7. small publishers
Because these are exciting times for creative, independent publishers. Which means now is also an exciting time for readers. The whole book business is in flux, established business models are being eroded, and the opportunities for new publishers are enormous. I love this situation; it's so refreshing to discover so many small run, innovative, design-aware books and magazines. (Who would ever have thought that old-fashioned newsagents* would get a new lease of life and be stocking the likes of oh comely or Libertine or The Gentlewoman, or that there would be fantastic on-line newsagents?)
One tiny press I like is MIEL which is run by Éireann Lorsung who has been a quietly creative and articulate presence on the internet with her blog, website, poems and connections for as long as I can remember. Her approach is thoughtful and delicate with a light touch that belies a deep seriousness. At MIEL she and her partner make beautiful books in small quantities; they even hand-bind their chapbooks which is hard work, I know, but how many times have you ever looked at a book's binding with wonder?
MIEL is experimenting with books, ideas, and the very idea of what makes a book. At a time when it's easy to believe we are all being sucked into a disposable, mass market, paperless reading experience, it's good to know there are plenty of small publishers with vision and integrity who are creating enduring printed books.
*the best real newsagent I know for magazines from all over the world is Wardour News, 118-120 Wardour St, London W1F 0TU.