Photo: Posted Kansas City.com, 5/28/07 credit: Orlin Wagner
On Monday, Tom Wayne the owner of local used bookstore,Prospero's Books, started a bonfire with a few of the 20,000 books, he's accumulated over the years. He did it in "protest" of the decline of book reading in the general populous.
He says that he decided to do it after he failed to
find any takers for the books. He needs to clear some space in the warehouse. None of the museums, libraries or thrift shops he approached would accept the books. They didn't have the space.
This episode is rife with material. Is he really so frustrated with the alleged demise of literary culture, that he can legitimize the destruction of his beloved books? Is there ever a good reason to burn a book? Is this a really savvy marketing ploy?(He was able to sell stacks of books, at the usual bargain basement prices of unwanted books, when people realized what he was doing.)