THERE has been just enough idiosyncrasy in this book season to relieve the monotony of the poor business. For good books by established writers there has been a reliable demand, but almost-good books, and volumes by new writers, have had a reception as cold as Frigidaire, Some of this discouragement has been blamed on the non-fiction reprints, those three and five dollar hooks of years hack which are now being retailed for one dollar. These books made their reputation in the expensive editions and have stood the test of some time: naturally they offer a good deal of attraction in a year when people have to count their pennies. But that readers don’t shy from the laugher prices (if the book is substantial) is witnessed by the fact that the advance sale of My Experiences in the World War, by Pershing, amounted to 35,347 copies. This title and Remarque’s novel. The Road Back, are apt to lead the lists for a while.
As for novelties, there has been, at least in the East, a run on hooks on backgammon. To meet the demands of this fad. twenty-three leading clubs have agreed upon the standard rules which have now been published by Scribners. The Culbertson Forcing System has been the talk of every smart Contract table and books about it have been best sellers in New York City. So has The Vice Squad, which has fed the curiosity about the city’s scandals. And Boners, which has promoted a good deal of inexpensive laughter, has an undisputed place on the national list. Incidentally, novelties have their best chance in the spring and summer; in the autumn people are apt to be serious.