Don’t part with your illusions. When they are gone, you may still exist, but
you have ceased to live.
Mark Twain was one smart cookie! Knowing that his irreverent, swashbuckling autobiography would be too hot for his contemporaries to handle, he instructed that it be published 100 years after he passed way. The moment of truth has arrived and the four-pound book — the first of three volumes — is flying out of bookstores faster than Lady Gaga can change outfits.
Who knew that Mark Twain was still so popular — and so beloved? Not the University of California Press, which published the massive, 500,000-word Autobiography of Mark Twain. Thinking that demand for the book would be modest, the Press had a planned print run of only 7,500. Whoops! The book has proven to be a smash — and is selling out all across the country. It’s gone back to press six times for a total run (to date!) of 275,000. The printing company handling the book is churning out 30,000 copies a week just to keep up with demand. And book stores are scrambling to get copies on their shelves in time for the holidays.
“It sold right out,” said one St. Louis book seller. “You would think that only completists and scholars would want a book like this. But there’s an enduring love affair with Mark Twain, especially around here. Anybody within a stone’s throw of the Mississippi River has a Twain attachment.”
The Autobiography is the publisher’s biggest seller in 60 years. Fantastic, isn’t it, to think that America’s having a love affair with a book? It’s not so surprising, though, when you consider how pungent and pithy our boy Mark was — and how timeless his stories are. As one bookstore owner mused, “…you know that if he were alive today, he would totally be a blogger.” And on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedUp! Don’t you just love it?