By Brother Ignatius, T.O.S.F.
--All these are no more than 2/each
THE oft heard complaint that Catholic books are too dear, is sometimes crystallised into the wish for " A Catholic ' Everyman's Library.'" Whilst being a valuable testimony to the well-deserved popularity of Messrs. Dent's famous series of reprints, the complaint giving rise to the wish is manifestly unfair to the publishers of Catholic hooks.
What shortage there is of Catholic books at " popular prices " is due not entirely to the publishers, but to a very great extent to the Catholic reading public.
From the very principles of book publication, it is apparent that the probable demand for any projected hook will be the main factor governing a publisher's decision for or against its publication.
And if he decides to publish the work, then again the probable demand he is likely to receive for it will influence his choice of format (page size, quality of binding, etc.), and, above all, its PRICE.
Need for Huge Demand
In the instances where a publisher has been able to produce a series of well-bound and printed books at a low figure, he has been enabled so to do by being certain of a huge
demand for the series, and so has offered them for sale at a price which allowed him but a very small profit on each individual volume sold. The success of such a series depends on huge sales.
Our Catholic publishers cannot, at present, be certain of the ready and vast demand which would enable them to launch a large library of cheaplypriced volumes in sumptuous bindings.
Too few of us buy books. and too few of us take the trouble to interest our friends, Catholic and non-Catholic, in the Catholic books already in print.
The Catholic reading public, admittedly. is too small. yet we mostly content ourselves with bemoaning the fact, without making any effort to correct it. Rather than take the trouble to find out what Catholic books are published, and which of them we can afford to purchase for our own reading, we take the easy way out, and blame the publishers because "books are so expensive." But the publishers could quite justly blame us for our apathy.
List of Books
The following short list of books is printed as an effort towards dispelling that apathy, and raising the interest of Catholics and non-Catholics in the cheaply priced Catholic books already available.
"Everyman's Library," has been suggested as a standard at which our publishers could aim, so the following books have been chosen because in no case is their price above es. per volume.
APOLOGETICS The Antidote. stev. .T. Gerard, S.J., and Rev. J. Keating, S.J. Three volumes. (C.T.S.), 2s. per vol.
The See of St. Peter. T. W. Allies, K.C.S.G. (C.T.S.), 2s.
The Case of Galileo. Rev. C. C. O'Connor (B. & N.), 1s.
Catholicism an d Papacy. Mgr. Batiffol (S. & Co.), 2s.
Questions and Answers on the Catholic Church. Rev. A. B. Sharpe, M.A. Two volumes (S. & Co.), 2s. per vol.
Spiritism Unveiled. Dom H. Lanslotts, O.S.B. (S. & Co.), 2s.
One Lord, One Faith. Rev. Vernon Johnson (S. & Co.), le.
General Couneils and Anglican Claims.
Rev. S. Herbert Scott. (S. & W.), is. Will Men be Like Gods? Rev. Owen Francis Dudley (L.G.), 2s.
Answers to Atheists. Rev. L. A. Lambert. (B.O. & W.), 2s. and Is.
The Credentials of the Catholic Church. Very Rev. J. B. Bagshawe (B.O. & W.), 28. and Is.
BIOGRAPHY St. Teresa of Lisieux. Rev. Vernon Johnson (C.T.S.), Is.
St. Winifrede. Rev. H. Thurston, S.J. (C.T.S.), is.
Blessed Oliver Plunket. Historical Studies (M.H.G.), 2s.
Recollections of a Ransomer. Rev, Philip Fletcher, K.C.H.S., M.A. (S. & Co.), 2s. and Margaret Sinclair. May Rita O'Rourke (S. & Co.), Is. 6d.
What Are Saints! Rev. C. C. Martindale, S.J. (S. & W.), I.e.
Father Mathew. Katharine Tynan (B.O. & W.), la 6d. DOCTRINE The Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. Cardinal Gaetano De Lai (B. & N.), 2s.
The Immaculate Conception Rev.
John F. Carr, C.M. (B. & N.), 2s. God: Does He Exist f T. M. Lovat Fraser (B. & N.), in.
A Correspondence Course in Catholic Doctrine, Rev, L. Rumble (S. & W.), la. fid.
(B.O. & W.'s "Treasury of the Faith" series; 36 volumes, each volume: cloth, 2s.; wrapper, is.) HISTORY A Short History of the Catholic Church in England. Cardinal Gasquet (C.T.S.), 2s. and is.
The Church in English History. J. M. Stone (S. & Co.), 2s.
The Counter Reformation in Scotland.
Rev. J. H. Pollen, KJ. (S. & Co.), 2s. History of the Protestant Reformation.
William Cobbett (B.O. & W.), is. ed. Tyburn and the English Martyrs. Dom Bede Camm, O.S.B. (B.O. & 2s. and le.
LITURGICAL Liturgy for the Classroom. Rev. J. T. McMahon (B. & N.), is. 6d.
The Maas Explained to Children. Doctor Maria Montessori (S. & W.), 2s.
Mysteries of the Mass in Reasoned Prayers. Rev. William Roche, S.J. (L.G.), 2s.
Benedietus Qui Venit (Instructions and Prayers for Mass and Communion for Youth), Rev. William Roche, S.J. (L.G.), 2s. and Is.
SOCIAL MATTERS The Pope and the People. Selected Encyclicals, etc., of PP. Leo XIII, Pius X, Benedict XV, Pius Xi (C.T.S.), 25.
A Catechism of Catholic Social Principles. Janice P. Kerr, LL.D. (B. & N.), 2.9.
A Handbook of Catholic Charitable Organisations (C.S.G.), 2a.
A Code of International Ethics (C.S.G.), Is.
The Guild Social Order (C.S.G.), Is.
The Christian Citizen. S. M. Cunnington, M.A. (C.S.G.), is.
Ethics of Peace and War. Rev, H. Gigon, Ph.D. (B.O. & W.), 2s.
Happy Babies and Their Mothers. Dr. Mary Kidd. (SO. & W.), 2s. and is.
MISCELLANEOUS Manual of Catholic Action. By an Irish Priest (M.H.G.), 2s.
CiviNSation and Culture. Rev. E. Hull, S.J. (S. & Co.), 2s.
Franciscan Essays. Rev. Dominic Devas, O.F.M. (S. & Co.), 2s.
Some Broadcast Sermons. Rev. C. C. Martindale, &J. (S. & W.), le. A Map of Life. F. J. Sheed (S. & VV.) is. 6d.
Theosophy. Rev. C. C. Martindale, S.J. (C.T.S.), 2s. and is.
A Simple Cyc:lopediu for Catholics. Rev. C. Bowden (C.T.S.), 2s.
(N.B. Not one of the above titles appears in 13.0. & SHILLING LIBRARY, which consists of over 200 books, or in S. & W.'s famous shilling " UNICORNS.") Works of Devotion, Fiction, Poetry, and Drama have not been listed, as their Inclusion would have resulted in too long a catalogue.
The use of the figure of 2s. per volume made the compilation of the list comparatively simple. Had even half-a-crown been taken as the upward price limit, the task would have been greatly magnified, for whole "Libraries " of books at this price would have to have been included.
The Books are There
On the evidence even of the above very short selection, it is obvious that the demand for cheap Catholic books often is made in ignorance-the books are there already in large numbers, and if the demand for such books were to increase, the supply of them would naturally increase both in number and scope.
We have not even the excuse of being unable to get particulars of books as they are issued. Catholic publishers always are willing to answer a request for copies of their lists or catalogues, and our Catholic periodical press regularly publishes reviews of recent books, and displays advertisements of them.
The complaint of a shortage of cheap Catholic publications is CO reflection on our publishers or Press, but on our own apathy.
If we show ourselves willing to pur chase the books which already are there for us, the publishers will do the rest.
Let them s the price of books we are prepared to buy, and they will see that our demands are satisfied. But the demand must first be made, and the People to make it are we who form the Catholic reading public.
It is not enough simply to talk about the matter-we must act, by each doing his share in spreading the knowledge and love of Catholic literature and the benefits spiritual and temporal which can be reaped from the intelligent use of the printed word.
Abbreviations used in the book list : C.T.S.-Catholic Truth Society. C.S.0.-Catholic Social Guild.
B. & N.-Browne and Nolan, Ltd.
M.H.G.-M. U. Gill and Son, Ltd. S. & Co.-Sands & Co.
S. & W.-Sheed & Ward.
L.G.-Longmans Green ar co., Ltd.
& W.Burns Oates & Washbourne, Ltd.