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Bookstore burns books
May 29, 2007 5:45 AM   Subscribe

It's a sad old story but the reading of literature continues to decline. Prospero's Books - a Kansas-city used bookstore - is so desperate to thin out its collection it has started to burn books. Co-owner Tom Wayne says he is unable to sell many of his thousands of books, or even to give them away to libraries and thrift stores, so he started a pyre in protest.
posted by stbalbach (66 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Is it a PR stunt? The bookstore calls it "an act of art – a wakeup call to all who value books and ideas. Over the last 10 years, Prospero’s Books has 20,000 books we’ve collected that people simply will not read."

Related discussion at Slashdot.
posted by stbalbach at 5:46 AM on May 29, 2007


Obvious stunt. Some books suck. Some books go out of fashion. Most books only sell in tiny numbers anyway. All they're doing is burning the crap that nobody wants.

When they start burning the valuable stock that still sells, then I'll start paying attention.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:53 AM on May 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


PR stunt. The store's website makes no claim that they "need" to do this for inventory purposes -- just that they're hoping to make news.

A true bibliophile that needed to thin his collection would just give them away.

But hey, they got the Slashdot seal of approval so their PR stunt worked.
posted by pineapple at 5:54 AM on May 29, 2007


They're basically holding these books to ransom. "Send us a dollar plus postage or we burn the books!" Seems sad and a little strange to me.
posted by MrMustard at 5:56 AM on May 29, 2007


It's difficult to tell isn't it? If he's burning a load of Updike, Roth, Fitzgerald and Vidal because people won't buy then then it's one thing. If he torching a pile of John Grisham and James Patterson quite another. That is to say, I have quite a heavy book habit. But there's a lot in second-hand bookstores I don't want to buy either.
posted by rhymer at 5:57 AM on May 29, 2007


Shop owner threatens to burn inventory if customers don't buy it? A bold strategy that is sure to succeed.
posted by haqspan at 5:59 AM on May 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


I've worked at a used bookstore. We'd amass a huge backlog over time of stuff that wasn't moving-- thousands of books-- which we'd put out on $1 bargain carts. After weeks on the carts, we'd take the ones that were left and junk them. In our case, they went in a huge dumpster with their covers ripped off so people wouldn't dig them out and thry to re-sell them to us.

It was always fascinating to me because you'd think that somewhere on ten carts of books you'd find SOMETHING that grabbed your attention or seemed even vaguely worth reading. But no, there really are just tons and tons of books out there that have outlived their usefulness and need to be taken out of circulation.
posted by hermitosis at 6:02 AM on May 29, 2007 [2 favorites]


They apparently are not willing to part w/ the books for shipping alone or anything, or let someone rescue the lot of them - "$1 a book plus postage" is what it will cost you to rescue each banged up paperback of The Hunt For Red October, or trashy romance.

Call me a cynic but I'm thinking there aren't many literary gems or prized first editions in there amongst the "20,000 books we’ve collected that people simply will not read". I know that the larger of my local used book stores has at least 10K books that haven't moved in decades - and there is a very good reason why most of them collect dust, and it doesn't have much to do with declining interest in literature.

Used book shops eventually clear out stock by selling them in bulk to companies who resell or recycle them. Apparently Prospero's has gambled on making better money by burning a few, getting some press and then trying to leverage that into a very tidy $1/piece.
posted by blackberet at 6:06 AM on May 29, 2007


That is to say, I have quite a heavy book habit. But there's a lot in second-hand bookstores I don't want to buy either.

My thought exactly rhymer. I don't mind spend hours looking through tons of garbage to find one or two books worth reading, but I have often felt that a good bonfire or two would be of great service.
posted by three blind mice at 6:06 AM on May 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


I do sort of wonder how many of these are the equivalent of Learn Windows 3.1 in 31 days or The Regrettable Food Fad Diet.
posted by tyllwin at 6:10 AM on May 29, 2007


...the reading of literature continues to decline.

Cite? Among what demographic and in which country(s)? And is this a rate decline or an absolute numbers decline? Also, define "literature".
posted by DU at 6:15 AM on May 29, 2007


Can books be composted as an alternative to burning? Not quite as attention-grabbing, I know...
posted by pax digita at 6:20 AM on May 29, 2007


Yeah, but public library circulation is up. Let's not jump to unsettling conclusions.

This may or may not have been a stunt, but it seems to be provoking the same kind of outrage that occurs every time a library weeds its collection. That is, it gets rid of outdated scientific and technical books, those that haven't circulated in years, crappy ex-best-sellers, Marilu Henner's 1989 memoir, etc.

Long story short: Bookstores aren't archives -- not even used bookstores.
posted by scratch at 6:24 AM on May 29, 2007


Can books be composted as an alternative to burning? Not quite as attention-grabbing, I know...

Many can't, as I understand it. The acids, inks, and polymers used in the paper and cover/binding of many published books wouldn't make for very nutritious soil.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:25 AM on May 29, 2007


Stunt.

There is a bigger issue, which is related to the premise that people are reading less and that is bad. I'm not convinced that people are reading less, or that it is bad. People are reading tons of materials - but maybe not novels. I'm a bit curious as to the study that reports a decline in reading - methodology is key, and I don't trust headline snapshots of such reports without reading the underlying materials.

As just one example, the entire internet to date is largely text and image based. Is it bad that peopel have turned their attention to other forms of media? I'm not convinced.
posted by Muddler at 6:25 AM on May 29, 2007


for shame ... can't he tear off the cloth binders and throw them in the recycling bin?
posted by pyramid termite at 6:26 AM on May 29, 2007


Were you clicking on the Dude's link, DU? It directs to an NEA report that says that in the United States the number of "literary readers" (this is not defined precisely as far as I could see, but seemed to include "novels and short stories", i.e. not USA Today) declined 10% between 1982 and 2002.

This is the real story, it seems to me, not the book-burning stunt. Is this decline in reading "a national crisis", as NEA chairman Dana Gioia claims in the press release? I'm not sure. Part of me wants to say that as technology changes, patterns of cultural consumption change too, and it would be surprising and worrying if the rise of the internet, cable TV etc. didn't take time away from older activities like reading. At the same time, I associate reading with a lot of things that I value deeply: a life lived richly and well, an informed and articulate citizenry, a culture of reasoned debate and openness to new experiences. To the extent that new technologies do not promote these values (cf. Al Gore's argument in his new book about how the 30-second TV ad has ruined political campaigns and thus democracy) we have reason to worry.
posted by sy at 6:28 AM on May 29, 2007


I live very close (too close) to a fabulous free book store, The Bookthing. The books that don't move there aren't John Grisham or William Faulkner, they're bestsellers of yesteryear that are sadly dated and have little to recommend them either as stories, writing, or relevant social commentary. If I had a dollar for every Frank Slaughter book that sits on the shelves over there, it would be fabulous.

I think anyone who really loves books and has spent any amount of time in used bookstores knows that there are authors who glut the market only because their books sold millions when they were popular, but whose time is blessedly passed. I know of one prominent librarian who suggested to me, when looking into the morass of the Bookthing storage room, that burning was the appropriate response to all that shite.
posted by OmieWise at 6:32 AM on May 29, 2007


Thoreau, well read himself, asked Why read books when you can read Nature direct?

Why am I typing comments here when I could be reading a book?
posted by Postroad at 6:44 AM on May 29, 2007


I used to buy books from thrift stores and then resell them through amazon and the like. I learned pretty quickly that there are some books that aren't worth anything in resale. My guess is their buyers just picked up too many of those sorts of books.
posted by drezdn at 6:45 AM on May 29, 2007


In other news, as an act of art, the SPCA will be burning all strays not adopted by close of business, Thursday, May 31.

On this page for Lazarus, an "internet development and fine art printing" business, Prospero's co-owner, and, apparently, marketing director of Lazarus1, describes himself this way: I've spent the majority of my life selling something - be it selling my parents on letting me go to the lake un-chaperoned (at the ripe age of 11) or selling the voters of Missouri on a new political candidate.

So, yeah... basically, a gimmick. That worked.

Author Tod Goldberg has a kind of funny blog post commenting on this.
posted by taz at 6:47 AM on May 29, 2007


While I generally don't think burning books is a good thing, this does seem like an excellent PR stunt. Especially coupled with the "only thing worse than buring books is not reading them" quote on the Prospero website.
posted by caution live frogs at 6:49 AM on May 29, 2007


oopsie. Here's the permalink for the Goldberg blog entry.
posted by taz at 6:49 AM on May 29, 2007


This is why used book stores are so picky about what they take.
posted by smackfu at 7:10 AM on May 29, 2007


Thing is, if burning books were to work, why haven't the record companies had huge CD bonfires? Unlike books, CD sales have been declining rapidly over the last five years.

Also, literary fiction has been quite sucky the last 20 years. I feel like a majority of lit-fic authors have pushed the genre so far they're pushing it off a cliff, seeing to please their own egos and the ghosts of their English professors than actually tell an interesting story.

And then there's the Franzen-Oprah debacle.
posted by dw at 7:13 AM on May 29, 2007


Because CD's don't burn?
posted by smackfu at 7:15 AM on May 29, 2007


I hope they burned some Ray Bradbury. Not because it's bad literature - on the contrary, it's some of the best - but rather just for irony's sake.
posted by mystyk at 7:15 AM on May 29, 2007


Thoreau, well read himself, asked Why read books when you can read Nature direct?

Or as Paul Dirac quipped to Robert Oppenheimer, "I never read books, they interfere with thinking."

Not reading books is the luxury of great minds and total idiots.
posted by three blind mice at 7:33 AM on May 29, 2007


Burning any book, for whatever reason, is a crime against humanity. That guy ought to be ashamed.
posted by Dave Faris at 7:35 AM on May 29, 2007


I don't read books much anymore. Used to be I couldn't be happy if I didn't have a book to read. But I used to read fiction, but now I'm most likely to read non-fiction. Otherwise, I'm reading on the internet all the time.
posted by Goofyy at 7:39 AM on May 29, 2007


Burning any book, for whatever reason, is a crime against humanity.

Really? Once I burned my freshman Finite Math homework book since the college bookstore wouldn't buy it back and I'd already pretty much maxed out its usage with all the homework therein. On principle I might agree with you, but in practice it made fine kindling. What would be a better use of said workbook? Besides letting someone copy my homework.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:39 AM on May 29, 2007


Because CD's don't burn?

You should use more lighter fluid.
posted by dw at 7:43 AM on May 29, 2007


What would be a better use of said workbook?

Saved it for your Presidential Library once you're dead, so future generations can profit from your wisdom.
posted by Dave Faris at 7:46 AM on May 29, 2007


"It's a book, so it must be worthy" is about as true as "it's in a book, so it must be true."
posted by rxrfrx at 7:49 AM on May 29, 2007


What he needs to do is threaten to eat his pet rabbits unless vegetarians pay for their freedom.
posted by chunking express at 8:03 AM on May 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


You know, somebody else used to burn books. Short guy, excitable. Looooooong speeches.
posted by kosem at 8:08 AM on May 29, 2007


I don't think every book ever printed is a precious snowflake worth dedicating shelf space to forever and ever amen -- but a books-to-inmates program would have been a far more charitable and selfless destination for books no one wanted.

If the problem is the cost of shipping, it would have been an equally interesting marketing effort to raise money for that, "We have half a ton of stock we can no longer keep and are hoping to donate it to someone who can use it. Please give $1 to defray the cost of shipping these books to prisoners trying to better themselves."

But not nearly as likely to attract national attention, I suspect.
posted by pineapple at 8:08 AM on May 29, 2007


back about 12 years ago during a very cold winter, i was living in a house dependent on wood heat. i also worked in a used bookstore. Tom Clancy and John Grisham and various older authors who glutted our vast overstock made several trips home to our stove in my backpack. i felt guilty about the pollution, but not about the book burning.

the owner of our bookstore was an accumulaholic. i used to have serious fantasies about fire.
posted by RedEmma at 8:26 AM on May 29, 2007


I don't think every book ever printed is a precious snowflake worth dedicating shelf space to forever and ever amen -- but a books-to-inmates program would have been a far more charitable and selfless destination for books no one wanted.

"No one" means "no one." We'd be doing the inmates a disservice if we sent them those Windows 3.1 manuals and Stillman Diet books.

Also, I wish I'd chosen "precious snowflake" as my screen name.
posted by scratch at 8:34 AM on May 29, 2007


Ugh, this bookstore is popular with the faux bohemian part of town, thinking they are left-bank intellectuals. I like going in and asking if they have the Norton Critical Edition of The DaVinci Code and if not when will they be expecting to get it in.
posted by geoff. at 8:54 AM on May 29, 2007


Ridiculous. He should just throw them in the trash without ripping the covers off, the selfish fellow. So what if anyone happened by to resell them because he isn't imaginative enough to spend time finding the appropriate distribution channels for his inventory.
posted by onepapertiger at 9:12 AM on May 29, 2007


I saw a bit about this on the local news last night, and I thought; guy is protesting about people not reading by burning books?

You don't want to read my books? Fine, I'll torch them and ensure that no-one gets to read them. How do you like that? Bwahaha!

Some books are really crappy. Some will probably never get read again, but that's not the point. He didn't find a better place for them, and unless his pyre is being used to keep the homeless warm at night, it's a waste.
posted by quin at 9:51 AM on May 29, 2007


Maybe they could take them all out to the desert, where it's dry, and just leave them out in a huge lot, like they do with those airplanes...
posted by Artw at 9:57 AM on May 29, 2007


Let' see

1. books are burned
2. less people read books

Uhm correlation is not causation. Uh....let's my Phd in business do some work...mmhhh..

BRILLIANT IDEA, STOP THE PRESS :

1. Give book away for free
2. Stamp the first blank page(S) with your library name - information whatnot
3. flier with statements blah
4. ?
5. somebody starts reading
6. reading causes increased likelyhood of more reading
7. profit !

How's that for something that works ? PR stunts are so 2000, but Stunt PRs ? Can I throw your PRs into a faaaaiiiiaaarrr !
posted by elpapacito at 10:00 AM on May 29, 2007


I think the Thoreau quote paraphrased by postroad is actually Emerson, from "The American Scholar": "Books are for the scholar's idle times. When he can read God directly, the hour is too precious to be wasted in other men's transcripts of their readings."
posted by azure_swing at 10:01 AM on May 29, 2007


I'm a voracious reader, but almost no one else that I know is. Many of my friends were big readers, but they quit when they entered their mid 30s. I know that will never happen to me. To me, reading is almost like breathing.

But I do wonder what cultural forces breed readers. I know the ones that bred me: my parents. My parents were both readers, and they both read to me every day. Books were never pushed on me, but our house was filled with them, and I if I wasn't reading, I was probably playing in a room where someone else was reading.

I certainly got no love of books in school. School taught me to hate certain books that I was forced to read against my will, but luckily my love of reading in general was nurtured at home, so it stayed with me. (My parents read mostly highbrow lit, but they never shamed me when I went through my comicbook and sci-fi stages, and the Shakespeare anthologies were at arms reach, when I was ready to grab them.)

Most of my friends didn't have an upbringing like mine. Plenty of them had smart, educated parents, but not bookworm parents. And the parents who did encourage reading, tended to do it via forcing and goading: "do your homework!"

Some of my friends seemed, in their 20s, to be into reading less due to love of books and stories and more due to wanting to appear smart, to please professors, or to prove to themselves that they could make it through "War and Peace." As they got older, and the sway of professors faded away, and their lives filled with TV shows, Netflix, work, kids, etc., they let reading slip away.

Occasionally, I head one mumble something about being sad that he doesn't read anymore. But he seems more shamed about loss of intellectual status than mournful about the tales he's missing.

I'm not blaming any of these people. Why should they read when reading, for them, was something of a chore? (And, as adults, their lives have plenty of chores in them already. Why add more?) But as someone who -- due to the freak accident of having the parents I had -- loves reading dearly, and as someone who wants to share his love with others, I do wonder what forces are in place, if any, to craft the sort of world I want to live in.
posted by grumblebee at 10:50 AM on May 29, 2007


Can books be composted as an alternative to burning?

Book disposal is normally through standard paper recycling processes. It's called being "pulped".

You have no idea how many books are pulped every year in this country, already. According to the WSJ, 34% of all books published every year are write-offs, mostly pulped. (Some end up in used bookstores, though.)
posted by dhartung at 11:08 AM on May 29, 2007


I guess I can understand his frustration. We have (literally) tons of books that we can't sell. We also can't give them away. We'd love to, since that would cost LESS than dumping them.
posted by mrnutty at 11:09 AM on May 29, 2007


I've heard rumors that the several dozen copies of Left Behind slated to be burned mysteriously disappeared before they had a chance to be thrown on the pyre.
posted by malocchio at 11:46 AM on May 29, 2007 [2 favorites]


I for one cannot wait for the demise of the printed book. And I say that as a published author. Nostalgia for books is like nostalgia for floppy disks: completely misplaced.
posted by spitbull at 1:43 PM on May 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


I for one cannot wait for the demise of the printed book. And I say that as a published author. Nostalgia for books is like nostalgia for floppy disks: completely misplaced.

Tangential to the post, but related. I'm not so sure it's a good idea to disencumber people from books just because it's possible to digitize everything. What's to stop censors from altering digitized media if there's no hardcopy to fall back on?
posted by Burhanistan at 1:46 PM on May 29, 2007


I was in Kansas City on a used-book expedition three weekends ago. Two things I heard everywhere:

1) There's a terrible bookselling drought, businesses failing all over, sigh, times are tough.

2) If I was the slightest bit into antiquarian books, I had to get downtown to the Westport district and go to Spivey's. Prospero's, which has an address three blocks away, didn't ever come up.

Speaking strictly as a tourist, they don't seem to be wildly beloved by the local bookselling community.
posted by ormondsacker at 2:21 PM on May 29, 2007


But I do wonder what cultural forces breed readers.

According to an essay in How to Be Alone it's either you come from a family that reads, or you spent large portions of your childhood making friends with books.

I work for a company filled with booklovers (because it's our business) and I'm one of the few that fits into the second category. Most people here have stories about exciting trips with the family to the bookstore or all the books they're giving as gifts. Me, I can never figure out what to give my family as no one reads much in it (except on my wife's side of the family).
posted by drezdn at 2:26 PM on May 29, 2007


I once worked as a property master for a theatre. This is literally the last stop for books. When books become props, they are no longer prized for their content, but are instead prized for their "bookness" and "book-like qualities."

We would then proceed to mutilate them. We'd take the innards out of a set of law books and fill them with foam so that they'd look like books but be lighter. We'd re-cover them so that the title matched what was referenced in the play. We'd paint them. We'd glue together the spines so we could add texture to a backdrop.

But we had too many, more than we would go through in 10 years even if every play required a full library set. We burned our old sets and destroyed furniture once a month, so one month I was instructed to round up some books for the fire.

I did so. But I had to call my mom, the librarian, for permission. She reminded me that books are not useful forever. They are supposed to be purged. They are supposed to die.

I burned 20 year old volumes of legal code
I burned Encyclopedias
I burned local land surveys
I burned reader's guides to periodical literature
I burned vanity press books
I burned Sweet Valley High yearbooks

I still feel guilty about it. And I confess to returning to the scene of the fire the next morning, and sifting through the remnants, trying to read the words that I'd killed.
posted by Mozzie at 3:24 PM on May 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


To be fair, publicity stunt or not, the used bookstore population of Kansas City has gone down drastically over the last five or so years.

Throughout my childhood and teens, every Saturday, my dad and I would go on our usual round of bookstores all over town - from the suburbs of Kansas City in Kansas side to the Missouri border. And at first, there were several bookstores on Johnson Drive (if anybody is familiar with the area), several bookstores in downtown Overland Park, several bookstores randomly scattered around.

Over those years, most of those closed (including the one that I worked at, Read It Again Books, which closed in late 2004 and including the best one ever which was off of Johnson drive and had shelves and shelves of books with very narrow walkways between them) and now few, if any, good stores remain there.

Honestly, I was not very impressed with Prospero's collection when I last stopped into their store; they should have purchased less trash to begin with (just like the bookstore at which I worked should have purchased fewer romance novels, especially of those that we already had ten of in the back stock).

So maybe readership is going down; maybe Half Price books is driving smaller stores out of business; maybe Prospero's is indulging in a huge publicity stunt in order to get rid of their crappy books. In any case, the used book store market in that part of town is quite depressing.
posted by mustcatchmooseandsquirrel at 4:17 PM on May 29, 2007


Burning books is quite fun. It's probably the closest an atheistic/agnostic can get to blasphemy.

I'm with spitbull.

What's to stop censors from altering digitized media if there's no hardcopy to fall back on?

So make a hard copy. Or a few. Just not 20,000. Or even better, don't let censors alter digitized media.
posted by mrgrimm at 6:16 PM on May 29, 2007


Because CD's don't burn?

They do in the microwave oven...
posted by Tube at 7:06 PM on May 29, 2007


At Anastasia's, over on the Missouri side, the dour guy behind the counter flourished a bookmark and a black Sharpie. "Here's the list. They're gone [eerk]. Gone [eerk]. Moved twice, gone. Think they're still open. Spivey's. Us. Gone..." I mean, between digital media, Half Price, and alibris, things are rough all over, but Kansas City did seem to be hit particularly hard.

Hey, psst, mustcatch - are there any left I should know about next time I'm up there? Is the mystery-book store unbearably twee?
posted by ormondsacker at 7:59 PM on May 29, 2007


You have no idea how many books are pulped every year in this country, already.

Indeed. There are a lot of shitty books out there, along with a few good books that no-one buys. You don't have to sell many books to get a bestseller.

Burning them? Tacky. Papier mâché.
posted by holgate at 9:02 PM on May 29, 2007


I work with the homeless. I see perhaps 50-75 ppl a day at my job. They are, without question, literate and very intelligent...and avid readers. Donating books to shelters or detox units would be an awesome thing...if someone would do it. Burning books is wrong on so many levels.
posted by shockingbluamp at 3:44 AM on May 30, 2007


books are not useful forever.

Too true.

The anti burning thing is guilt by association, an emotional thing, a throw back to days when to burn a library was to risk civilization itself. Burn the libary of Alexandria and the world loses most of Aeschylus.

Hard to make that argument any more. With larger number of libraries public and private, the risk against loss is spread. With improving technology and literacy, what remains of Aeschylus is widely dispersed and will in all likelihood remain with us for at least the forseeable future.

On the other hand, with improving technology and literacy, we now create more and more ephemera- and make no mistake, just because something is bound between cardboard does not mean it isn't ephemeral, as useful as yesterday's paper, last weeks Newsweek, or last year's Farmer's Almanac. Generally excellence will out over time, and if Grisham turns into Dickens by 2200, there will be reprints. In the meantime, he's deservedly disposable, as are most of his cronies. On the non-fiction side, later insights will supercede past convictions. Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire is outdated but still worthwhile, still readily available. But exactly how many more biographies of Abraham Lincoln or Napoleon do we need? Walk through any Borders these days and ask yourself how much is really essential, classic, a thing for all time?

That said, I do worry at times where my own collection will wind up when I'm gone.
posted by IndigoJones at 7:11 AM on May 30, 2007


OK, let me come back to something:

A relative of mine works for a huge independent bookstore somewhere in the US. It's in a major American city and only sells new books. Every year we get the lecture, subtle or otherwise, not to buy from Amazon because AMAZON IS DESTROYING INDEPENDENT BOOKSTORES.

Now, I live in Amazon's hometown. I have friends who have been front office or toilers in the first warehouse down on 4th S. So, well, I like Amazon. I use Amazon. And it annoys me to no end to get this lecture, especially when this indie bookstore in this major American city happens to also have a big market share of said city. It also has long lacked a strong web presence, another thing that has driven me away from them. Oh, and they sell only new books. (Obviously, it's not Powells. I once mentioned my love of the City of Books to said relative and got condescension in return. They sell u-s-e-d books.)

Meanwhile, there's my wife. She's writing historical fiction and needs gobs and gobs of research books, many of them out of print. So, she's a heavy user of indie bookstores. But here's the thing -- these indies are thriving, because they only sell history books online. Or military books. In fact, most lack a storefront now; they're 100% online. Even though there's competition (via alibris) these places still make money. The adapted, sought a niche, and continue to stay in business.

And honestly, if these KC guys can't adapt to changing market forces, they deserve to go under. I love the comprehensive quirky indie bookstore as much as anyone, but at the end of the day, where is my moral imperative to keep them in business?

Of course, I was spoiled by the craziest pseudo-gay bookstore owner in the world, Lewis Meyer. Honestly, fastest man on a recommendation in the world. "I was looking for something like this." "OH LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT THIS GREAT BOOK RIGHT HERE YOU SIMPLY MUST READ IT." And out you'd walk with the GREAT BOOK YOU MUST READ. And he was always right. And I miss that, because as much as Amazon tries to improve their recommendation algorithm, they'll still never be the book evangelist Lewis Meyer was.
posted by dw at 9:41 AM on May 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm really curious what bookstore your relative works for, DW.
posted by drezdn at 9:55 AM on May 30, 2007


I don't really want to piss off that part of my family, but I will give two hints: They're not a bookstore associated with a university, and they've moved their flagship store to a new location in the last few years.
posted by dw at 10:59 AM on May 30, 2007


I think I got it. Thanks DW.
posted by drezdn at 11:57 AM on May 30, 2007


ormondsacker - Since moving to Lawrence, I've been paying less attention to the KC bookstores. Last time I went to the mystery one I rather liked it, it is quite adorable. I like the Dusty Bookshelf in Lawrence - it reminds me of some of the old KC stores.
posted by mustcatchmooseandsquirrel at 3:03 PM on May 30, 2007


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