It saddens me to let you in on this industry secret, but us booksellers regulary destroy books. The first time I had to do it, it broke my heart. I apologized to the book and the author over and over.
But why do we do it? To protect the industry. See, every now and then, a book will arrive faulty. It might have missing chapters, it might have the wrong cover or something on the book was printed wrong.
This is a really good example of a faulty book. The authors name has been printed wrong across the cover and it just looks like a fucking mess. Would you want your book to be sold looking like this? Nope!
So I have the task of checking all the stock, organizing a credit and then destroying the book. This means I have to tear the cover off, and dump the book in a specially locked wastebin so that no one can have access to it.
The sad thing is, is that this happens a lot. Today I had a book whose cover was attached upside down. Last week an entire shipment of books were missing pages 81-99. Sometimes the publisher will even tell us that they are changing the cover and we have to destroy perfectly good books!
The good news is, is that it gets easier with time. But it still breaks me to see all these gorgeous books thrown away. All those unread words. Unsniffed pages. I wish I could save them all!
Categories: Inside the bookstore
Bookstore Manager by day, reader and writer by night.
talking about books,
other people who work with books,
sniffing books and photographing books.