Years ago, in the midst of my bookshop battles and as some psychological relief, I began writing a comedy which was then entitled ‘Knox Books’ as both a homage to the great Boston bookseller of revolutionary days as well as a ‘play’ on the homophone ‘knocks.’ Such humor can be entertaining to a stressed brain. I staged that concoction as a sit-com of sorts—imagine a ‘Cheers’ for books, if you will, with a cast of odd-ball regulars confronting crises du jour. The crises were, of course, all the concerns of bibliophiles humbled with the usual human defects. Despite a lack of interest in that work beyond my own confines, I’m sure it would have been a hit. . . At least it kept me sane.
As it happens, I become very attached to my little conjurings. I still fiddle with ideas I first played with fifty years ago, mostly out of affection for the characters. ‘Knox Books’ had kept me going for a crucial period of time and I was reluctant to let it go. That then was the lost cause for a confederation with an unfinished novel which I had long referred to as ‘A Republic of Books,’ a much more forthright address of the issues involved in the death of the book. And though the finished work is not so funny, I think, as my original play, it is at least more to the point of the moment.
‘A Republic of Books’ is now available to order at Amazon or at avenuevictorhugobooks.com, where all the copies shipped will be signed. Note: for those reluctant to engage in political repartee, you may still read all or part of that work right here, now, on this site, gratis, and thereby avoid the loss of $19, plus postage. But, I highly recommend the printed version. It tastes better.