Once & Future

Charlotte Ashley – Book seller, collector, writer, editor, historian

May 25, 2009

Gaspereau Press & Quality Books

The Afterward is reporting the very distressing news that Gaspereau Press, independent printers & publishers based in Nova Scotia, is significantly reducing their staff and delaying several publications.  In these tense economic times this is barely a blip on the publishing-job-cut radar – two and a half jobs eliminated, three books delayed – but for a press of Gaspereau’s size this is significant.  With only about a dozen new books offered annually and a future release schedule undecided one can’t help but feel a bit grim about their future.

I adore Gaspereau Press.  They are among only a few publishers left in the country who print their own books and the results are artisanal.  The mission statement on their website – which I encourage you to read – describes their standards but let me add that their books have a tactile quality that is totally unique, marrying letterpress text with handmade papers and inventive presentations.  Furthermore, unlike other publisher-presses like The Porcupine’s Quill, Gaspereau offers their printing services and standards to the commercial public.  If you need a well-bound, professional and beautiful book printed – say, a catalogue, a journal, or a self-published work – they are one of only  two  Canadian (along with Coach House Books) options that I am aware of.  That does not a healthy local fine press ecosystem make.

There’s not much left to be said except to implore you to visit their website and take a good look at their product, and next time you need to procure a well-crafted gift for someone, consider throwing some business their way.  I would hate for this latest news to be a herald of the end.

3 thoughts on “Gaspereau Press & Quality Books”

  1. Kerry Clare says:

    Doesn’t Coach House do commercial printing? When I was in university, they printed our undergrad lit. magazine and did a wonderful job. But, regardless, you’re right– Gaspereau Press makes amazing books.

    1. Charlotte says:

      Oh my goodness, I think you are completely right – it was Porcupine’s Quill who stopped doing outside jobs. Bad blogger, must read your notes more carefully! (Goes to edit…)

      I contacted everyone I could a couple years ago when I was thinking of producing a literary journal and was shocked at how few quality, small-press Canadian options there were available to me. Not shocked, though, I guess – perhaps just disappointed. It would really be just devastating to lose another one of them!

  2. Rusty Priske says:

    Hey Charlotte, I thought you woudl find this interesting.

    A fid at a Catholic school set up a lending library out of her locker… for books that have been banned in her school.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: