While there is quite a bit of literary genre everywhere alive and well, there are certain publication genre which are not. The Chapbook (still popular) and the Almanac(k), as well but we don’t hear about it much anymore.
Chapbook in the Age of Print-on-Demand
The Chapbook seems like a wonder in the age of Print-on-Demand. With a lovely history, the Chapbook nowadays means 40 pages or less. Of course, one can’t get a printed binding at that size, and the economics are not very good, but the e-chapbook should be popular, and of course its cousin the essay, may also be making a return. A specific kind of essay, or another cousin perhaps, is the Manifesto, a keen piece of writing which could be presented in Chapbook form.
It is my belief we don’t have enough Chapbooks, Essays and Manifestos in daily literary life, and instead have too many blog posts, articles, and otherwise unoriginal or spurious content.
Almanacks for Today
Which brings us to the Almanack, that is of somewhat ancient purview, and deals with heavenly bodies. And of course for Americans, Poor Richard’s Almanack is a slice of history which survives to this day. Living in Thailand, the use of lunisolar calendar reckoning is still extremely important. It turns out that when trying to find out when the Chiang Mai Pillar Festival will be held, the Thai provincial government has no idea, but the little old lady selling votives outside the temples has her own book and can indicate with certainty when the fairly significant annual event will be held.
Time for more Almanacks, for chapbooks and essays, and for manifestos, of which this is one (albeit small) one.