NPR had a nice interview with Mitch Myers, Shel Silverstein's nephew, about the new book Runny Babbit and The Best of Shel Silverstein, a CD of poems. Myers helped with the book and did the liner notes for the CD.
It is fun to hear selections from Silverstein's songs “Cover of the Rolling Stone,” “A Boy Named Sue,” and “The Unicorn Song” woven into the interview. As usual NPR has a nice selection of links about Shel Silverstein too.
Melissa Block asked Myers about Silverstein's publishing preferences for his books:
Block: You know I've read that Shel Silverstein, your uncle, with his books was so particular that he would have strong feelings about the type face and the kind of paper it would be on -- never, I believe let any of his books get printed in soft cover...
Myers: ...All the ones with Harper Collins and all the children's books per se are in hardcover and will remain so and that was his wish.
...He likes things to be classy and forever and I think the hard cover really kind of symbolized that whole situation.
Check out the condition of Shel's books in any school library. They are the ones with the worn bindings and well thumbed pages, that is, if you can find them on the shelf at all. They are usually always checked out.