Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Forget pulping, millions of books trashed

In the ‘did you know?’ department: in the US, returns are still running at 30-40% and over a billion unsold books are destroyed each year. What’s more, with so many more titles in the US being published in mass-market paperback editions, a lot of unsold copies don’t even get the chance to be remaindered, as most have their covers ripped off and returned for credit, with the pages of the book simply being put out in the rubbish by the bookseller. As poor old Borders limps along in the US (obligatory note: Borders Asia Pacific is entirely separate now under REDgroup ownership and is doing quite nicely, thanks), it is winding up most of its Waldenbooks stores, and a grass-roots campaign is urging Borders to donate unsold stock from these branches to schools, libraries and community organisations rather than throwing them away. From this beginning, the campaigners are hoping to put pressure on the entire industry to stop being so wasteful. See www.donatenotdumpster.org for more.

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