I don’t normally select books according to their publishers – indeed, I could rarely tell you who published a book I am reading. I met Paul Dry (of Philadelphia) a decade ago, shortly after he founded Paul Dry Books (PDB). PDB is a very small publishing firm that puts out whatever books strike Paul Dry’s fancy, at the rate of ten or a dozen per year.
Some of Dry’s selections are interesting, relatively obscure books that have gone “out of print”, a status that may be diminishing as the reach of Amazon.com and other mega-suppliers extends. Others are translations. The author list is eclectic in the extreme. The most published author is the very prolific Eva Brann, whose books are so scholarly that I have not actually finished even one of them.
I’ve fared much better with Paul Dry’s fiction selections, like His Monkey Wife and The Summer House – a Trilogy. I also enjoyed Nat Hentoff’s memoir, Boston Boy.
In a world of mega-corporations, bookstore chains, electronic publishing and giant publishing “houses”, it’s refreshing to come across a company as independent and quirky as Paul Dry Books. I’m putting several of his books onto my Christmas list and struggling with my conscience over the possibility of downloading some of his authors onto my Kindle (from Amazon).