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Salient. An organ of student opinion at Victoria College Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 2, No. 5 April 19, 1939


Recently there was formed in Wellington a Co-operative Book Society. The Society has been registered under the industrial and Provident Societies Act, l908. Here is the policy that was adopted by the Society at the first general meeting:—

All those interested, having read the following article delivered at the annual meeting by Mr. W. J. Scott, should call at the "Salient" Room, where Membership forms and further information are available.

"The policy of the Wellington Co-operative Book Society shall be to provide readers with books, pamphlets, and periodicals that try with honesty, skill and thoroughness to make the life of men and society intelligible to them. Recognizing the difficulty of training and preserving a sound judgment of literature and art in a world in which so much of it has been debased for profit, the members of the Society look to their bookshop to help them, and the public generally, to this end; they regard it as a means of developing the critical intelligence that the understanding and treatment of human conditions to-day so urgently need."

The move to form Co-operative Bookshops is an indication of the deep dissatisfaction felt by many or us with the inadequate supply of good books in the bookshops, the private lending libraries, or book clubs, and the easily accessible Public Libraries. If we rely on them, we are deprived, firstly, of reliable information about books—this is to be found only in periodicals with high standards of criticism and bookshops as a rule stock scarcely any of these—and second, of very many of the best books of imaginative literature, art, and criticism, politics, social sciences, etc. And, for a variety of reasons, the position is getting worse, not better, it is only by such co-operation, among those who want to read well, as the establishment and support of this bookshop that the rot can be stopped.