EMBRACING THE FINE ART OF PRINTING—SINCE 1914
While we’re proud to take an active role in the cultural life of California beyond publishing, the Book Club of California’s publications are our most substantive, vital, and lasting achievement. Book Club members take great pride in the club’s long and distinguished history of printing books, keepsakes, and ephemera strong in attention to high craft, fine design, and letterpress printing. Over the past 100 years, the Book Club has played an important and quite possibly the most significant and durable role in the history and preservation of the arts of fine printing in California.
The club has achieved this distinction by actively embracing printing as a fine art, publishing exemplary books on the art and history of our culture. The authors of these books–many of them club members–include historians, scholars, professional writers, and poets. The books are carefully conceived, thoughtfully designed, and attractively printed in limited editions, often by the foremost fine press printers in the country. In most cases, this represents the first and only appearance of their texts in printed form. The club has been recognized as the only club in America continually publishing fine press books since 1914 (and has received numerous awards for them). In so doing, the Book Club of California has given Californians a perspective on their heritage enjoyed by the residents of no other state.
In 1933, the Book Club of California inaugurated its Quarterly News-Letter (now the Book Club of California Quarterly) and Annual Printed Keepsake, both of which continue uninterrupted to this day.
The Book Club of California is equally at home with documenting the waves of migrations and immigrations as it is publishing books of fiction, Western history, biography, photography, art, poetry, printing history, typography, and bibliography—and so much else that springs from the California soil and shores. (Our publications have been recognized for their excellence, receiving numerous awards.) A few exemplary titles are The Luck of Roaring Camp by Bret Harte (BCC Publication #3, 1916); Letters of Ambrose Bierce (Publication #17, 1922); Herbert Fahey’s Early Printing in California (Publication #94, 1956); Robert Becker’s Disenos of California Ranchos (Publication #118, 1964); Indians of California (Keepsake XXXVII, 1973); Spanish Approaches to the Island of California 1628-1632 (Publication #149, 1975); Images of Chinatown (Publication #153, 1976).
THE BOOK CLUB OF CALIFORNIA’S MANY ADMIRERS:
In 1996, the American Printing History Association (APHA) presented the Book Club of California its institutional award for contributions to the understanding of printing history. In 2001, the Book Club of California received the silver medal for Notable Contribution to Publishing from the Commonwealth Club of California for Splendide Californie! Impressions of The Golden State By French Artists, 1786–1900. In 2008, the Printing Industries Association of Southern California (PIASC) recognized the Book Club of California for its keepsakes on California Travel Posters. And we received the Book Builders West 2011 award for best catalog for our 2010 keepsake, Jo Mora: California Cowboy & Artist by Peter Hiller.
The Standing Order:
Book Club of California members love fine books. Some love them so much that they become subscribers of our Standing Order program.
Are there any special benefits to being a Standing Order subscriber?
Yes! Standing Order subscribers are guaranteed a copy of each new Book Club publication and save on these purchases, all while helping build the club’s publications program for years to come.
Does it cost more to become a Standing Order subscriber?
Not a penny. You just agree to buy each club book upon publication, and then enjoy a fifteen percent discount on these new releases, including special editions only available to you.
How do I become a Standing Order subscriber?
For new members, when you choose your Book Club of California membership level, just look out for the pop-up box at check-out and say that you would like to be included.