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IN THE BOOKMAN'S MAIL

book. •

EAR MR. FARRAR:

accumulates these valuable selections D

'Why Anthologies?” in the leading the very epitome of the author's thought article, “The Point of View", in last De- life; and in time finds that he has the cember's BOOKMAN, containing a selection makings" of many volumes of quotations. from a letter written by Edna Ferber to the Shall he keep these to himself, giving per"Authors' League Bulletin”, is so sharp haps occasionally to friends who chance to that it starts a long train of thought. Says know of his rich stores? Perhaps a demand Miss Ferber:

comes from others who have little time to

read — cannot hope to read the full works I work weeks, and sometimes months, on a short of these great master minds. His longing story. Sometimes the idea for a short story is carried

is always to share this beauty with all who around by me for years before I feel that it is sufficiently developed to take the written form. Why should

need it — and the world does need all the take this story which I sweat blood to write and reap beauty it can get. the benefit of its book publication? If he is going to I have always been a compiler of quocontinue to publish an annual book of short stories written by others, he should be made to share his tations, and have been importuned by profits equally among the writers contributing to his educators, students, clergymen, public I think the whole symposium and anthology

speakers, public men and women everypractice is bunk. It is on the increase. It should be stopped.

where, to make accessible to the general

reader these treasuries of thought. Are I am not defending the compiler of short books of quotations to be included in Miss stories. I believe Miss Ferber is partially

Ferber's *bunk”? If so I am wrong in right, at least from the commercial stand- trying to help humanity to find beauty in point. I am not a reader of short stories, the works of great writers, including those agreeing with Samuel McChord Crothers of Miss Ferber herself. that “the short story is invented for people There is something to be said for the who want a literary quick lunch". I am anthologist. Think what the world readers not a writer — cannot write a poem, an

would miss without William Stanley Braithessay or a story. I am a reader, pure and waite's annual “Anthology of Magazine simple. When I take into my hand a book Verse" or Marguerite Wilkinson's book to read my first impulse is a caress, because

"New Voices", with their exquisite prefaces I love a book, its paper, cover, the printer's and bits of interpretation adding beauty ink and all. Then I turn to the preface, if

to poetry. it contains one. Often I find there some

It takes two to make a book: its writer gem of thought worth preserving. That and its reader. As Gerald Stanley Lee gives me the key to the book, where I feel says in his “The Lost Art of Reading" sure there are more gems awaiting me. I (page 121): am rarely disappointed. These I call my thought breeders. As a booklover I em

The orator and the listener, the writer and the reader,

in proportion as they become alive to one another, come phatically echo the thought expressed by into the same spirit - the spirit of mutual listening Christopher Morley in his “Pipefuls”: and utterance. At the very best, and in the most

inspired mood, the reader reads as if he were a reader

and writer both, and the writer writes as if he were a There is no mistaking a real book when one meets it. writer and reader both. It is like falling in love, and like that colossal adventure it is an experience of great social import. Even as the tranced swain, the booklover yearns to tell others of

If the prime object of the writer is money his bliss. He writes letters about it, adds it to the royalties — his book is short lived, postscript of all manner of communications, intrudes it

isn't it? But if he has a message, irrespecinto telephone messages, and insists on his friends writing down the title of the find. Like the simple- tive of money, then his is a true book and it hearted betrothed, once certain of his conquest, ""I belongs to us all! The reader appropriates want you to love her, too!"

its message and passes it on to others.

Henry Seidel Canby, in his Second Series of Take the viewpoint of a compiler: He

“Definitions" (page 188), makes clear this pays his two dollars for a book and absorbs

relationship between writing and reading: it. It becomes his. It has gone out of the hands of the author into the hands of the Too much is said about writing, and not enough of reader - without whom the book would be

reading. It would seem that whereas only a few can

write well and those only when they are prodded until useless! He finds fresh thought in that their brains turn over at the proper speed, anyone who book and jots it down for future study. can spell can read. Not at all. There are 10,000 bad Such thought broadens one, gives depth to

readers for every bad author, and if the number of good

readers in proportion to the good writers proves to be character. As he continues reading he as much as 500 to one the Authors' League should give

public thanks, for the right kind of reader enters sym- doing so and regardless of any "emotional pathetically into the very purpose of the book” he possesses, shares its emotions, and plucks out its

influence" I might be exerting? May I thoughts. He is rare.

repeat the question of the junior clerk, with EMMA ERWIN COOLEY. a slight variation: "The doctor may think

all those things, but, tell me, why should he write it down?"

ONE OF US WOMEN. DEAR tried to publish a newspaper in my home town but I was unable to get the people interested enough to advertise and MY De there any rome thing in the writing therefore could not get the money needed

world more difficult to achieve than a fourto start the enterprise. So, this is what I did:

square biography? First, I secured a wooden picture frame

I found Mr. Steuart's “Robert Louis in which I placed a cardboard that was

Stevenson" very easy reading, but through

out the two volumes I was conscious of large enough for 12 regular typewriting sheets (3 across and 4 down). The news

a loss — an intangible something that and the editorials were then typewritten on

summed itself up in the feeling that a true these sheets which were after pasted on the

biographer has need of a boundless affection cardboard.

for his subject and a rare talent for creating This "framed up" newspaper I hung up

a bond of understanding between the

reader and himself. Such a compelling on a pole in front of the local post office.

combination will enable them to stand While waiting for their mail, the townspeople gathered before the pole and read

loyally by a mutual friend while dissecting

his life in order to make it whole. the paper. Twice a week I placed in the frame a new cardboard with new news.

I do not doubt Mr. Steuart's sincerity, At first I also placed a glass in the frame to

but his method of presentation of his protect the news from the winds; but that

material seems to me to lack the power to proved too great a temptation for the town

express the deep feeling that should sponsor kids. They would have no news under

it. It is difficult to understand why such cover! So, believing that the boys' will

stress is placed on writing, as a piece of new was more determined than the winds' will,

knowledge (for the general public), that I removed the glass.

Stevenson was not an example to be But, when I began to "expose things”,

emulated in every way by young men. the “old folks" took to throwing stones.

The average person, who has read StevenEverything went well for a while: I

son's non-fiction, has never felt that he launched many daring and futile campaigns

was a model or that R. L. S., himself, for better curbings, paved streets, a library

wished to create such an erroneous impres

sion. and scholarships, etc. Then, one day, I read Edgar Lee Masters's “Spoon River”.

Mr. Steuart's greatest fault is a lack of The next day my “news poster" was de

proportion, as in his conception of Steven

son's mother. It seems to me a lamentable voted entirely to a writeup entitled “Local Characters Caricatured”. Yes that

error to convey the impression that the was the end! I am now safely 150 miles

relationship between mother and son was away from that town and am looking for a

one of close companionship. Who is there

who doesn't wish it were true? But, with job. Can you help me?

next to no evidence, false chivalry toward NORMAN ROBANE.

Had (I am 21 years old.)

the mother is injustice to the son. Stevenson been blessed with such helpful mother-understanding,

what a different life in some ways his might have been. I

recall from memory a letter to Mrs. Sitwell MY DEARARMAR McFee's Doctor (see

in which R. L. S. wrote that a child of

lovers was an orphan surely a cry from "The Lady and the Carpet" — March a lonely heart. BOOKMAN), if he saw me reading THE Persons who have never read Stevenson BOOKMAN on the deck of his steamer, de- will, doubtless, find Mr. Steuart's biography cide that I was consciously "acquiring of interest; that larger body of appreciators culture", "seeking self expression", "im- who have read everything available conproving"

myself, dramatizing" my “per- cerning R. L. S. will find a few new items; sonality”, being a “highbrow female" or but up to date, the true Stevenson with all merely another one of those "intense his faults and vibrant charm is to be found spinsters”? Do you suppose the thought in his own Letters, Verses and Essays. would occur that I (heaven forfend!) was

Sincerely, reading it, as usual, just because I enjoy

E. F. JOHNSON.

EAR MR. FARRAR: D

As a technician would put it, “What motivating influence makes us buy a book?THE BOOKMAN puts the question editorially, “How Sell, Why Buy?” As one engaged in the “literature of commerce", advertising, or as some wit put it, "that other field of fiction", I interrupt the day's dull drudgery at the desk's dry wood to mount my hobby in reply.

We read books either because they bring into our lives emotions, sensations, or qualities with which we would have had kind Providence endow us more liberally, or because we live vicariously in them the kind of life which circumstance, environment, conscience, physique, or chronology denies us. We buy books because, by the act of possessing, we make more wholly our own the cherished qualities which the book crystallizes for us, or the facts it brings to us.

An advertisement for a new book by a new author need be no less successful than one which features a writer of fame already established. Books are bought for their context. A writer's name may be used to add lustre to the context appeal. But it's not nearly so much a question of “What's Hergesheimer's or Rinehart's latest”, as it is this: what's a good mystery, story, detective story, romance, historical novel, western story? What's a good work on political economy, biology, radio, biography? How you answer these questions with advertising is more important than flocking big names to your bindings.

Sampling is one of the most potent forms of getting a product across.

For many commercial articles, this form of advertising is too expensive. I don't think Charles Schwab has yet found it feasible to give a Southern American country a sample battleship with the hope that it will produce an order for a fleet. But, as John B. Stetson Company brought out in one of the most effective sales aids ever printed, “Getting your product into the prospect's hand is a large part of 'Making Headway Selling Hats'."

The same is not only true of books, but a thousand per cent simplified in selling books.

You can give a sample of the context of

a book in an advertisement. Better still, you can often dramatize the sample you select with an illustration. One of the biggest shortcomings of today's book advertising is the lack of dramatization, either in words or with art.

The major appeal in selling a book is emotional. A favorite ingredient of the commercial advertising writer's copy is so called “reason why" text matter. In most of the books to be sold, the appeal is not to the intellect or the reasoning powers but to the emotions. Visualize and dramatize

these should be the guiding shibboleths of the book publisher's "ad"-ept.

Picture a thrilling situation, hairbreadth escape, tense moment, a climax typical of the character of reading the book promises to deliver. Quote the suitable passage descriptive_of the illustration, as your headline. Build up on the appeal of incident or plot in your advertisement context, whet appetite with a taste of terror intensified, clinch action with urge.

That's one way to do it. But how to dramatize biography, political economy, poetry, biology? Let

suppose the biography is of Napoleon.

How many people know that had Napoleon not refused Fulton's offer of his steamboat invention, he might have successfully crossed the Channel and invaded England? That suggests new information and new angles on Napoleon. Lead off your ad with it, then. Political economy? How many people know that an early plan in this country's history was to make George Washington King of America, and that he not only refused but broke and disgraced the man who had the movement under way? Suppose a book promises such unusual revelations of blocs, subtle movements and bureaucracy as this — have you not dramatized its appeal? Any subject lends itself to this method of exploitation. At the same time, the advertisement itself takes on the aspect of informative literature. It does not set up the reader resistence to claims made and the atmosphere of selfishness which are usual factors in commercial advertising.

F. ROMER, President, Samson Service.

us

THE GOSSIP SHOP

"WO American poets within a and thoughts, are becoming well known

month reached the age of fifty: all over this country and Europe. Not Percy MacKaye and Robert Frost. so well known, I suppose, as those of Both, curiously enough, have at one Eddie Guest — but then, you know! time or another taken New Hampshire Frost goes now to Michigan as a as their home. Both have studied permanent resident member of the mountain peoples as a basis for some faculty of that university, an arrangeof their work, Mr. MacKaye in Ken- ment made by the late President Burtucky, Mr. Frost in Vermont and ton, a sturdy and brilliant organizer New Hampshire. Here are two men and educator. This will give Mr. who have had a notable influence in Frost the whole country, in a sense, for American letters, as their friends and he was born in San Francisco and has admirers told them at various dinners made New England his own. Now given to celebrate their half century of he will be taken to the heart of the attainment. Mr. MacKaye has done middle west, a cordial heart, to be sure. much for amateur theatricals by his I could not but remember, as I read great interest in the little theatre Sir Philip Gibbs's excellent tale, “The movement, and his connection with Reckless Lady", my experiences in pageantry. The pageants that have Grand Rapids. Although he may be swept over New England have actually just as right in his picturing of the been of considerable service, not only as middle west as I am, there is room for artistic expressions of community life disagreement. All luck to Mr. Frost, but as developing influences toward then, and congratulations; also to Mrs. real community feeling. His “The Frost, whose grace and dignity have Scarecrow” and “The Canterbury made a rich family life a constant aid Pilgrims" were fine pieces of work; to the progress of a poet. likewise, in the opinion of many people, “This Fine-Pretty World”, produced Two interesting Lincoln items come by the Neighborhood Playhouse last to my desk, both having to do with season. He is planning now to write speeches. The one is Honoré Willsie much more of the Kentucky peoples he Morrow's “The Lost Speech”, a short has studied so assiduously. A poet of story reprinted in a most attractive distinction and a propagandist for art book format; the other, “Lincoln's and beauty is Mr. MacKaye. Robert Last Speech in Springfield in the Frost has led a far less active life. He Campaign of 1858". The latter is has farmed and dreamed and indulged published for the first time by the his desire to be a fine teacher. Slowly,

Slowly, University of Chicago Press, with the public and the critics realized that introduction and other Lincoln matter. here was one of America's great poets. If you like large flat books, it is one The Pulitzer Prize was awarded him which you will find interesting. Speaklast year for his volume, “New ing of large flat books, the loveliest Hampshire". His dramatic lyrics of of their kind lie before me, facsimile farm life, his poems of country places reprints by the Oxford University Press of early English first editions. intellectuals. However, more power to They are fine examples of printing them! We were all in their shoes once and of taste in binding, although they

upon a time. are covered only with heavy marbled paper, of unusually attractive color and Lancaster, Pennsylvania, at first design. The best of them all, I think, gives an impression of coldness and is Pope's “Of the Characters of formality. I found myself terrified by Women", 1735. Do you know it? the atmosphere of this ancient and I like particularly the “Advertise- honorable town, with its fascinating ment”, as follows. What a model of rows of old houses, with doorways that discreet writing!

leave one breathless. Then, it has a The Author being very sensible how par

fashion of suddenly becoming hospitaticular a Tenderness is due to the FEMALE ble and totally winning both the heart SEX, and at the same time how little they generally show to each other; declares, upon

and the imagination. It is old and it is his Honour, that no one Character is drawn young. It is quaint and it is proud. from the Life, in this Epistle. It would Here are made more umbrellas than otherwise be most improperly inscribed to a Lady, who, of all the Women he knows,

in any other city in America. Here, is the last that would be entertain'd at the too, our largest silk mill. Yet comExpence of Another.

merce does not affect the picturesque

ness. A prominent lawyer takes you Some of our American critics were to his office, in the same age-old inclined to belittle “Arrowsmith”, building with a fascinating bookstore Sinclair Lewis's new novel. The ob- (there are at least three excellent vious stand to take on it was that, purveyors of literature in the town); having written two successes, this and after you pass through a corridor, energetic writer would try to do the you find yourself in a building modern trick again and fail. If you think in every way, with a law library that he has failed you should read the and light, airy offices. These people English reviews of his book. (Lewis is preserve their atmosphere, yet are not content to write successful books; determinedly up to date. There is he is a hard worker and an honest Demuth's, the oldest tobacco store artist, He will, I think, never write a in the United States, handed down bad book. The attitude of childish since 1770 from one Demuth to anbumptiousness has never been better other. The original sign is preserved, illustrated than in an editorial on but the store vies with Dunhill's on Joseph Hergesheimer or something of Fifth Avenue for sedate luxury. I the sort in the first issue of the Har- bought a cigar from a dark haired, vard "Crimson's" Literary Supple smiling Mr. Demuth, Jr., and was ment. It is smart, silly, and thoroughly much impressed by him and by my worthless. The general makeup of own act. The “oldest” hardware, the sheet is good, however, and there drug, and department stores cry out is an excellent review by Mr. Hillyer, their combination of age with moderwhose winning of the Dahlia poem con- nity. In the public markets are the test I note elsewhere. David McCord, farmers with their wares. A gander '21, patronizes Miss Lowell's “John is tied to a post and does not like it. Keats". All in all, it is the sort of Eggs are remarkably reasonable in literary snobbery one would expect their baskets. The sales people themfrom a publication issued by collegiate selves seem from a different world.

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