The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

The Laurel Library

By Susan M. Thigpen © 1985-2012

Issue: January, 1985

THE LAUREL LIBRARY was conceived and created in keeping with the old fashion mountain tradition of "Making Do." Due to reader requests for back issues (which we did not have) and our limited finances (which made publishing a book or books impossible) we racked our brains to find a way to compile collections of various stories and articles which have appeared in past issues of THE MOUNTAIN LAUREL. After getting prices from printers, we found that each collection would have to sell for $7.00 to $10.00 each and the initial investment would require far more than we could afford. So, we decided to print special editions of THE MOUNTAIN LAUREL which would contain collections of stories and articles from past issues. There would be no advertising in these special issues and they would contain many of the photographs that space had not permitted us to use with the original printings. Since the special issues would contain no advertising, the price had to be at least $2.75 each, including postage, but this was still far less than we would have had to ask for a book with comparable contents. Rather than call them Mountain Laurels, they would be simply, "LAURELS." Thus, the "LAUREL LIBRARY." The advantages of "Laurels" were not only their affordability to our readers, but since our cost per collection would be lower, we could print more collections.

Over the coming months and years, we hope to make available to our readers collections of short stories, articles, novels, recipe collections and much more in the form of "LAURELS," which will be offered through "THE LAUREL LIBRARY." Already two never before published works of new writers are being readied for publication and we think you will love both of them. As we explained in our first issue in March of 1983, the word "laurel" means "honor and distinction." It is our hope to offer to our readers an alternative to the violence and sex which seems to be required by so many of today's major publishing companies, and at the same time provide hours of reading pleasure at old fashion prices.

We also plan to make available special binders which will hold a full year's worth of THE MOUNTAIN LAUREL as well as several collections from THE LAUREL LIBRARY. We've already found the type of binder we want, but the price seems a little high so we are continuing our search and as soon as the final selection is located, we'll let you know.

We'd like to thank everyone who has ordered "THE SPECIAL BACKROADS COLLECTION" which is "Collection Number One" from "THE LAUREL LIBRARY." Your response has been more than we hoped for and we appreciate your support. We "made do" with what we had and like leather straps instead of iron hinges or "draw bars" instead of metal gates, the result is the same. We "made do" the mountain way. It is our hope to bring you hours of reading pleasure in upcoming editions from "THE LAUREL LIBRARY" and we appreciate your continuing support of our efforts.

Thank you.
The Mountain Laurel