I love this book. The message is clear and focused. It means a lot. It is deep. It is inspiring. I have read it hundreds of times.
I first read the book over 25 years ago. I didn’t know anything about it except that it seemed to always sell. I was National Account Sales Director at Knopf back then and it was part of my job to research backlist titles. This one kept on selling.
Then I found out about the backstory. This book was first published in the USA in 1923 by Alfred A. Knopf. It started out modestly but just kept on selling every year. To date, almost 10-million have been sold in the States. The book is still in USA copyright and will be until 2018. So, Knopf publishing will have the rights for 95 years. It is in the public domain in most of the rest of the world.
In 1988, the book was due to go into the public domain (at that time it was 75 years), but the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act added 20 years. If the book had been published one year earlier, it would have been PD. But, Knopf (a division of Penguin-Random House) got an additional 20 years and millions more in sales.
So be it.
I just read that an animated movie is coming out this weekend in the USA. But it is only at one theater in NYC and one in LA. I guess I could pop on a train the NYC, but wish it was available closer or online. The movie stars the voices of Liam Neeson, Salma Hayek, John Krasinski, Frank Langella, Alfred Molina, and Quvenzhané Wallis. Check out the trailer.
I hope the movie is true to the spirt of the book. I hope it is good. I don’t expect the movie to match the experience of reading this book. All it needs to do is spark interest and guide people to the book.
I look forward to seeing the movie — and now I think I will read some more of the book.
“They come through you but are not from you.
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.”
“And stand together, yet not too near together;
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.”