On the Spiral Staircase with David Borgenicht
Find out about our awesome staff at Quirk Books HQ with our new monthly blog series, On the Spiral Staircase!
We're showing you an inside look at Quirk Books—and more importantly, a look at the folks who help bring the books you love to life! Each month we'll ask a different staff member the same five questions so you can learn more about Quirk. There's no better place to start the series than with the man who started it all. Allons-y!
As the founder of Quirk Books, David Borgenicht has the unique perspective of being the first employee—and the one with the most knowledge. If you've ever wondered how Quirk has changed (and stayed the same) since we first opened our doors in 2002, he's the guy to ask.
David Borgenicht: Quirk is more successful than I had ever imagined it would be. We sold more books in 2016 than we did in any other year we have been around, and yet our mission is the same. We seek to publish strikingly unconventional objects of desire and passion (our books) and innovate with every endeavor. And despite our huge success, we know we are only as good as the books we bring to life next—and that our awesome staff, authors, and publishing partners are responsible for it all.
Thanks, Dave! Without further ado, let's serve up our five questions:
QB: If you were stranded on Mars and could only have one book to read, what would it be?
DB: Probably The Martian…or The Worst-Case Scenario Ultimate Adventure: Mars! Actually I think I would bring Moby Dick—I’ve been meaning to read that again and it’s nice and long!
QB: Tell us about something cool you keep at your desk.
DB: I have a signed drawing and yellow feather from Carroll Spinney, the actor who has played Big Bird since 1968! It came from the book that took me out of my day job at Running Press and gave me the motivation and wherewithal to start my own business—Sesame Street: Unpaved, which was published in 1998 for the 30th anniversary of Sesame Street, and which I wrote. I loved the show as a kid, and writing that book as an adult was not just a dream come true—it provided me with an income so I could set off on my own as a book packager back in 1997, a few years before we launched Quirk. So in many ways, Sesame Street isn’t only responsible for teaching me the alphabet and counting, it’s responsible for the career I have today.
QB: What’s your fandom?
DB: Star Trek, for sure. I have been a fan of the original show since I was a kid, Next Generation since just after college, and the movies all along. I’m convinced we are either making the future turn out as it did in Star Trek, or in 1984. I hope it’s the former.
QB: What's an unexpected talent or side effect you've picked up while working at Quirk?
DB: After co-writing more than 40 books in The Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook series, I can definitely give you advice about getting through life’s sudden turns for the worse in pretty much any situation that arises. Also, I do a mean Chewbacca impression. (I trotted that one out on a tour of Skywalker ranch we all took over a dozen years ago.)
QB: If you were a Quirk Book, which one would you be?
DB: The Encyclopedia Shatnerica—because you can never go wrong with Captain Kirk!