Printed Page Bookshop
May 2022

He's one of the most popular writers of our time,
but here are some things you didn't know about Stephen King

Fans of the genre will tell you there is an abundance of horror writers, but none has ever approached the output and popularity of Stephen King.  King has written 64 novels (including seven under the pen name of Richard Bachman), five works of non-fiction and more than 200 short stories over the course of his 74 years, beginning with "Carrie" in 1974.  His books have sold more than 350 million copies. Perhaps no other author is requested as much at Printed Page.
Because of his superstar status, most everyone has heard of Stephen King, but here are some things you may not know about him.
-King's publishers discouraged him from writing more than a book a year in the late 1970s, so he adopted the Bachman pseudonym.  A bookstore clerk in Washington, D.C., noticed similaries between King's and Bachman's writing and exposed the pseudonym.  King fessed up and said that Bachman died from "cancer of the pseudonym."  (Bookstore clerks are famously insightful.)
-King was inspired to write horror after he found a beat-up paperback copy of H.P. Lovecraft's "The Lurker in the Shadows" among his father's things in an attic.  His father abandoned his family, telling them he was just going out to buy a pack of cigarettes.
-King withdrew one of his books, "Rage," the story of a school held hostage by a gun-wieldng student, following school shootings in 1998.
-King has little memory of writing "Cujo," because he was heavily using cocaine and alcohol at the time.
-King thought so little of his first novel, "Carrie," that he threw it in the trash.  His wife, Tabitha, also an author, retrieved it and convinced him that it was worth saving.
-King sold "Carrie" to Doubleday for $2500, plus royalties.  A signed first edition of "Carrie" can now be had for approximately three times that amouint.  
-King is afraid of the number 13.  He will take two steps at a time to avoid a 13-step staircase, and never stops writing when on page 13 or a multiple of 13.  He also has a fear of flying.
-King has a library of 17,000 books, most of which he says he has read.  He has told would-be writers, "If you don't have time to read, you don't have time to write.  Simple as that."
-He met his wife in a library.

Can this man get some love, please?
It is becoming a matter of some concern that shopdog Izzy is favorably mentioned more often in Google five-star reviews of Printed Page than co-owner John Frantzen, pictured below.  While by no means an egotist, John nonetheless is chagrined that he seemingly is less popular than a scruffy dog with virtually no conversational ability.  For that reason, we humbly appeal to readers to mention John should you find it in your hearts to review Printed Page online (especially on Google).  You can post your review HERE. Thank you.

This Month's Puzzler
On May 5, 1813, this man was born into the family of a wealthy wool
merchant in Copenhagen, Denmark (his mother, who originally worked as a
maid in the household, was pregnant with one of his older siblings when
she married his father).

Raised in comfortable circumstances, he was an introspective lad who went
on to study theology at the University of Copenhagen. He was not
particularly interested in academic pursuits, but hoped the study of
philosophy and theology would help him achieve his biggest goal: a fuller
and deeper understanding of himself.

With an inheritance from his father that gave him financial independence,

he devoted his entire short life to his writings and reflections. He died
in 1855 at age 42 (of complications from a childhood injury). Largely
unknown outside of Denmark at his death, he is now regarded as a founder
of existential philosophy and an influential figure in depth psychology.

He also had a major influence on such later writers as Ibsen, Kafka, and

His best-known works were "Either/Or" (1843), "Fear and Trembling" (1843),
"The Concept of Anxiety" (1844), and "The Sickness Unto Death" (1849).
This last book contained a famous observation:

"The greatest hazard of all, losing one's self, can occur very quietly in the world, as if it were nothing at all. No other loss can occur so quietly; Any other loss -- an arm, a leg, five dollars, a wife, etc. -- is sure to be noticed."

Who is this man? (Answer below)

Printed Page College of Biblio Knowledge returns May 16
After a long Covid hiatus, our popular book school returns Saturday, May 16 from 9:00 to 10:30 am at Printed Page.  You'll learn all you need to know to make your collecting more informed:  Book terminology, first edition identification, research tools, book care and much more.  The class is free, but reservations are required.  You can reserve a spot by mailing us at  

Puzzler answer

Soren Kierkegaard.  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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