Friday, January 26, 2007

previous entry | main | next entry | TrackBack (0)

Move over, Oprah

Sure, an Oprah book club selection can net an author millions in book sales and royalties. However, according to the New York Times, Tom Stoppard might be the Oprah of the Long Tail:

“Russian Thinkers,” a 1978 collection of essays on 19th-century Russian intellectuals by the philosopher Isaiah Berlin, has virtually disappeared from bookstores across the city, including Barnes & Noble, Labyrinth Books and Shakespeare & Company. The Internet is not much help either: the book is sold out on, and though it can be ordered from Amazon, the order won’t be shipped for two or three weeks.

The culprit behind this Berlin craze turns out to be none other than Tom Stoppard and his epic three-part play, “The Coast of Utopia,” which opened at Lincoln Center on Nov. 27. Tucked deep inside the show’s playbill is a list titled “For Audience Members Interested in Further Reading,” with “Russian Thinkers” at the top....

Mr. Berlin’s book is not only all but impossible to find in New York, it is also completely out of stock with its publisher, Penguin, which earlier this month quickly ordered two reprintings totaling 3,500 copies, the first time in 12 years the book has been printed, to satisfy more than 2,000 suddenly unfilled orders.

posted by Dan on 01.26.07 at 10:25 AM


The internet isn't much help if you don't know much about how shop for books on the internet: Bookfinder (which aggregates results from a number of different used and new book search engines) produces around 75 results for used copies of Russian Thinkers, some of which may already be sold or be duplicate entries, of course, but the point remains. Perhaps someone should buy them all up and hawk them in the 66th St. subway station...

posted by: Patchen on 01.26.07 at 10:25 AM [permalink]

That is very strange. I could see if Instapundit or Kos had suggested some obscure philosophy tome there being a mad dash, but a footnote buried inside a Playbill? Very strange indeed. It must have been a pretty good play.

posted by: Adam L on 01.26.07 at 10:25 AM [permalink]

Post a Comment:


Email Address:



Remember your info?