"Thanks to books, we know Socrates distrusted books," writes poet and cultural critic
Gabriel Zaid. "Culture is conversation," he continues, "Writing, reading,
editing, printing, distributing, cataloging, reviewing, can be fuel for
that conversation, ways of keeping it lively. It could even be said that
to publish a book is to insert it into the middle of that conversation,
that to establish a publishing house, bookstore, or library is to start a
conversation -- a conversation that springs, as it should, from local
debate, but that opens up, as it should, to all places and times."