Tom Muckian
This month’s On Line Book Club choice Notes to Self is published by Tramp Press. So what? I hear you ask. Well, it’s true that all the books that make it into the readers eager little hands must be published by someone. It’s also true to say that most of us don’t pay much attention to who publishes the books we read. But maybe we should. One of the reasons that books have survived the onset of the digital age is that books as well as the content they contain are often beautiful things to hold, and behold.

Tramp Press in their short life (they celebrate a fifth birthday on the 27 July next year) have assembled a fine backlist of titles. They have a Booker Prize nominee, in the stable and also show a keen eye for reprinting forgotten classics. What distinguishes the work of the Tramp Press is not just the quality of the work they print but the quality of the way it is printed and presented. Some books just feel better in your hands than others do. Of course that doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily enjoy it, but it does help. Sharing your bed or comfy armchair with a book is a much more pleasant experience if you don’t spend the time reading the book fighting a running battle with a badly bound book printed on cheap paper.

Without fail every book to issue from the Tramp Press is a guarantee of two things. Firstly, the quality of the work itself. You may not like the book, having read it, but you can be sure it was printed because the people at Tramp Press believed in it. Their 2016 publication Solar Bones by Mike McCormack (winner of the 2017 Goldsmiths Prize) is a novel that tells it’s tale without any full stops. Most publisher would run a mile. Tramp Press pursued it relentlessly, determined to publish it. They also bagged a Goldsmiths Prize, nomination in 2017 for A Line Made by Walking by Sara Baume. The other guarantee is that the book itself will be worthy of the content. Simple (but never plain) striking covers, beautifully put together and presented they are a fitting addition to any bookcase. In a world where planned obsolescence is a pillar of sustainability for many companies and the products they produce, Tramp Press productions are books you’ll treasure.

Tramp Press was launched in July 2014 by Sarah Davis-Goff and Lisa Coen two self confessed workaholics, who met while working together at Lilliput Press in Dublin. I could ramble on for several more paragraphs but instead I’ll direct your attention to this fine article/interview and the ladies themselves.

The  latest offering from Tramp Press is the excellent A Brilliant Void, edited by Jack Fennell.  Edited and introduced by Jack Fennell, it’s a collection of lesser-known works of classic Irish science fiction.

A Brilliant Void as the fifth in Tramp Press’s Recovered Voice list and is presented in Tramp Press’s usual inimitable style. It retails for €15.00 and is on sale in all good bookshops (although we’d obviously prefer if you bought it from us)