"This is the funeral pyre for thought in America today," Wayne told spectators outside his bookstore as he lit the first batch of books....
The fire blazed for about 50 minutes before the Kansas City Fire Department put it out because Wayne didn’t have a permit for burning.
Wayne said next time he will get a permit. He said he envisions monthly bonfires until his supply _ estimated at 20,000 books _ is exhausted.
"After slogging through the tens of thousands of books we’ve slogged through, and to accumulate that many and to have people turn you away when you take them somewhere, it’s just kind of a knee-jerk reaction," he said. "And it’s a good excuse for fun."
The idea of burning the books horrified Marcia Trayford, who paid $20 Sunday to carry away an armload of tomes on art, education and music.I'm wondering if Mr. Wayne would let me fill a U-Haul truck with free books if I showed up at his warehouse one day. That little voice is telling me "no way...not gonna happen."
"I’ve been trying to adopt as many books as I could," she said.
Dozens of other people took advantage of the book-burning, searching through the books waiting to go into the flames for last-minute bargains.
Mike Bechtel paid $10 for a stack of books, including an antique collection of children’s literature, which he said he’d save for his 4-year-old son.
"I think, given the fact it is a protest of people not reading books, it’s the best way to do it," Bechtel said. "(Wayne has) made the point that not reading a book is as good as burning it."