Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Despite our pleas, Borders has already trashed hundreds of thousands of books

A heartfelt thanks to the nearly 10,000 book lovers who have signed onto this campaign since it launched Nov. 30. It's important to remember that whatever Borders decides to do at this point, despite our pleas for the company to find a better way, hundreds of thousands of books have already been trashed.

Borders has publicly stated many times over the past six weeks some variant of what was posted 1/15 on their website - "we will not be disposing of books as a result of the 182 Waldenbooks store closures." They've sent out similar replies via e-mail to 1000's of people who have contacted them, many of them supporters of this campaign.

Yet contrary to these denials, Borders has instructed employees to keep stripping covers from unsold books and sending them, along with the rest of the stripped books, back to their distribution centers in separate boxes. Not to be donated. To be disposed of away from the prying eyes of reporters or concerned customers who might find discarded books in store dumpsters:

It's truly outrageous how Borders has misled the public regarding its actual response to this issue.

Last night, Borders spokesperson Mary Davis confirmed this when she posted the following to this page, admitting that as the store closings have proceeded over the past six weeks:

"we indeed instructed our store employees to strip the covers off mass market books that did not sell so they can be sent to publishers for credit."

So Borders has been trashing books as usual. The only question is, how many of the "mass market books that did not sell" has Borders "instructed store employees to strip the covers off" at each of the 182 stores Borders is closing? In other words, how many unsold books have been trashed?

Conservative estimates are in the hundreds of thousands - if as few as 600 books have been stripped at each of the closing stores (600 X 182 = 109,200). And thousands of books have been stripped at each store before being shipped back to distribution centers for disposal.

Those happen to be the same unsold books that concerned customers and book lovers everywhere have been pleading with Borders for six weeks to donate instead of trashing, ever since employees spoke out to alert the public that this was going on.

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