At a recent bookseller’s trade show author Timothy Egan suggested that there should be some sort of "cash for clunkers" policy for booksellers.
WHAT IF... In record time President Obama today proposed a short-term boost for the flagging publishing industry, a set of rules and regulations promulgated by the Agriculture Department under the heading Feed Your Head (of Cattle) for Farmers, a proposal already nicknamed by Republicans the “Cash for Chapters” boondoggle.
Under the proposed new plan farmers would receive cattle cars filled with no longer fully functioning books. They would mulch them, scatter the resulting mixture on their fields, and thereby raise much more interesting and well-educated cattle at less cost than current methods.
Opponents of the plan, which included all Congressional Republicans, noted the plan pays farmers when local charities and church-sponsored bookstores could simply strew their unwanted books along highways near farms, letting the farmers do the rest.
“This book bill weakens my American values,” said Republican spokesperson Clo Miles. “Where’s the help for big corporate farmers in this proposal?”
Under the new regulations, donors of clunker books receive a gift card to purchase one new book recommended by Oprah. New books are expected to force out the old while supporting publishers and several best-selling authors.
“It’s win win win,” said Al Knopf of Random-Penguin-Harper-Houghton-Harcourt House. “We win win win!”
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In other news, actual, real news, a church in North Carolina, with 14 adherents, plans to burn books, including copies of the Bible, for Halloween. At least 298 online news articles cover this event, so it must be true.
Pastor Marc Grizzard told the Associated Press the King James version of the Bible is the only one his church follows. He says all other versions are "satanic" and "perversions" of God's word and he’s going to burn them.
So much for North Carolina. In SOUTH Carolina, kids are being urged to trick or treat for books rather than candy at the Independent Mail newspaper 2009 Literacy Festival. Books, no candy. Guess how well THAT will go over. Children are asked to dress like a favorite character from a book and enjoy games, crafts and story-telling. A free book for every child will be donated by a local foundation. Just no candy.
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Friends of the Plainville Public Library holds the annual book sale this weekend... the Wall Street Journal reports the new Sarah Palin memoir is expected to sell well... Wal-Mart.com has announced it will pre-sell selected new books for $10 each, and many other titles half off list price. For comparison, books now on the New York Times Best Seller Fiction List have an average retail price of $26.47 each.
Wal-Mart is promoting not-yet-published books in order to utilize generous publisher rebates and promotions when most available. Amazon.com has cut some prices to match. It’s a battle of the giants. As the old saying goes they lose money on every sale but make it up on volume.
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The highly progressive Huffington Post online has opened a new section on books and publishing. Right now they are laying odds on the National Book Awards, publishing various book-related blogs, and generally hotting up the world of books for interested readers. You might want to take a look:
The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt & The Fire That Saved America by Timothy Egan. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt hard cover $27. ISBN 0618968415.
Christian book burning in North Carolina:
Current NY Times best selling fiction:
1 THE LOST SYMBOL, by Dan Brown. (Doubleday, $29.95.)
2 AN ECHO IN THE BONE, by Diana Gabaldon. (Delacorte, $30.)
3 ROUGH COUNTRY, by John Sandford. (Putnam, $26.95.)
4 THE LAST SONG, by Nicholas Sparks. (Grand Central, $24.99.)
5 THE HELP, by Kathryn Stockett. (Amy Einhorn/Putnam, $24.95.)
6 HER FEARFUL SYMMETRY, by Audrey Niffenegger. (Scribner, $26.99.)
7 THE PERFECT CHRISTMAS, by Debbie Macomber. (Mira, $16.95.)
8 SOUTH OF BROAD, by Pat Conroy. (Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, $29.95.)
9 ALEX CROSS’S ‘TRIAL’, by James Patterson & Richard DiLallo. (Little, Brown, $27.99.)
10 HOTHOUSE ORCHID, by Stuart Woods. (Putnam, $25.95.)
Total $264.67 for an average retail price of $26.47
Books, not candy, for Halloween: