– Mark E. Smith

Quill & Quire:

In the early 2000s, [Jason] McBride was the press’s managing editor and co-founding editor of the [Fr]uTOpia series of Toronto-centric books…. “He knows the Coach House way of doing things,” [Alana] Wilcox says.

I take this to mean manufacturing books with perfect bindings so tight you can barely hold them open, all typeset by a cackling Mark Fram in an ancient PostScript Joanna with Bringhurstian small-caps rules that are half-understood and aren’t even followed all the time. (With single quotes, as though we were discussing Toronto topics in an Oxbridge gentlemen’s club.)

I know I got one part of that wrong because Ed told me his new book does not use Joanna. But what else, if anything, did I get wrong?

Why does Coach House get a pass despite the structural failings of its books? Do you really think the darling little anachronism of printing on site excuses everything else? It produces books that fight the reader.

Coach House Books is an artisanal publishing collective set up by friends to print each other’s books on a backyard press. But I expect artisanal publishing to produce beautiful objects you will love to read.

Poor Ed Keenan

(UPDATE, 2013.02.11) Esteemed colleague Ed Keenan got the B.P. Nichol (“bpNichol”) shaft in his new book Some Great Idea. Not only is it replete with fake-ass Bringhurstian small caps and numbers that never appear as such, his book brings an especially egregious Coach House Press folly to new heights: It actually has fat-fuck mayor Rob Ford talking about AIDS in British single quotation marks. (Pictures.)

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2013.01.21 15:39. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:

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