Leather Book Mailing List

This mailing list is a new one intended for non-subscribers who are nevertheless interested in leatherbound books. It’s obviously fine if active Library subscribers wish to follow this monthly newsletter as well, but now that we’re beginning to expand beyond our community, Castalia House needs a way of communicating with people who: a) don’t read this blog or don’t even know it exists, b) are interested in knowing what is going on with the Library and the Bindery but c) don’t have any interest in our regular print editions or ebooks and d) aren’t already subscribed to the Library.

Speaking of the Bindery, it might interest you to know that it already has its first customer and will be binding 650 books in topgrain Italian cowhide for an independent publishing house later this summer. To anticipate the obvious questions, we have not yet determined what the minimum quantity to place an order will be, and we have not yet determined what our standard pricing will be either.

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Shakeups in Publishing

In the aftermath of the failed Simon & Schuster acquisition, Penguin Random House’s CEO has resigned only one month after her predecessor’s resignation:

Madeline McIntosh, one of the most powerful figures in American book publishing, is stepping down from her role as chief executive of Penguin Random House U.S., the company announced on Tuesday.

The announcement comes during a time of great turbulence for Penguin Random House, by far the country’s largest book publisher. Markus Dohle, who was the chief executive of Penguin Random House, and McIntosh’s boss, resigned from his position in December.

The company also lost a bid last year to buy Simon & Schuster, a large rival publishing house, after the government successfully sued to stop the deal on antitrust grounds. The deal’s collapse cost Penguin Random House a $200 million termination fee, in addition to enormous legal costs. Dohle had overseen the attempted acquisition.

McIntosh has been the head of Penguin Random House U.S. since 2018. Before that, she held a variety of roles at the company, which she first joined almost 30 years ago. She also worked briefly at Amazon.

This is going to have some major fallout in both companies. Expect sizeable layoffs in the industry.

In other news, it’s safe to anticipate that TOR Books is going to be acquired, probably by the same Chinese-funded Astra startup that acquired DAW Books. How long Chinese money is going to support the 白左 aka baizuo, which literally means “white left”, that run these publishing companies should be interesting to watch.

It appears Baen Books has undergone a reverse-revolution, as Toni is back, having unseated her erstwhile successor who proved to be a complete SJW. Precisely how the purchase of TOR will affect them is unknown, but TOR owns a substantial share of Baen, so they will be affected to at least some degree.

On the Castalia front, we have set up our own warehousing and shipping in the USA, which should go a long way toward addressing our longtime customer service issues and prevent us from becoming dependent upon Amazon. This service will begin in March. We also expect to be able to offer shipping services to independent authors and other publishers who want to sell their books directly to their readers, as well as eventually providing an Arktoons-to-print service for our comics creators.


Merry Christmas

A very Merry Christmas to everyone from Arkhaven, Castalia House, Infogalactic, Unauthorized, and, of course, Booster Patrol.

  • Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
  • The Most Wonderful Time of the Year
  • Holly, Jolly Christmas
  • The Ninth Day of Christmas, Boosted
  • What Child is This
  • I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas
  • O Holy Night
  • I’ll Be Home For Christmas
  • White Christmas
  • Silent Night
  • Let It Snow
  • Hallelujah
  • All I Want for Christmas


Subversion and Perversion

The Cambridge Dictionary revises the definitions of “man” and “woman”:

In yet another example of the insanity of modern progressive activism, the Cambridge Dictionary has redefined “man” and “woman.” Under previous definitions, which were reflective of reality, it said that “woman” meant an “adult female human being.” Now, woman is any adult who “lives and identifies as female though they may have been said to have a different sex at birth.” It made the same anti-biology change for “man,” saying it’s “an adult who lives and identifies as a male though they may have had a different sex at birth.”

We’ve had several people ask Castalia Library to reproduce an old dictionary ever since we first launched it, but it was never something I’d seriously considered. Now, however, the need for one is becoming clear. The problem is that it would take a prohibitively long time to do a proper layout from scratch, so the only viable option would be doing a high-resolution scanned reproduction of a pre-1927 dictionary.

If a traditional dictionary is of any interest to you, let me know in the comments, and recommend the public domain dictionary of your choice. I’m not saying that we intend to do one, I’m merely observing that there is a growing need for one given the intentional subversion and perversion of the English language.

On the topic of Castalia Library, a few notes regarding shipping and availability.

  • The Library editions of A THRONE OF BONES Vols. 1 and 2 are on schedule to begin shipping on Friday.
  • The Libraria editions of A THRONE OF BONES Vols. 1 and 2 are delayed. There was a quality issue with the gold foil provided by the supplier and we approved the bindery’s recommendation to delay the stamping until the foil is replaced.
  • The Leather editions of the Junior Classics are scheduled to begin shipping between Christmas and New Years.
  • The cover designs for all four INCERTO editions by Nassim Nicholas Taleb have been completed, and all four books can now be ordered. The customary discount codes apply to all four books for active subscribers. The Library editions are dark brown Italian cowhide, the Libraria editions are black Italian goatskin. Please note that THE BLACK SWAN and FOOLED BY RANDOMNESS are not, and will not be, part of the subscription.
The INCERTO collection in leather


JC Leather 1-6 part 2

Attention: Junior Classics Leather Set backers who backed via the Arkhaven store more than two months ago.

Please send your current shipping address to: castalialibrary-AT-infogalactic-DOT-com.

Please do not “confirm” your current address or send a useless note that says “it’s the same as it was before”. Send the current shipping address in this form, preferably on one line, please, as described below. Do not send it to me or to any email address other than the one specified. Send your current shipping address to castalialibrary-AT-infogalactic-DOT-com. No spaces after the commas.

Order ID, Name and Lastname, Quantity (sets, not books), Address, City, State, Country, Postal Code (Zip), Email address. Separate the sections by comma, so that the line looks like this:

12345,Name Lastname,1,123 Main Street Apt #2,San Diego,CA,USA,55555,email@url.com

If you don’t know your Order ID, just use 000 and we’ll look it up. If you’ve sent your address to us in response to an email in the last week, you do NOT need to do so again.

Backings Old and New

First, CASTALIA JUNIOR CLASSICS backers will be pleased to know that a) ebook editions 4, 5, and 6 are now available on the Arkhaven store and can be downloaded at no charge with the same coupon that was utilized for books 1, 2, and 3. If you don’t have the code, or misplaced it in the interim, we’ll be sending out an email this weekend.

Second, CASTALIA JUNIOR CLASSICS 1-6 leather editions will be bound in August. They will ship in late August/early September. If we have any extra sets, we will make them available in that time frame. And if you’re one of the five goatskin buyers, we’ll need to get your color selected this weekend, so please send an email to confirm that you still want one.

Third, for Lodi fans, Alex Macris is running a crowdfund for BY THIS AXE: The Cyclopedia of Dwarven Civilization. In this tome you will find the secrets of the great and proud race of dwarves, compiled, codified, and curated for use in your favorite old-school fantasy role-playing game.

And fourth, Arkhaven’s Jon Del Arroz is running a crowdfund for OVERMIND, a science fiction graphic novel. Ayla Rin, Agent of Terra Prime has uncovered a plot against the Imperium! On a faraway colony planet, the governor is linking his populace into an ethernet where they are being mind-controlled by a rogue artificial intelligence that seeks galactic domination! Only Alya Rin can stop this nefarious plot and save humanity as we know it.


Of Books and Things

ITEM: There are 4 signed DEATH MASK editions left in stock.

ITEM: The current Castalia Library book is THE PROMETHEAN by Owen Stanley. It is designed to be a set with THE MISSIONARIES, both 1st and 2nd editions.

ITEM: The previous coupon will work with the JUNIOR CLASSICS 4-6 downloads when they go up on the site tomorrow. We’ll also email a download link to a zip file of all three to backers in order to maximize the hit rate.

ITEM: HYPERGAMOUSE will now run twice a week. We anticipate a hardcover edition next spring.


Three Steps Forward

Some days, it feels like one step forward, two steps back. But today is a Three Steps Forward day, as all of the machines less the final two are arriving at the Bindery. We’ll put up some pictures on SG tomorrow, and I’ll try to show some on the Darkstream too.

Loading the truck in England.

It’s going to take a month or three before the Bindery is fully operational, as we need to make some modifications to the location in order to ensure everything is in line with the local codes, train everybody in, then assemble practice books until we meet our quality standards, but today marks the most significant step in the process since the subscribers made the whole thing possible by purchasing Bindery Editions of THE ILIAD and THE ODYSSEY.

As an added bonus, here are the designs for POLITICS and ETHICS covers. As you can see, they will make handsome companions for the recently sold-out RHETORIC, although I’m not entirely certain about the central figure for ETHICS, so it’s possible that cover may change somewhat. But the spines are settled and they are going to look spectacular on the shelves as a three-volume set.


Second Editions

Castalia Library is presently offering its subscribers first shot at THE BLACK SWAN by NN Taleb. We’re also planning to release second editions of the sold-out THE MISSIONARIES and MEDITATIONS, both of which will be very similar to the first editions, although they will be clearly denoted as second editions and will feature different color leathers in order to clearly distinguish the different editions.

Please drop a note on SG or to my email if you are interested in either second edition, as well as if you are interested in the Library or Libraria versions as we will offer second editions of both. We’re asking the subscribers now because we need to decide the size of the print runs for both second editions. We expect that these print runs will be smaller than the initial print runs, but it’s theoretically possible they will be larger, depending upon the demand.

Please note that we are not taking any orders for them yet; next month will be the soonest that we will do so.

While we’re on the subject of sold-out first editions, I should probably mention that RHETORIC is down to the last five copies in stock, for those who are interested in obtaining one before it sells out also sold out. However, we won’t contemplate a second edition of it until we see how ETHICS and POLITICS do.



The 16th book in the Castalia Library subscription (May-June) is ANTIFRAGILE, by bestselling author Nassim Nicholas Taleb. It’s arguably Taleb’s most important book, given the challenges presented in this day and age, and I consider it to be an absolutely essential read.

Some things benefit from shocks; they thrive and grow when exposed to volatility, randomness, disorder, and stressors and love adventure, risk, and uncertainty. Yet, in spite of the ubiquity of the phenomenon, there is no word for the exact opposite of fragile. Let us call it antifragile. Antifragility is beyond resilience or robustness. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better.

NN Taleb

If you are a May-June subscriber, you will receive ANTIFRAGILE when it is produced. If you wish to buy a copy but do not have a subscription, you will have to either a) subscribe or b) wait until the books are bound and the unsold portion of the print run goes on sale. A limited print run of 900 Library and 100 Libraria editions of ANTIFRAGILE will be bound.

Also, for the first time, Castalia House is offering an individual deluxe, leather-bound edition as part of the Castalia Library that is not included in the Library subscription. This is Taleb’s first bestseller, THE BLACK SWAN, which is available at the subscription price for subscribers using the subscription discount code. Please note that the image on the page is merely a placeholder, as we have not yet designed the cover or the spine of the Library edition. A Libraria edition is also available.

A limited print run of 900 Library and 100 Libraria editions of THE BLACK SWAN will be bound. Both books will be part of a four-volume deluxe INCERTO collection.