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November 28, 2007

Comments

Rebecca McCormick

Congratulations on a great first entry for your blog. As most people will tell you, blogging is an endurance project which becomes easier with practice.

Levenger's influence is now extending to the second generation of our family. My neice is thrilled with the kiwi-colored leather laptop case we sent as a high school graduation present last spring.

Fountain pens from Levenger helped me get my first two jobs when I returned to the market after a stint as a stay-at-home mom.

Those same pens continued to make such an influence on casual observers that I eventually incorporated a fountain pen image into my business card logo when I finally made the jump into full-time freelancing as a travel journalist.

The pens are still making their marks, thanks to the fine quality of Levenger products.

David Shein

It's true that some (many?) adaptations are just plain poorly done, and that's that. But I suspect that very often, when people say "the book was better than the movie," they really mean, "the book was richer than the movie." One of the hardest problems any screenwriter faces when presented with a book is what to include and what to leave out. Including everything is almost never an option given the time limitations that movies are subject to. So the book usually includes more detail and/or character development and/or back story, etc., etc., than can possibly be put in the movie. The skill and intuition with which these choices are made have a lot to do with how satisfying the movie is.

That said, the most perfect adaptation of book to screen I have ever seen may not fit your category; it wasn't a theatrical film but a TV miniseries. I'm thinking of "Brideshead Revisited," based on the famous novel by Evelyn Waugh. I can't recall ever seeing any filmed version of a book that was more accurate, more complete, or more true to the mood, atmosphere, and substance of the original.

BTW, a bit of trivia you may know already: "Everybody Comes to Rick's" was orginally planned and budgeted as a B movie to star Ronald Reagan. When Ingrid Bergman unexpectedly became available, they decided to give it a new (bigger) budget and a completely new cast. The result was the "Casablanca" we know.

Finally, you mentioned "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest." Ken Kesey's book was inspired by, and the movie was filmed at, the Oregon State Hospital in Salem, which I have driven past hundreds of times.

David Shein
Dallas, Oregon

Risea Nelson

I love the way Levenger takes the essential and makes it special. Nothing inspires me more than the feel of quality paper, soft leather and timeless beauty of your products. I appreciate the thought and hard work you put behind your products. Your personal integrity is reflected in everything your company offers. I look forward to your blog. This inside view of a remarkable company will be appreciated by many. Risea :)

Rick S.

Hi Steve:

I'm just wondering why you decided to host this on TypePad.com instead of Levenger.com ...

Good luck with this. Love your store.

- Rick S.

Mark Elias

Steven,

I too love your products and store in Delray, after having been introduced to them by some colleagues at American Media, Inc., right down the street. (I was a photographer and photo editor for their short-lived car magazines)

I wanted to ask you about some products that you used to sell or perhaps make a product suggestion, but don't want to clog the blog comment areas.

Thank you and keep up the great work!

Mark Elias

Joel Heffner

I have a complaint, sort of. Please open a store in New York. I've been getting your stuff for years and would love to wonder through one of the stores. Best of luck.

Joel Heffner

Denise Onyskiw

I love having things in color. And that's what Levenger is able to supply me with. I can get paper in colors other than white and yellow and the inks you have available for my fountain pens (the best way to write) are truly amazing! And to offer variety packs is even better! And all your special gifts with purchases for those on you email list is just another way to make us feel special. Levenger's products are wonderful! I even told our computer guy at work that the "no Internet shopping on business computers" didn't apply to Levenger because I buy my ink cartridges here and use then at work and he agreed!

I was also saddened by Steve Jobs's comment about 40 percent of people reading less than one book a year. I read between two and three dozen books a year (I watch no television unless its a DVD - I like movies). I'm sorry more Americans don't know what I know: where to find richer entertainment and education and how to broaden there minds at the same time.

Denise

Regina Garay

I am so pleased to hear one of my very favorite companies will now have a blog -- and a well-written and heartfelt one at that. (I love how you expressed that companies need to maintain a certain nervousness -- I absolutely agree. You can never become too satisfied or smug with your accomplishments...there's always tomorrow!) I have a blog on my company's site and it has made all the difference, to paraphrase Mr. Frost. You will be amazed at the interaction it inspires and what a wonderful platform it will become to help inspire others, introduce new products or just share your expertise and adventures. Looking forward to reading more!

Chip Dietrich

I am very impressed with the products at Levenger and have supplemented my pen-addiction through your fine company over the 13 years that I have lived in Florida. My desire is to visit one of your stores in the near future. I am looking forward to Steve's blogs since I am an aspiring writer.

Cyndi

I love you, Levenger. I particularly love the Circa line in all its beautiful glory. I am a BA and my husband is a Project Manager so this makes us that much more efficient and organized. We don't have to ask "is this YOURS?" because unlike our laptops, they look much different.

And you know - I would love to see something that would organize my coupon clipping addiction as well as my project files. I'm currently carting around a notebook binder with a stack of coupons and in the middle of WalMart with two screaming toddlers - it quickly becomes the seventh circle of hell. I am sure that the masters at Levenger can save me!

Sean Chercover

Steve,

I've been a catalog customer for years, and am a regular at your Chicago retail store.

Both as a reader and as a writer, I use Levenger products every day of my life. Designed with both function and beauty in mind, well-made of quality materials, they are a joy to use and really do help facilitate the writing process.

Bravo! Long live Levenger!

Best,
Sean Chercover

mym

Off-topic: I am delighted that there is now a means of telling you how spectacular the Levenger customer service staff is. I've been a catalog customer for at least a decade, probably closer to two decades by now. When the fine gold nib of my favorite fountain pen broke, I immediately received a credit from Levenger and a different pen was chosen and sent to me. I'm enjoying the new one. As a professional writer, I devour each catalog. I can't imagine that I will be anything other than a faithful,, loyal, grateful Levenger customer in the decades to come.
mym

Lisa Solod Warren

All your talk of movies into books and books in general is being done on goodreads by a group of dedicated and serious readers and moviegoers. Why dont you check that out rather than go it alone?

Amy Karatz

There has to be a better name than 'boovies'! Anyone? Having said that, here's another question. Why should the book and movie be alike at all? Visual stories are greatly different than printed ones. By necessity, the scenes chosen to portray a specific incident in a movie are not necessarily the ones that pop out when reading the same story. Fifty pages of background might be condensed into one scene, or weak characters become more memorable. So, I would say that the proper question is not "How well does this movie mimic the book?" but rather, "How do the movie and book compliment each other?"

All the best, Amy K.

DeAnn Rossetti

Congratulations on your blog!
I, too, am a long time customer of the gorgeous Levenger catalog, and I've made many people converts to your wonderful products by giving them my catalogs after I am through with them, so I recycle and help get more customers for my favorite catalog/store!
Your products are stunning and wonderful, your pens a dream to own, and, though many of your items are expensive, they are made with quality materials that stand the test of time...I have items I bought from Levenger years ago that still look new after much use!
Thank you for your great catalog and wonderful products. I aspire to own one of your lap desks that can hold items inside of it one of these days...its worth saving for!

steve fanelli

Dear Steve,
Let me take this opportunity to beg you to re-release an old product. I purchased a wallet from you many years ago, it is a double snap wallet that was based on some kind of needle holder. After many miles and having been run over twice, it gave up the ghost. I cannot find anything to match its design and quality. A note to anyone who finds the perfect Levenger item. Buy a couple. They wont last for ever and you will never find a perfect replacement. Thanks for all your great products. I appreciate the thought that goes into your line. Beautiful.
And please, re release that wallet! PLEASE!
Steve

Winston Wolf

Happy New Year! Hope everyone at Levenger has a wonderful 2008 and that your business keeps growing. As a happy Levenger customer, I'm rooting for your continued success; there are not enough businesses that cater to "serious readers"...and writers, for that matter.

Allow me to share a few thoughts at the start of the new year...

First re: the Guide to a Well Read Life. It was a very kind gesture and was greatly appreciated. The chapter of the latter that dealt with audiobooks really resonated.

Second, it may have already been brought to your attention, but the January 2008 issue of Pen World Magazine has a nice plug for your laptop desk. It's toward the back of the book, in a section called (coincidentally) "Tools." It features a chair and other items for comfortable reading and writing. It's a magazine for premium pen customers, so it hits a great demographic.

Third, I try to spread the word about Levenger among friends and associates whenever I can (sometimes buy buying products for them as gifts). But after reading Seth Godin's "Permission Marketing," I'm wondering if there are some ideas in there that would benefit Levenger.

For example, I bought Christmas gifts for my work staff from Levenger this year. They were the personalized index cards and they were a big hit. My staff loved them...and likely wouldn't have thought to buy them for themselves. In the context of Permission Marketing, perhaps Levenger could have followed up with a personal email to me, along the lines of:

"Thank you for your recent order of personalized index cards. We noticed that they were inscribed with three different names, indicating that they may have been gifts. If that is the case, we would love to follow up with the recipients to see how they liked our product. If you'd be willing to do so, we would love to have you forward the following link to those who received the gifts. As a way of thanking you, we'll give you 10% off your next order from us. Of course, if you'd rather not, we completely understand."

Then you'd provide a link, personalized for those recipients, welcoming them to Levenger, asking for feedback about the gift they received, and connecting them to your website.

There are plenty of other ideas in the book, but that application made me think of Levenger immediately.

Any other posters have a point of view on this?

PAS

I am glad that you have started a blog regarding reading, which is so very important. I find the addition of a dictionary quite helpful,only wish that I did not need them q uite as often. Some "boovies" are quite good,IF they faithfully follow the script of the author, and if it is quite a good read. Yes, your products are very useful, but I find that looking at catalogs much less rewarding than reading a book.

Anne McGravie

I admit to my bias: I am a playwright and much prefer the play over the film. Films are the domain of the director, are essentially visual, so dialogue is, except in rare cases, relatively unimportant. In plays dialogue is essential. You can have a play without a set; you cannot have a set without a play. I am attempting to write a novel, a new experience for me. How would I feel if a director took it? In that unlikely event, I'd be torn.
Anne McGravie

D. G. Ogilvie

Love your blog - your thoughts are very refreshing. As CEO, you set the tone for your organization, and the customer service offered by Levenger coupled with the high quality products has kept me a customer for over 10 years. Like you, I find value in reading books, writing notes instead of using email, and pens are a passion of mine, especially fountain pens. I find so many useful items in your catalog, and I often do my gift shopping there. You and your employees make my life more enjoyable and easier! Thanks!

Ernie Medina, Jr.

Great blog and great stuff! I've enjoyed various products over the years. Will keep checking your blog.

I'm now looking for that Reader's Fan Stand that you no longer carry. It was on sale but by the time I called, you guys were all out. I hope you carry something like that again--it's exactly what I need to organize my pile of magazines!

Keep up the great work!

Ernie Medina, Jr.,
CEO, XRtainment Zone LLC
Redlands, CA

Saadia Ali Aschemann

As a published poet, I have always looked to Levenger for quality products. Your notebooks truly inspire my creativity!

I am so happy to see that you have a blog now. I will be sure to bookmark your page!

Dave Bartek

You make great stuff, and here are 2 suggestions: make a 'shoe' for the 3x5 note cards, like the card shoes for playing cards. Make note cards for coat pockets, like the size of a time or punch card, around 3.5 x 8.5? Thanks..

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