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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Barnes & Noble Uses Liquid Soap to Destroy Books

Here's something else to break the hearts of book lovers everywhere. I do understand that Barnes & Noble is in the book business to make money, but reading how one store manager tried to destroy some 800 books while placing them in a store dumpster just rubs me the wrong way. This sorry tale comes to you from Dallas.
Jan Lawrence was just walking by as employees of a Barnes and Noble at the Preston-Royal shopping center tossed box after box of new books into the dumpster behind the store.

Sandy Torrance was on her way to visit her mother when she stopped to see what was going on.

"I made my first dumpster dive into the bottom of the dumpster and found that they had poured gallons of concentrated soap detergent all over the books so that they couldn't be resold," said Torrance. "It's just really kind of mind boggling when you start thinking about it. I think it's deplorable."
...
Torrance and Lawrence pulled out as many books as they could out of the dumpster, cleaned them and donated them to three local agencies.

Activity Director Pearlie Rideaux started a book club for her residents at Tremont Rehab Center in Dallas. "I'm very blessed to have these books at my facility," she said.

Resident David Habash says he visits the new library all the time.

"There are things about history, World War II, the former President Bush, things about the FBI and CIA," said Habash about the books. "I just found these things very interesting."

There were also plenty of children's books found in the dumpster. They now have a home at Buckner International.
I've often wondered about the legality of removing something from a store dumpster that way. Does discarded store property still belong to the store at that point, or not? When does the store cease to hold title to something tossed out its back door this way? Anyway, I'm happy to see that these ladies "rescued" some of the books and found new homes for them. Shame on Barnes & Noble.

The link to this story also includes a video presentation of the television news report about this incident. After watching it, I am even more ticked off that a company which is struggling to make a profit and seems to be cutting the store hours of its employees could be this wasteful. Barnes & Noble stockholders might find this interesting.
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