Sunday, April 27, 2008

Sunday Salon - April 27

The Sunday
I recently picked up The Horse Whisperer by Nicholas Evans. I have had a copy of this book for a long time, so this year I added it to the Chunkster Challenge, TBR Challenge, and What's in a Name challenge lists in an effort to read it. I made it to page 13, and then put it back down. I probably won't be picking it back up. Sometimes, I can tell right away when a book does not fit my reading tastes, and this one seems to fall into that category. 

As much as I probably would not like it if I continued reading, a little paragraph on the copyright page caught my eye. It is a note I have seen a multitude of times, but never really gave it thought until now (probably because I was more interested in reading the story than the copyright page!).
'If you purchased this book without a cover you should be aware that this book is stolen property. It was reported as "unsold and destroyed" to the publisher and neither the author nor the publisher has received any payment for this "stripped book".
After doing a bit of internet research, I found this method of dealing with unsold books even has a name: book pulping. Unsold books, often mass market paperbacks, are often returned to the publisher, and are frequently destroyed and recycled into products like cardboard boxes.

What a shame! As a book lover, I am always saddened to hear of books being destroyed, whether through censorship or just because they didn't get sold. I understand publishing houses are a business, as are bookstores. But, if you're going to destroy a book anyway, why not donate it? Libraries, homeless and women's shelters, adult literacy and ESL programs, prisons - I'm sure any of these would be more than happy to accept these kinds of donations, even with a front cover torn off to prevent re-sale. Now, with the growing popularity of software such as Amazons' Kindle and other ways to read e-books, I wonder if publishers will start releasing e-books first to see how well they do before printing out large quantities.

Book coveting around the blogisphere:


Beastmomma said...

That is heart breaking. I completely agree that books should be donated.

samantha.1020 said...

I agree that sometimes you can tell that a book just isn't for you...just as when you get sucked into a book and can't put it down. Two different ends of the spectrum :)

Stephanie said...

Yep, Tuck Everlasting is a quick and interesting read!

Literary Feline said...

I'm always saddened by the thought of the destruction of a book. It's too bad that not all libraries or shelters will take books. I've run into situations with both that refused to take them.

tanabata said...

I'm always sad to think about books being destroyed too. It is too bad that something can't be worked out.