Have you heard about the bookstore owner who was forced to burn his books because he couldn't even GIVE them away?
Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction, and that certainly is the case here! According to various news agencies, Tom Wayne, owner and operator of Prospero's Books in midtown Kansas City, MO, has amassed about 20,000 books over the last 10 years that he has not been able to sell. First he tried to give them away – but he had few takers. So he began to burn the books! He meant this as a message: that reading has declined in America to the point where he could not even GIVE books away. We want him to know that there ARE still readers in America--and many of them are at PBS!
Check out this story from the Kansas City Star for more details: http://www.kansascity.com/115/story/125497.html
Update: Article in Kansas City Star about this very petition!
Of course we were unhappy at the thought of all those books being burned! So we contacted Tom to see if he would consider donating them to our PBS family. He said that he has had several contacts from different groups asking for his books so that they don't get burned and has vowed to select one of the groups to receive them--he hasn't decided yet which one.
We are happy to know that other groups are interested, and we trust Mr. Wayne to make the correct decision who should get the books. But we also want him to know that this is a serious offer from PBS--we really will make the effort to save these books from being burned!
To show Club support for the idea, we have started a petition from our members asking Tom to let PBS find new readers and new homes for these books.
Here is the proposed plan:
Robert and/or Richard fly to Kansas City and rent a big truck. Then we drive it back, heading towards PBS headquarters in Atlanta, with numerous stops along the way. At each city we visit, we would invite our members to come meet us and take as many books as you want. All for FREE!
Even those members who are not on the travel route will get to share in these books when they are read and posted here for swapping. Your Wish List books may be in that 20,000!
How can you help?
First, sign the petition: Don't Burn the BOOKS!!
Enter your name and hometown and we will forward the information on to Tom. If he sees how serious PBS is about this, we hope that he will select PBS to be the recipient of all those wonderful books.
After signing the petition, consider making a donation to help pay for our plane tickets, truck rental and gas. Note that by pledging, you are indicating your willingness to help support our trip if Tom chooses to give the books to PBS. You do not have to send us any money right now.
If our petition is successful, we will collect the pledged amounts, fly to Kansas City, load the books and begin the long drive home. Here is our proposed route (subject to change).
Check out our tentative route.
Come on, PBS'ers! Show your bookloving spirit and help us save those books from the flames!