Sunday, July 12, 2009

Staying Power = 400 posts

F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby had a first printing of about 20,000 copies. Five months later, the publishers printed a second run of 3,000 copies. When Fitzgerald died, the publishers were still trying to sell that second run, including seven copies that sold in the first half of 1940. But now, several generations later, it is universally recognized as a masterpiece, as one of the greatest novels of the 20th century.

Contrast that with two recent, popular works of fiction. The four books of the Twilight series were the four bestselling books of 2008, according to USA Today. And the sixth Harry Potter had an original print run of 10.8 million copies, two thirds of which sold within 24 hours, according to Wikipedia. Now, I love Harry Potter, and somebody lent The Missus a copy of Twilight, so I'll give it a chance, but it just makes me wonder: what books will high school juniors be reading in 2084?


Micah said...

Wait... You say that you are going to read Twilight?

To quote Mark Hamill: "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!"

Jeremy Masten said...

Mark Hamill also judged Yoda by his size, then Yoda lifted an X-wing out of the swamps of Dagobah.

You know. Just sayin.

Yee said...


Okay, Jeremy. You read 'Twilight'. Report back. I must know what you think. MUST.

Jeremy Masten said...

Well . . . since you wrote "must" in all caps, I suppose I'll finish it and let you know what I think.

Yee said...

The compelling, original story and deeply faceted characters aren't pulling you in all on their own? :D