It’s publication (and punctuation) day!

Picture courtesy of Tricia Halling.

Picture courtesy of Tricia Halling.

Shady Characters: The Secret Life of Punctuation, Symbols, & Other Typographical Marks is now available to order from, Barnes & Noble, iBookstore, Indiebound and Powell’s.[*] If you’re still on the fence as to whether to buy the book, you can now take a look at a few sample pages over at W. W. Norton’s account on Medium. Perhaps Judith Abbate’s excellent typography or Jason Booher’s vibrant cover will sway you!

This is a quite a day for me, and and there are lots of people to thank for helping to make it happen. Thank you all for reading and commenting on Shady Characters over the years; thank you to my agent, Laurie Abkemeier, and to Brendan Curry et al at W. W. Norton, for shepherding me through the processes of writing and publication; thank you to Jeff Sanders for early encouragement and editing; and most of all, thank you to my lovely wife Leigh for being so supportive. Not coincidentally, today is National Punctuation Day, so in honour of that esteemed holiday, I’ll finish by saying: may your clauses be crisp and your punctuation judicious.

  1. [*] Stay strong, UK readers; your time will come. It will come on Thursday, in fact.


  1. Annie Morgan
    Posted September 25, 2013 at 11:37 am | Permalink | Reply

    What an exciting time for you!!! Congratulations again.

    • Keith Houston
      Posted September 25, 2013 at 2:27 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks, Annie. It has been a crazy couple of days. And the UK launch is still to come tomorrow!

  2. Posted September 25, 2013 at 3:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I’ve put it on my Christmas list. It was nice to be able to communicate what a manicle looked like to I want some of the old characters brought back to life, most likely because I transcribe old documents. Have you thought about writing about handwriting? The development of letters as we know them today? Quick, before they stop teaching cursive!

    • Keith Houston
      Posted September 25, 2013 at 3:48 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Hi Rondina,

      Some of my earlier articles (and the book) talk a little about handwriting, especially the development of Carolingian minuscule, roman, italic, and blackletter scripts. You might want to have a look through the site’s contents to find out more.

      Thanks for the comment!

  3. Susan Schoch
    Posted September 25, 2013 at 4:43 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Congratulations! It takes a lot of hard work and perseverance to bring a book into the world. Best wishes for big sales.

Post a Comment

Required fields are marked *


Leave a blank line to begin a new paragraph. The following HTML tags are allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>