In Quest of the Perfect Book
William Dana Orcutt.
Boston: Little, Brown & Company, 1926. Octavo. Three-quarter vellum boards, top edge gilt. Spine slightly pushed at the heel and lightly soiled. 316 pages. One of a limited edition of 350 copies signed by the author, this being no. 22. Near fine.
Reminiscences & Reflections of a Bookman. Orcutt believed that the mass circulation of books should not undermine their craft production. In this volume he details his crusade against the cheaply constructed tome and lobbies on behalf of deluxe editions and trade copies made with quality and care. Wonderfully illustrated with typographic examples and in the deluxe state, this book serves as a fine illustration of the type of book that Orcutt wanted others to emulate.
"undertaking the laborous task of translating a beautiful thing from one medium to another, The Quest of the Perfect Book must necessarily lead the seeker into far varying roads, the greatest rewards being found in straying from the main street into the fascinating bypaths. My quest has resulted in giving me greater appreciation of the accomplishments of those who successfully withstood opposition and persecution in order to make the printed book a living vehicle to convey the gems of thought from great minds to the masses, never forgetful of the value of beauty in its outward aspect."