suspicion of political jockeying will not down. Everybody who believes that all of the selecting committee of the Book-of-the-Month read fifty or sixty books a month, please (as we used to say in the country) give me a quarter, Think of lazy Kit Morley doing such day-labor for a book club; think of temperamental Heywood Broun doing it; think of busy William Allen White forsaking the Emporia Gazette to gallop through a half-hundred possible masterpieces, twelve times a year.
The 70 percent discount is a staggering revelation. It means that a publisher can sell a $2.50 book for 75 cents to the Book-of-the-Month Club and still make money. If that is possible, what a pyramiding of profits the regular retail price must mean! An ordinary book buyer and book reader stands aghast at such proceedings. But I suppose it all comes down to this: the Book-of-the-Month Club and its rivals are commercial, not artistic, organizations. If we can think of them as Big Business and take all their gorgeous palaver about culture as no more than the thrilling verbosity of a toothpaste advertisement, we shall have them down right.
Some people may think that the collecting of antiques is just another crazy American fad, sure to pass when buyers have had their fling. This is probably a shallow judgment that does little justice to the state of our society. The desire to collect antiques may proceed, and I suppose often does, from an honest dislike for factory-made articles and a preference for earlier pieces, the products of handcraft,