THE destruction of publishing houses in London by enemy attack is but one of the factors that has caused war‐time difficulties in the book trade. The wreckage of premises and loss of stock will certainly continue to have repercussions, as a large number of editions of books were entirely lost, and many of them will not be reprinted. Some of these books were of value. Apart from that, there has been the difficulty of transport, and the paper shortage, while loss of staff owing to calling up has been a factor in the case. It is to be hoped that the Government may release more paper for the publishing trade. When one looks at the mass of circulars of no consequence that continue to be issued and to the waste of paper by Government bodies one reflects sardonically on the fact that the paper quota for books amounts to about 1% of the paper available. Libraries of every character tell of enormously increased demands for books, while the bookshops themselves are busier than ever in history. As the distribution of books is a social service, we trust the Government will realise the position and raise the quota to a point which may meet requirements. If this is not done quickly the book trade will contract, and will be unable to meet the public demand; while libraries of every kind will find their stocks becoming out of date, if not derelict. We are obliged to the publishers who have contributed to the symposium.
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