Dec 5, 2012
This week I sit down with Steve Leveen, the CEO of what might be my favorite store: Levenger.
To me, the Levenger catalog is the equivalent of the old Sears Christmas Wish Book (request your own copy). It's filled with tools for readers and writers: bookcases, book rests, book marks, literary games, iPad and ereader cases, fountain pens, cool notebooks.... Michael is a fan, too, and I know that many of our listeners are customers as well. And so it was a real honor for me to be able to talk with Steve about the company and the products that Levenger offers. (It was also a great excuse to shop!). Steve and I spoke about all kinds of things -- from Levenger's beginnings, to the "golden age of books," to Steve's vision for bringing the paper notebook into the future, to the concept that Steve calls "high bandwidth reading." Because we were recording in the middle of the Boston Levenger store, the background noise may be a bit distracting, but I hope you'll find our conversation as interesting as I did.
Of course I also asked Steve to recommend two books he can't wait for us to read. I found his selections particularly intriguing:
Education of a Wandering Man by Louis L'Amour, which is L'Amour's memoir. L'Amour left school at 15 and learned most of what he knew on his own, from books and from people he met in his travels. I had always thought that this memoir was for fans of L'Amour's westerns, but I think I was wrong. I may be picking this one up soon.
The Better Angels of our Nature: Why Violence has Declined by Steven Pinker. Steve Leveen describes it as an incredibly uplifting book that shows that the scientific and historical data makes the case that our world has actually become more peaceful and less violent.
After my conversation with Steve, I spoke with Mim Harrison, editor of Levenger Press. Mim told me about Long Remembered: Lincoln and His Five Versions of the Gettysburg Address, which Levenger published in partnership with the Library of Congress. It's a gorgeous book -- cloth bound, heavily illustrated with photos of Lincoln's documents, maps, and other papers from the time. The commentary is by Douglas L. Wilson, one of the advisors on the film Lincoln. Levenger has offered Books on the Nightstand listeners a special offer on this book: reduced pricing, $49.00 (instead of $69), Tuesday, December 4 through Monday, December 24th. Enter promotion code BOTNS at checkout. May not be combined with any other offer or applied to previous or pending purchases.