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Descripción de editorial
When it was not so common, as now, to issue publications from the press, a book of any kind seldom made its appearance, without a preface, to give the reader some idea of its contents, and the history of its elaboration from the author's mind. But at the present day, when authorship is no longer the prerogative of the few, and the press teems with every species of literature, preface writing has quite fallen into desuetude; not improbably for the very solid and satisfactory reason that it would be a most difficult, perplexing, and onerous business, to their several authors, to assign any plausible grounds for the publication of one half of the volumes that come forth in such immense shoals from the press.
We are certainly attached to the good old custom of having a preface, although we are aware that many authors who omit this appendage, assign as a reason, that the preface is the only part of a book that is never read. This we think, in many instances, is not exactly true. There are those in the present day, who like to know why a book was written, and what it contains, before they begin to read it. By such knowledge—and this is precisely the information a preface ought to convey—they avoid the trouble of reading many a volume, which had the author been of the same mind, he might have escaped the trouble of writing. To this class of readers the preface is an important part of the book: while to those who eschew every thing of this sort, it will give but little trouble, to turn over a leaf or two to the commencement of the first chapter.