johann August] Sutter, a very small book and charged $2 for it.

Teiser: Did you think it was a good book?

Grabhorn: It was a nice little book, yes.

Teiser: If there were no economic factors, would you have preferred to print small books?

Grabhorn: No.

Teiser: Does a large book give you more scope?

Grabhorn: A small book is harder to design. It's harder to make it look good. Why do you think people buy Rolls Royces, or big automobiles?
In 1926 The Grabhorn Press printed an edition of The Book of Job that measured 11 x 17 inches.