SIR,—I am sorry to bear about the Catho
lic Bookshop which is closing down, but I am not surprised. Bookselling is such a precarious business at the best of times, and even if there is a large Catholic population, it will be found that very few of them buy books.
For rather over three years I have been running a general bookshop and lending library—with a Catholic bias—and though it is barely paying its way, it is at least an inexpensive hobby.
Catholic patronage is, however, practically nil—with the exception of the parish priest, who is quite a good customer, Non-Catholics, I am glad to say, do bor row—and sometimes buy—Catholic books. So I hope that any apostolic intentions which the authors and publishers may have are fulfilled. At any rate, I am doing my bit in getting the books into the hands of those who need them.
If more bookshops of this type could be opened. it would do much to foster the distribution of Catholic books and the pro pagation of Catholic ideas. • I would like to say that thanks are due to two Catholic publishers who by their kindly co-operation made this venture possible. I regret to say that a third Catholic publisher was not only non-co-operative, but gives rathet worse terms than most non-Catholic publishers!