I blogged both here and elsewhere about the independant bookstore Prospero's Books in Kansas City, Mo. needing to get rid of books, and the signs of protest they were staging for the abandonment of thought in the US. Well, it looks like Tom Wayne, owner, is at it again, staging another book burning. I couldn't get the embed function to work for the current 10 second of coverage that KCTV posted, so here's the footage from the first book burning in May:
Did you see the title of that book burning? It was One Nation Under Television. How quaint. Here's the problem: I get the concept that your store is not doing well, and that you are trying to get rid of books. I understand your disgust that people won't take books for free (again, shocking, right? He can ship them to me, and I'll take them off his hands!) But the problem is, the man is mixing his messages. You can't whine about people not willing to take free books, and then when people offer to take them, say you want payment. Uh, what? Yeah. That's what Mr. Wayne is doing. Sure it would be great for him to get money for those books, but then what you need to do is to SELL THEM. Don't say you're trying to give them away (which, in itself, implies "free"), and then complain because people won't buy them.
Here's a clue: If they weren't buying them while they were sitting in your warehouse, then what makes you think they're going to buy them now? Especially after you just proved yourself an Indian Giver (wow, I now need to look up the origins of that phrase. I didn't even like typing it.). And for the love of all that is holy, do NOT burn books!! I watched that footage and actually had to calm my stomach! What's you're mentality? "Okay, if you don't buy this book I'm going to burn it!" That... You.... ~*seethe*~ You can't do that!
What is that proving? Yes, yes, you're lighting the funeral pyre for thought in America. You've said that already. But you said that in May of 07, and now it's September and you're doing it again. Same motive. To me that sounds like a publicity stunt. And publicity stunts at the expense of people who actually do read, makes them not like you, your transparent behavior and motivation to make money, or your store. I buy books. I buy a lot of books. I also have books sent to me for review, and I appreciate every last one that finds its way into my home. I had, at one point, considered contacting your store to purchase books--you know, back when I thought your publicity stunt was a genuinely motivated protest against the rampant anti-intellectualism in this country. But now? Now I'll go to the independant bookstores here in Pittsburgh, and Half Priced Books down the street. Thanks for saving me the time and effort.