Loompanics R.I.P.
June 30, 2006 2:59 PM   Subscribe

America's craziest bookstore has gone out of business. Loompanics, a libertarian publisher in Washington State, has gone out of business. Some blame the changed political climate after 9/11. Others blame Amazon.com and the big bookstore chains. No matter what the cause might be, I will miss them. What will I do if I decide I want to try to cook some crank? And if that doesn't succeed in paying the bills, what if I need to go dumpster diving for my dinner? And if get truly desperate, what if I decide to rip off a drug dealer instead? I'm glad that Amok is still with us.
posted by jason's_planet (23 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
I found out about their going-out-of-business sale a couple of months ago, and picked up copies of everything I found interesting (either directly, or as fodder for potential role-playing games); a bodyguarding manual, offensive driving, community gardening, a couple on pirate radio, a How To book on homeless survival, and more... some were fairly blah, a few were surprisingly informative, and I still have the pirate radio books on my 'to read' pile.

One reason for not having read them yet, podcasting seems to have removed much of the social impetus for pirate broadcasts; now, anyone who wants to /can/ have their voice heard by the masses - legally - and not just in their local transmitter's range. Makes me wonder how many other crimes have been made obsolete by technology...
posted by DataPacRat at 3:18 PM on June 30, 2006


That fucking sucks. I've always thought their books were cool.
posted by jayder at 3:36 PM on June 30, 2006


what if I decide to rip off a drug dealer instead?

Different publisher.
posted by cribcage at 3:46 PM on June 30, 2006


This would have made a much better FPP before the big sale was finished. It's still interesting, though.
posted by vorfeed at 3:47 PM on June 30, 2006


How odd. I just recently came across one of their books in my collection, and thought I should check and see what they'd been up to lately.

I'm truly sorry to see you go, you whacked-out freaks.
posted by mkhall at 3:47 PM on June 30, 2006


It sounds like they are just turning down retail operations, and will continue to offer books in wholesale quantity.
posted by b1tr0t at 3:53 PM on June 30, 2006


I think the main reason for the death of Loompanics is the Internet. Back in the 80s the only way to learn enough about explosives to blow your hand off was from your older brother or, if you were lucky, via a 300 baud download off the local BBS. Now dangerous bomb recipes are just an Internet search away, right next to the pornography featuring shaved midgets and their pet snakes. Who needs Loompanics?
posted by Nelson at 4:07 PM on June 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


Oh, no! I have several Loompanics books I picked up when writing my thesis. I wish I knew about this pre-sale.
posted by absalom at 4:09 PM on June 30, 2006


bet they made a fortune over the years, photocopier & stapler money well invested.
posted by Kino at 4:33 PM on June 30, 2006


.
posted by pwb503 at 4:45 PM on June 30, 2006


And if get truly desperate, what if I decide to rip off a drug dealer instead?

The classic tragedy of the commons.

Kids, your drug dealer is an important community resource! Respect your brothers and sisters.
posted by Meatbomb at 4:54 PM on June 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


Didn't they announce this sometime last year? Was I hallucinating that?
posted by krinklyfig at 5:11 PM on June 30, 2006


krinklyfig, you're correct that this was announced a long time ago.

Sad that Loompanics is going down. I just loved flipping through their catalog, even if I rarely bought anything. I'm sure in this "post-911 world", it would only have been a matter of time before something bad happened to them anyway.
posted by melt away at 5:29 PM on June 30, 2006


.
posted by enrevanche at 5:30 PM on June 30, 2006


.
posted by OmieWise at 5:53 PM on June 30, 2006


Sad that Loompanics is going down. I just loved flipping through their catalog, even if I rarely bought anything. I'm sure in this "post-911 world", it would only have been a matter of time before something bad happened to them anyway.

Oh, yeah! Me too! I could kill hours of time just flipping through the catalog.

I agree. Something would have happened. Perhaps an al-Qaeda wannabe nailed with a couple of Loompanics titles (among other things) in Mom's basement.
posted by jason's_planet at 6:30 PM on June 30, 2006


'High Weirdness By Mail', I'm pretty sure that book taught me about Loompanics.....oh my god visions of mis-spent youth coming clear......
posted by PHINC at 6:46 PM on June 30, 2006


It is truly a dark day. Loompanics wasn't just a bookstore, they were a significant publisher of oddball stuff. Yeah, you can always set up a website now, but it's not the same. If it was in Loompanics it might not be sane but it was guaranteed to be interesting.
posted by localroger at 6:56 PM on June 30, 2006


Damn. I've got their edition of the Principia Discordia on the bookshelf right next to me. Good stuff. I'm really going to miss those crazy motherfuckers.
posted by moss at 8:01 PM on June 30, 2006


In one catalog I saw, the "Making Money" category was subtitled "If you're so smart, why aren't you rich?" and the "Intelligence Increase" category was subtitled "If you're so rich, why aren't you smart?"
posted by Zed_Lopez at 12:27 AM on July 1, 2006 [1 favorite]


This is sad news, but to lessen the blow, similarly nutball publisher Paladin Press has acquired the rights to 40 of the Loompanics titles.

I agree that the internet is probably behind this closure, as it has made this kind of fringe literature all the more accessible (viz totse.com, etc).
posted by whir at 12:54 AM on July 1, 2006


Silly MeFites. Loompanic's not defunct, it's assuming a different alias in order to gain diplomatic immunity and enter Canadian lotteries.
posted by Smart Dalek at 7:08 AM on July 1, 2006


I just found out about this the other day.
I went looking there to find a book to reccomend to someone.
bummer
posted by Dillenger69 at 8:46 AM on July 1, 2006


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