Instant Best-Seller

From The Writer’s Almanac:

Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter was published on this date in 1850 (books by this author). He didn’t expect the book to sell well, although he did feel that “some parts of the book are powerfully written.” As it happened, the book was an instant best-seller, selling 2,500 copies in 10 days. The Scarlet Letter was one of the first mass-produced books in America, and it was likewise distributed quickly, so more people were reading it at once and talking about it. The word of mouth drove sales of the book, a relatively new phenomenon at that time. The second edition, a run of 1,500 copies, sold out in just three days.


  1. Jonathan Potter says

    This is supposed to inspire thoughts of Bird’s Nest in Your Hair. Quin said to me just the other day, and I quote, “I don’t expect the book to sell well, although I do feel that some parts are powerfully written.”

    • Matthew Lickona says

      If we look in a mirror and say the book’s name five times, will it appear?

    • Cubeland Mystic says

      That is so weird. James Joyce appeared to me in a dream, and said that “Finn wrote a story, and I do feel that some parts are powerfully written.”

      And then I woke up.

      We got some sort of vortex thing going. I really got to get my mind around it.

  2. Churchill says

    I read it (The Scarlet Letter) a few years ago and enjoyed it, but can’t remember a think about it; I’ll have a look at it after I’ve done some other reading.

  3. Churchill says

    I meant ‘thing’.

  4. Quin Finnegan says

    I got tangled up with Kay Stone. I thought I might get away without having to toss the coin, but realized, like Mr. Reynolds, that the toin gets tossed whether you show up or not. Which is why you can track down surveillance footage of me running down the hallway of The Oriental with my pants around my ankles, just for the sake of the commemorative coin. Learn from my mistakes, brothers and sisters.

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