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Excerpt from The Book Review Digest, Vol. 5: Book Reviews of 1909 in One Alphabet Departing somewhat from the customary order of the preface for the annual Book Review Digest, we shall omit the usual explanations. We believe that four annual recitals have been enough to familiarize our patrons with the scope and purpose of this work as an organ of book valuation. Instead, we should like to say a word to the publisher, the author and the librarian - all three of whom look upon book criticism from different angles of interest. The publisher, above all else, wants to sell his book; the author desires to be understood and appreciated; the librarian aims to provide the best food for the appetite of the reading public. If the publisher cannot find in reviews material that will aid him in putting his book on the market; if the author is misunderstood and misjudged; and if the librarian sees ground for complaint in the over favor able tone of reviews and in the lack of comparative estimates, the trouble may usually be traced to the book itself or to the reviewer. We shall pass over the author's duty to readers. We do wish, however, to re mind our patrons that the responsibility of the reviewer is a vital one. Thru his criticism, the book is made or marred for a large class of readers who have not time to experiment with the season's output of literature. Because the reviewer's obligation is a serious one, the list of periodicals from which we cull excerpt material for the Book Review Digest has been selected with the utmost care; only reliable and authoritative magazines have been chosen whose departure from high standards of excellence results in injury to an established reputation. The re views published in such periodicals may not be infallible - nothing short of the millennium can eliminate personal bias - but they represent the most conscientious interpretation and the best judgment of the present day. With the foregoing facts in mind, we beg our patrons to remember that the Book Review Digest, without an Opinion of its own, aims only to assemble the various critical judgments in a manner that will enable a reader to arrive quickly at a reasonably intelligent conclusion concerning the merits of a new book, and to offer reference data that will make possible easy access to the reviews from which the clippings were made. J. L. W. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.

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