Literature of the Book

A collection of significant books by, about and for the book professions.

Gordon Graham and Richard Abel at LOGOS, the journal that Gordon founded after he retired in 1990, felt that there was a need for a descriptive bibliography of the best books about books. It was to be relevant to all the book professions and to be international in focus. As they developed their ideas they decided that they wanted to collect the actual books as a complement to the bibliography.

Gordon had already established the basic framework for both the bibliography and the collection. His seven domains of the book world were: Authorship; Editing; Production; Publishing; Bookselling; Librarianship; and Readership. From these beginnings came the Matrix of the Book.

Who we are What we do
Authors Vision Inspiration Composition Message
Editors Collaboration Criticism Improvement Text
Producers Inventiveness Skill Craftsmanship Format
Publishers Catalysis Decision Coordination Publication
Booksellers Service Choice Marketing Dissemination
Librarians Assembly Order Preservation Access
Readers Seeking Finding Reflection Understanding
The matrix can be read vertically or horizontally. Horizontal lines show progression of functions; vertical columns their commonality among the seven constituents. The whole maps the progression from the creation of text to its fulfilment. It applies to all media
From The Literature of the book: a select bibliography, with critical essays, of books by, about and for the book professions (2005) Marlow: LOGOS.

Subcategories were added to include categories such as Indexing, Book Marketing and Education for Publishing. Initial book lists were passed onto subject specialists, whose job it was to refine the lists so that they only contained the best and most useful books in their field. The annotated lists were published in The Literature of the book: a select bibliography, with critical essays, of books by, about and for the book professions (2005). Copies can be found in the Library, with the collection and at 070.5016/LIT. The collection is searchable on Library Search.

The final collection, together with the matrix, were exhibited at both the Frankfurt Book Fair and the London Book Fair. They then came to Oxford Brookes University, a fitting resting place as it already housed the LOGOS Books that Shaped the Century collection. The collection is openly accessible and can be found on Level 2 of the Library in the mobile shelving in Zone C. The books are organised by category.

Gordon Graham was a good friend to Publishing, and the Library, at Oxford Brookes. Sadly, he died in 2015, he was 94.

The current Editor of LOGOS is Angus Phillips, head of the Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies at Oxford Brookes.