Edward William Bok > The Americanization of Edward Bok > Page 108

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Edward William Bok (1863–1930). The Americanization of Edward Bok. 1921.


Page 108

women. Fewer persons were interested in books, they declared; besides, the publishing houses were not so liberal advertisers as the department stores. The whole question rested on a commercial basis.

Edward believed he could convince editors of the public interest in a newsy, readable New York literary letter, and he prevailed upon the editor of the New York Star to allow him to supplement the book reviews of George Parsons Lathrop in that paper by a column of literary chat called “Literary Leaves.” For a number of weeks he continued to write this department, and confine it to the New York paper, feeling that he needed the experience for the acquirement of a readable style, and he wanted to be sure that he had opened a sufficient number of productive news channels to ensure a continuous flow of readable literary information.

Occasionally he sent to an editor here and there what he thought was a particularly newsy letter just “for his information, not for sale.” The editor of the Philadelphia Times was the first to discover that his paper wanted the letter, and the Boston Journal followed suit. Then the editor of the Cincinnati Times-Star discovered the letter in the New York Star, and asked that it be supplied weekly with the letter. These newspapers renamed the letter “Bok’s Literary Leaves,” and the feature started on its successful career.

Edward had been in the employ of Henry Holt and Company as clerk and stenographer for two years when Mr. Cary sent for him and told him that there was an opening in the publishing house of Charles Scribner’s Sons, if he wanted to make a change. Edward saw at

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