“Books Are Not Bricks”


Books are not bricks…. the more they are treated as bricks, the more they tend to become like bricks,—the more authors seek publishers solely with reference to what they will pay in the day’s market, the more publishers  bid against one another as stock brokers do, and the more they market their wares as soulless articles of ordinary commerce are marketed, the more books tend to become soulless things.”

Henry Holt, “The Commercialism of Literature.” In The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 96, No. 5 (p. 578). November 1905.

In the public domain: You can read the whole thing for free on Google Books.