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"A happy family is but an earlier heaven".

George Bernard Shaw, 1856-1950

23/04/2013

A View on Best Sellers.

“ I have thrown too many Best Sellers on the floor not to have learnt something about their average weight: that I have found out long ago that the large sale of a book is no safer index for the right estimate of an author than is a large clientele for the right estimate of a doctor, and that in neither case is it sufficient to rely solely on the testimony of the living?  It needs a coming generation of readers and reviewers to fix the value of a book, and then God help us Best Sellers of a day”.

Dr.Axel Munthe, author of  The Story of San Michele.   He wrote these words in St. James’s  Club, London, on May15,1936.

What would the dear doctor have to say today in this age of celebrity memoirs and chick-lit novels with their garish covers?  The Oldie magazine had a cartoon recently showing two men in a publisher’s office looking through a large volume containing the names of people on television, and one says to the other “ Let’s see who we can find to write our next Best Seller.”   The wording may not be exact, but it conveys the meaning.  Another aspect, Dr. Munthe would abhor, is the fact that most of such Best sellers are 'ghost written’.

Continued good reading.

 
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