It is certainly not my favorite publisher, as far as the political is concerned – presumably the publisher and me separate worlds. But that does not matter in this case. I still remember the ever-friendly Daniela Seel when she was sitting at the book fairs there at her wonderful booth, all aesthetically pleasing. Above all, the books were beautifully designed. They were so beautifully arranged on the shelves that only watching without leaves was enjoyable. Colourfulness in barren halls. A fine atmosphere, which I gladly took along when passing by.
Now it seems that the Kookbooks Verlag seems to be struck, yes you can even say, close to the abyss and that means then, before the bankruptcy. For the publishing industry and thus also for us readers, this would be a great and bitter loss: not only because of the contents of the books, which were created and worked by many talented, gifted authors, but also because of the look and feel of these books: The foldable Dustcovers for example. Beautifully made books, made with love and passion, are not often found. Such volumes prepare work that no publisher, no manufacturer, does in passing.
In order to get such a wonderful company, profits are now absolutely necessary. Because if the tax office comes to the review and (to my knowledge) for the second or third year in a row, nothing was retracted by a company, then the publisher loses the status of a company, which in the end would entail even higher taxation.
Mainly Kookbooks is a publisher of poetry, but also such a great, playful and associative essay volume on the theory and practice of literature, namely Monika Rinck’s “Risk and Idiocy” can be bought there. (A review of the book follows the days here, so that the gentle reader, the gentle reader may consider buying this book.)
I do not want to go into great detail here, what Daniela Seel does and does everything: She founded the publishing house in 2003 together with the illustrator Andreas Töpfer. This is a long time. In 2006 she and her publisher received the Kurt Wolff Prize. Such prizes are important to keep small publishers who are not part of corporations alive. Losses can rarely be cushioned well in such small businesses.
One can say now: bad luck, personal risk, there is no right for survival for companies: If the balance sheets are not correct and is spent more than was taken, the publisher operated poorly. May be everything. But still, it is more than sad when such an ambitious company disappears. For poetry, that is a loss, but also for the atmosphere within an industry that lives from such diversity.
One can now debate at all about the book industry. If so much is said to be read and all in literature, why the sale stagnated in almost all publishers. Well, if everyone depends only on the social networks, there may be less time to read. What once proved to be a blessing and broadening of communication may now prove fatal. Poetry and prose want to be enjoyed quietly, and perhaps in the end the good, old, analogue reading circle is best, where in a small group everyone holds a poetry book by Steffen Popp or Monika Rinck in his hand to read from and afterwards to talk about it, to debate wildly, to argue, to raise one another’s ideas – a symposium, as it were. Red or Weißweinselig understood.
No matter how: Go buy at Kookbooks! I recommend a few books for sale and advise everyone to browse the homepage with the books and authors. And then just directly from the publisher, if that works, or order through the bookseller. My personal recommendations: