Quoted from the author's "Preface."
"In a previous volume I undertook to describe, or rather to indicate, the methods of the production and distribution of the earlier literature of the world and to sketch out the relations which existed between the author and his public during the ages known, rather vaguely, as classic, that is, in the periods of literary activity in Greece and ancient Rome. The materials for such a record were at best but fragmentary, and it was doubtless the case that, in a first attempt of the kind, I failed to get before me not a few of the references which are scattered through the works of classic writers, and which in any fairly complete presentation of the subject ought to have been utilised."
"Imperfect as my study was, I felt, however, that I was justified in basing upon it certain general conclusions. It seems evident that in Greece, even during the period of the highest literary development, there did not exist anything that could be described as a system for the production and distribution of books. The number of copies of any work of Greek literature available for the use of the general public must at any time have been exceedingly limited, and it would probably be safe to say that, before the development of Alexandria as a centre of book-production, no such thing as a reading public existed. The few manuscripts that had been produced, and that possessed any measure of authenticity, were contained In royal archives or in such a State collection as that of Athens, or in the studies of the small group of scholarly teachers whose fame was sometimes in part due to the fact that they were owners of books."