Friday, April 25, 2003

Among the Literati XXXIII

A bookstore in Ohio has come under fire for throwing away hundreds of unsold books when it went out of business. A local TV news reporter came across the overflowing dumpster and got upset that the books weren't donated to area nonprofits. The reporter became even more upset when she learned that taking the books out of the trash was illegal.

NewsChannel5 was told that tearing front covers off new books is standard procedure when a bookstore closes. It's called "stripping a book." ... [T]o take these books from the trash bin is illegal; the books would be considered stolen property. Inside the front cover, a warning states that a book without its cover is unauthorized. It was reported to the publisher as unsold and destroyed, and neither the author nor the publisher received payment.

I just checked a mass-market paperback -- Robert Jordan's The Eye of the World -- and it has no such warning. Ah, here in Stephen King's A Bag of Bones, it says, "The sale of this book without a cover is unauthorized."

Dumpster dive away, Media Dieticians. It's legal unless you sell the books.

Thanks to MobyLives.

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