Page by Page Books
Read Books Online, for Free
The Haunted Bookshop Christopher Morley

The Corn Cob Club

Page 9 of 10

Table Of Contents: The Haunted Bookshop

Previous Page

Next Page

Previous Chapter

Next Chapter

More Books

MIFFLIN--I guess perhaps I can afford to go on riding on Meredith's ads. I hadn't thought of that. But I think I shall put a little notice in one of the papers some day, just a little card saying


It will be fun to see what come-back I get.

QUINCY--The book section of a department store doesn't get much chance to enjoy that tangential advertising, as Fruehling calls it. Why, when our interior decorating shark puts a few volumes of a pirated Kipling bound in crushed oilcloth or a copy of "Knock-kneed Stories," into the window to show off a Louis XVIII boudoir suite, display space is charged up against my department! Last summer he asked me for "something by that Ring fellow, I forget the name," to put a punchy finish on a layout of porch furniture. I thought perhaps he meant Wagner's Nibelungen operas, and began to dig them out. Then I found he meant Ring Lardner.

GLADFIST--There you are. I keep telling you bookselling is an impossible job for a man who loves literature. When did a bookseller ever make any real contribution to the world's happiness?

MIFFLIN--Dr. Johnson's father was a bookseller.

GLADFIST--Yes, and couldn't afford to pay for Sam's education.

We have hundreds more books for your enjoyment. Read them all!

FRUEHLING--There's another kind of tangential advertising that interests me. Take, for instance, a Coles Phillips painting for some brand of silk stockings. Of course the high lights of the picture are cunningly focussed on the stockings of the eminently beautiful lady; but there is always something else in the picture--an automobile or a country house or a Morris chair or a parasol--which makes it just as effective an ad for those goods as it is for the stockings. Every now and then Phillips sticks a book into his paintings, and I expect the Fifth Avenue book trade benefits by it. A book that fits the mind as well as a silk stocking does the ankle will be sure to sell.

MIFFLIN--You are all crass materialists. I tell you, books are the depositories of the human spirit, which is the only thing in this world that endures. What was it Shakespeare said--

    Not marble nor the gilded monuments
    Of princes shall outlive this powerful rhyme--

By the bones of the Hohenzollerns, he was right! And wait a minute! There's something in Carlyle's Cromwell that comes back to me.

He ran excitedly out of the room, and the members of the Corn Cob fraternity grinned at each other. Gladfist cleaned his pipe and poured out some more cider. "He's off on his hobby," he chuckled. "I love baiting him."

"Speaking of Carlyle's Cromwell," said Fruehling, "that's a book I don't often hear asked for. But a fellow came in the other day hunting for a copy, and to my chagrin I didn't have one. I rather pride myself on keeping that sort of thing in stock. So I called up Brentano's to see if I could pick one up, and they told me they had just sold the only copy they had. Somebody must have been boosting Thomas! Maybe he's quoted in Tarzan, or somebody has bought up the film rights."

Page 9 of 10 Previous Page   Next Page
Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
The Haunted Bookshop
Christopher Morley

Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004