I saw something on the 5:30 news on ABC last night that really torqued me. I checked Yahoo News for the story, which came to them from the Associated Press.
It seems there's a bookseller in Kansas City by the name of Tom Wayne who held a book-burning on Sunday, supposedly because he "couldn't even give away books to libraries or thrift shops."
Wayne claims that he has 20,000 excess books in his warehouse that he needs to clear out. When no one would take them, he decided to burn them.
"'This is the funeral pyre for thought in America today,' Wayne told spectators outside his bookstore as he lit the first batch of books."
I'm sorry. I think this is a bunch of horse pucky, as we say here in Texas when we're being polite. I think this was a shameless promotional plug for a Memorial Day booksale.
Why do I think that? Wayne didn't give the books away to people who came by. HE SOLD THEM.
Just for grins, I checked to see if Kansas City has a Half-Price Bookstore, which traditionally runs a 20% off sale on Memorial Day weekend.
Guess what? There's a Half-Price Bookstore on Westport Road, less than a mile from Wayne's Prospero's Books. What a coincidence! Knock me over with a feather.
If Wayne is serious about wanting to GIVE the books away instead of selling them, let me make a couple of suggestions:
- Hospitals or rehab units
- Libraries or schools in depressed areas
- Our troops overseas
By the way, Wayne announced he's going to do these book burnings monthly--his own version of a "fire sale," I guess.
I hope Kansas City has better sense than to accommodate such nonsense.
P.S. I've sent emails to the Mayor of Kansas City (firstname.lastname@example.org) and to Half-Price Bookstores (email@example.com), suggesting that they pick up the "unwanted" books and ship them to people who would appreciate them. I promised to contribute a check toward postage and shipping if they do so.
Would someone please call this jerk's bluff?