For weeks, we've been publicizing the fact that hundreds of thousands of books have already been destroyed by Borders during the Waldenbooks store closings. But here's an equally important fact – RIGHT NOW, there are still additional hundreds of thousands of books sitting boxed up at the closing Waldenbooks stores without recycling programs that Borders says they WILL NOT DONATE to non-profits.
Books from closing Waldenbooks store, waiting to be trashed
These mass-market books aren't part of Borders' recent gesture to donate some "non-returnable" product, which doesn't include most unsold books at Borders stores.
The mass-markets are not just romance novels, contrary to the company's spin. It's all kinds of paperbacks – best-sellers, thrillers, mysteries, sci-fi, the works. And some hardcover books, too.
All of these books will continue to be destroyed by Borders or returned to publishers for trashing, millions of books a year.
So what about all the rest of the books, Borders?
As for the hundreds of thousands of books sitting boxed up right now in backrooms at the closing Waldenbooks stores, Borders says they're waiting to find recycling programs to take them, which may be true. Some employees suspect they’ll be dumpstered anyway. Borders has been so willing to mislead the public over their handling of this issue that it's hard to know what to believe:
But even recycled, the books are still being discarded. What about re-use? If the books are being destroyed anyway, couldn't they ALL be donated? It's time to find a better way.
We repeat our call for Borders to work something out with a few big publishers so that some of these hundreds of thousands of books (even though most have been "stripped" of their front covers) could be donated instead.
Big publishers and book chains like Borders need to clean up their acts and reform the system that results in books being needlessly destroyed.