Excerpt from The Creighton Quarterly, Vol. 24: Shadows; Autumn 1932
The systematic device by which proponents catalogued the benefits of the club to the publisher, author, bookseller and reader adopts itself readily to our study. Standing out beyond the specific arguments advanced in each of these cases, how ever, is the larger and more important question of the book club in relation to literature. I mean that besides the effect of the clubs considered in relation to publisher, author, book seller and reader, there is the cumulative effect of all four of these which cannot be disregarded. The book-clubs are coming to occupy a place in our national consciousness quite apart from that of self-styled benefactor of specific groups and it is this national attitude which is of the utmost importance.
The trouble between the publishers and the clubs, resulting in several unpleasant episodes, is almost entirely commercial in its nature. The publishers are afraid that the inroads of the clubs into the field will affect sales on the less advertised books which are not selected by the clubs. Besides, they resent the large discounts demanded. The publishers can readily and quickly remove the menace of the clubs by agreeing among themselves to refuse to submit books to such organizations. This they will not do; they want the fat prize which goes with the club choice each month. The publisher is placed in an nu enviable situation, but I have little sympathy for him; too much publishing has been done by the trial-and-error method and this has raised the price of books all along the lone.
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