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The Best Seller

From the Evening Star, June 13, 1913. By Walt Mason.

The latest book by Mr. Gush has made a killing grand, and to the bookstores people rush, with money in each hand. “We want the best of Gush’s works,” they cry, “and here’s the mon!” And so the sad, soul-weary clerks dispense it by the ton. The village library’s in a stew, for all the dames are there; they want that book—none else will do—and they are pulling hair! In street cars, in the busy mart, and in the social crush, they talk, until they break your heart, about that book by Gush. And all the tiresome low brow dubs discuss it in the street; and women, at their culture clubs, read extracts and repeat. You hear of it from every bore, and in the evening’s hush you sadly sit before your door and curse the name of Gush. And then the talk all dies away, as sudden as it rose; a new best-seller is in sway, and Gush turns up his toes. If in the bookstore you should look, next month, for Gush’s work, “We never heard of such a book,” will say the weary clerk. Today a book may be a scream that holds the public mind; it passes like a winter dream and leaves no trace behind.

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