Printed Page Bookshop
February 2024

Making it real
Alarms were sounded -- again -- in the antiquarian book world recently about a new spate of forged Stephen King autographs.  This isn't the first time someone has forged authors' signatures -- which add to the value of a book -- and it won't be the last.  Mr. King's signature seems to be a favorite for forgers to try to duplicate.  
At Printed Page, we've had our own experiences with forgers.  A couple of years ago, one bought high-end books from a number of local booksellers, unsigned, and then offered them for sale online -- this time with forged signatures.  He was exposed by a local bookseller who alerted the trade, and the forger vamoosed.  
We once bought a photo of Humphrey Bogart that was signed in a felt-tip pen.  Not only was the autograph clearly fake, but felt-tip pens came along some time after Humphrey went away.
We've heard of Tarzan books autographed by Cheetah, and Nancy Drew books autographed by the fictional Carolyn Keene.  But our favorite experience came from a woman offering a copy of the Warren Commission Report autographed by President Kennedy.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Warren Commission Report, it was the findings of a team investigating the assassination of President Kennedy.  (Perhaps the autograph came from a ghostwriter.)
Reputable booksellers -- and we count ourselves among them! -- will always be careful when buying autographed books.  We do our best to determine the provenance of the book and to authenticate the signature, but we aren't infallible.  However, we do guarantee that every book we sell is as we have described it, and if we're wrong, we offer a full refund, nothing fake about it.

This Month's Puzzler
On February 15, 1988, this Nobel Prize-winning physicist died at age 69 of abdominal cancer. At his death, he was best remembered as a brilliant young scientist who cut his teeth on The Manhattan Project and subsequently rose to the top of his profession after World War II. A New York Times obituary described him as "arguably the most brilliant, iconoclastic, and influential of the postwar generation of theoretical physicists."

Despite his importance in the scientific community and his status as a 1965 Nobel laureate, he was not well known in popular culture when he was asked to serve on the presidential commission investigating the Challenger space shuttle explosion in 1986. During the hearings, he stunned the nation and humiliated NASA officials when he placed an O-ring seal in a glass of ice water and, in less than 30 seconds, demonstrated the vulnerability of the seal. If NASA scientists had paid attention to this simple principle, he suggested, the disaster would have been avoided.

Despite his serious scientific credentials, he was a free-spirited eccentric who enjoyed playing the bongo drums almost as much as he enjoyed playing practical jokes on colleagues. When once asked if he could explain in simple terms what he had done to earn the Nobel award, he said: "Hell, if I could explain it in three minutes, it wouldn't be worth the Nobel Prize."

He once offered an observation about science that applies to every aspect of life: The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool."
Who is this man?                 (Answer below)
Award opportunity for young book collectors

Are you a book collector who’s 30 or younger, or do you know one? The Taylor C. Kirkpatrick Prize is a program that recognizes and encourages young people who are exploring an interest in or passion for book collecting. Eligible collectors are invited to apply for the 2024 awards ($1,000 cash prize & more) by submitting details about their unique collection by March 31, 2024, at
Open to book collectors aged 30 and younger in Colorado. All collections of books, manuscripts, and ephemera are welcome (any value or subject).

The Taylor C. Kirkpatrick Prize is offered annually by Denver bibliophile and philanthropist, Taylor Kirkpatrick. Printed Page Bookshop is proud to sponsor this terrific program.

Puzzler answer

Richard Feynman.  If you like our Puzzler, find more on our Facebook page.  
Thanks to Dr. Mardy Grothe for the use of his puzzler.  Visit him at

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