The Expanding Trade
Although books were not the only constituent of the new commercial leisure market, they were an important competitor to the theatres, concert halls, assembly rooms and sporting events which were attracting ever more patronage.1 Moreover, the printed word was often a part of other leisure activities. Indeed, there were few parts of the eighteenth-century leisure industry which did not in some way benefit the book trade directly or indirectly, whether in the form of guide books for travellers or bloodstock books for horsebreeders. The demand-led expansion of the trade, however, was not only to be found in fields of leisure and culture, but also in practical books, assisting the reader in every activity from accountancy to
navigation. Such manuals had, of course, existed since the sixteenth century, but the number of them greatly increased during the eighteenth century.