11 JANUARY 1873, Page 3

The Publishers' Circular gives a rationale of the books issued

in 1872, classified according to subject, and thereby it may be seen that theology quite bears the palm among the various sub- jeets as regards the number of books issued,—we do not say, of course, of books read. Of theological and religious works there were 570 new ones issued, while of novels, tales, and other works of fiction, — the class next in number,—there were only 468 new books issued. Indeed, about one-sixth of all the new books issued in the year were of the theological and religious type. We may take this, we suppose, as a fair .measure of the interest created in the minds of writers, though not of readers,— for probably a great proportion of these books do not sell. But we must recollect at the same time that one reason why so many people think themselves competent to write on theology is, that on that subject there is a very much less clear standard of merit, and therefore less chance of the authors coming to a clear knowledge of their own incompetence.