Bookstore Owner Burns Books to Protest Diminishing Support for the Printed Word

Tom Wayne lights books on fire at Prospero’s Books in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, May 27, 2007. The book store owner burned the books to protest the lack of reading in America. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

By DAVID TWIDDY Associated Press Writer
KANSAS CITY, Mo. May 28, 2007 (AP)

Tom Wayne amassed thousands of books in a warehouse during the 10 years he has run his used book store, Prospero’s Books. His collection ranges from best sellers like Tom Clancy’s “The Hunt for Red October” and Tom Wolfe’s “Bonfire of the Vanities,” to obscure titles like a bound report from the Fourth Pan-American Conference held in Buenos Aires in 1910. But wanting to thin out his collection, he found he couldn’t even give away books to libraries or thrift shops, which said they were full. So on Sunday, Wayne began burning his books protest what he sees as society’s diminishing support for the printed word.

“This is the funeral pyre for thought in America today,” Wayne told spectators outside his bookstore as he lit the first batch of books.

(continue @ ABC)

“he found he couldn’t even give away books to libraries or thrift shops”

Then he wasn’t trying hard enough . . . I am sure some penny seller would have loved to take them off his hands . . . though their methodology is to sift out anything with an ISBN and then landfill the rest. But hey, if you can’t sell em or give em away . . . this lady’s all for burning. Perhaps once books are scarce people will actually give a shit about them again. Remind me to send Tom Wayne a sympathy card.

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