[EAS]Hayward Cirker (1918-2000)

pjk pjk at design.eng.yale.edu
Tue May 22 04:13:58 EDT 2001

Subject:   Hayward Cirker (1918-2000)

Dear Colleagues -

   This mailing has a circuitous beginning. Over the weekend I was
listening to organ music, a deep liking with probable origin in
living the years of my youth next-door to the cathedral of Linz
(Austria). The composer was Buxtehude. This made me think of J.S.
Bach's famous fifty mile trip on foot from his then place of
employment in Arnstadt to Luebeck, to hear the famous Buxtehude. 
   This in turn sent me for details to my copy of Philipp Spitta's
3-volume biography of Bach, which I knew to have a whole chapter
about that trip and about Buxtehude's influence in the development
of organ music. The Spitta work, originally published in
translation in 1889, was first reprinted in 1952 by Dover
   Since the start of my days as a student in the New World I have
felt affection for the priceworthy offerings of Dover Publications,
now to be found at <http://www.doverpublications.com/>. And there
is affection for a literature whose worth outlasts copyrights and
being out-of-print, the basis of Dover's business.
   By contrast, so much in modern technology is like the thin top
layer of jungle vegetation, dense and resplendent with life, with
roots to be sure, but far down in the dark forgotten.   --PJK

(from NewsScan Daily, 17 May 2001)

   Today's Honorary Subscriber is the enterprising publisher
Hayward Cirker (1918-2000), who with his wife founded Dover
Publications, a publishing house whose catalog included a wide and
wild assortment of reprints of out-of-print novels, scientific
texts, how-to manuals, art and  architectural illustrations, music
scores and children's books.
    Born in New York City, Cirker graduated from City College of New
York in 1936 at age 19. For several years he worked as a salesman
for Crown  Publishing before deciding to start his own firm, initially
a mail-order  business for selling remaindered books.  The Dover
imprint was chosen from  the name of the apartment complex where the
Cirkers lived in Queens, New  York, and from which they launched their
business with a $200 operating budget.
    Cirker's first venture into publishing a title of his own was
an out-of-print text, "Tables of Functions."  In six months the
$4.00 book sold out its press run of 2000 copies.  With that
success behind him, Cirker was on his way to building a publishing
enterprise based on scouring the public domain for out-of-print
books that he reprinted as low-priced  paperbacks with attractive
    Cirker had good instincts for selecting titles that appealed to
a discriminating readership looking for quality books at low
prices, and by the 1980s, Dover had grown into a $15-million-a-year
publishing house.

See http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0393049841/newsscan for
Jason  Epstein's "Book Business: Past, Present and Future." (We donate
all revenue  from our book recommendations to adult literacy action

More information about the EAS-INFO mailing list