Skip to comments.Little Suppressors - Dealing with the bookstore clerk who hates you
Posted on 09/15/2004 5:04:36 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
Conservatives like to tell war stories-and refute them, a la the Swift Boat Vets-and some of those stories concern bookstores. And the people who work in them. Who tend to be .well, not exactly the most conservative-friendly people in the world. The bookstore leftist is more standard than the bookstore cat. And conservatives have often found these stores to be hostile territory.
In recent weeks, reports have circulated that customers-or would-be customers-are having a hard time finding Unfit for Command, John O'Neill's anti-Kerry book. Conservatives have suspected that stores are keeping it from them, or that clerks are deep-sixing them, or that something untoward is happening. Paranoia is in the air.
But sometimes paranoids can be on to something. I don't scoff at these suspicions, mainly because of my own experience-most of it in Ann Arbor, Mich., my hometown. (Ann Arbor is a bookseller's paradise, and, in some ways, a conservative's hell.) I worked at a store called The Little Professor. The manager there-a nice guy, actually-wouldn't put out conservative magazines and gun magazines. He flat refused to bring them to the floor, acting as censor. My brilliant (and conservative) friend Eddie Krause came up with a new name for the store: The Little Suppressor.
It may be hard to believe, but it took something like an act of courage to buy a conservative magazine in an Ann Arbor bookstore. I used to dread it-the clerk was almost invariably cold, and he often bristled, and sometimes you got snotty remarks. It was a relief just to get through a purchase without incident. And I know many who could give the same testimony.
In truth, it could be dicey to ask for a bag-yes a bag. That made you a despoiler of the environment, you see.
I know a journalist who lived in the Ann Arbor of the West, Berkeley. Purchasing his National Reviews and American Spectators at Moe's, he would say to the clerk, "Well, just keeping an eye on what the enemy is doing"-anything to get by. These tactics may not be brave, but, gosh, are they human.
As the Swift controversy heated up, the two bookselling giants, Borders and Barnes & Noble, were besieged by callers angry that they could not find Unfit for Command. Conservative hollered, "J'accuse!" Both companies pleaded that it was the fault of the publisher, our beloved Regnery-the supplier had not printed enough copies to meet demand. Liberals, for their part, also besieged the companies, demanding that they pull the book from their shelves.
Come with me now, to BorderUnion.org, "The Borders Books Employee Union Web Site." Herein lie some revelations-or confirmations. In notes to one another, Borders clerks have been griping about having to sell Unfit for Command, to the troglodytes who seek it. Although not every seeker is a trog: According to one clerk, "We did have a college professor come in looking for [the book]. She teaches a writing class and wanted to use it as an example of a 'false book.'" Or maybe she just wanted to read it and wanted to avoid grief from the clerk?
But let's get to the nitty-gritty. Writes a Borders Books beauty,
"We're "finding" [note those quotations marks] that most of the few copies we're getting are damaged and need to be sent back. So sad. Too bad. Bushies! Regnery needs to be more careful. I'm hearing from people at two other stores that this seems to be common. Why should we help destroy what is left of our country?"
Back for a second crack, our man exhorts,
"You guys don't actually HAVE to sell the thing! Just "carelessly" hide the boxes, "accidentally" drop them off pallets, "forget" to stock the ones you have, and then suggest a nice Al Franken or Michael Moore book as a substitute. Borders wants those recommends (sic), remember?
I don't care if these Neanderthals in fancy suits get mad at me [fancy suits?]. They aren't regular customers anyway. Other than "Left Behind" books, they don't read. Anything you can do to make them feel unwelcome is only fair."
Another Borders beauty writes, "I wish [conservative customers] really knew how little respect I have for them." Oh, we know, babe-we know.
Not long ago, readers of National Review Online sent in to me their experiences of trying to buy Unfit, and of dealing with bookstore clerks in general. Care for a (very) small sampling of their observations?..........[Continued]
The rest of the article can be found at your friendly Borders or Barnes & Noble bookstores.
It is in this weeks issue of The Weekly Standard. Good luck finding it.
It is in NATIONAL REVIEW!
Sorry National Review.
There WAS a Little Professor bookstore near me. It went out of business. I know why.
Find another bookstore that treats you better, spend your money there, write a letter to the CEO of the liberal bookstores on why you are not shopping there anymore.
Conservatives probably read more and spend more than the average bookstore customer. Look at CNN, CBS, ABC and NBC to what happens when you ignore at least 50% of your customers...they go somewhere else and spend their money on the competition (FOX).
I don't know how Barnes and Noble stores are elsewhere but the one in Burlington Vermont is a freak show. The employees look like they should have a circus barker introducing them.
"See the man with his eyebrows shaved off!!!"
"See the woman with tatoos covering her entire body!!!"
"See the woman with the bone through her nose!!!"
Can anyone find this site? "BorderUnion.org"
They deliver them to your door!!!
The two or three dollars shipping is worth not having to deal with the mentally diseased.
Save yourself the trouble and order off of amazon or similar site. Same price delivered to your door. It's virtually the only way I order books anymore.
Now I go to bookstores for coffee.
I go to coffee stores for music and pastry.
I don't go to music stores and bakeries no longer exist in middle america.
Now being a former Marine, and a FReeper (a dangerous combination...) I decided to have my own little FReep in the middle of the store. In my my incredulous and loud voice I stated "Do you mean to tell me that Borders does not have a book that has been on the NY Times Bestsellers List for three weeks?", before the leftist pincushion could reply, I said "I find it rather odd that you have stacks of Maureen Dowd's Anti-Bush screed - something fit only for use as toilet paper, a book not even on the NYT list prominently displayed at the front of your store." The pincushion just smiled one of those leftist scumbag smirks. I grabbed the store manager to complain, and this creep pointed to a crudely printed sign behind the counter that stated "Due to high demand, the book "Unfit for Command" is only being sold by special order". Creep #2 had the gall to ask if I'd like to special order the book. Back into FReep mode, I said "I came into this store to buy the #1 NYT Bestseller, since your store obviously has a political agenda in not stocking this book, I'll get mine from AMAZON!"
The frustrating aspect of all of this is that this in not the first time this has happened. I couldn't find and of Anne Coulter's books, and none of Sean Hannity's either. This tendancy of the left to censor anything that does not agree with their adgenda is perhaps the most distressing aspect of their cause. Perhaps a large-scale FReep of Borders is in order?
During the really cold winter months when it's 20 below, I drive down to the Barnes & Noble and sip espresso while reading books and letting my kids run amock in the store. I keep an eye out in the parking lot for all the liberal dummies who have a dead battery and no jumper cables. Last winter I made over $100 with my diesel truck which has cables on a coil which extend 25'. Decent people I start for free. The whacky arrogant liberals I charge. It's funny that every time I start the whacky ones, they explain to me that it's not their fault they have a bad battery.
And they call us "Brownshirts."
they forgot the "s"
The link listed in the article is missing the "s" in Borders. The correct URL is http://www.BorderUnion.org.
This link will take you straight to the Unfit for Command Forum thread http://www.bordersunion.org/index.php?name=PNphpBB2&file=viewtopic&t=1195.
This reminds me of the when I was homeschooling my son. He was probably in 8th grade.
I had "Uncle Tom's Cabin" on his reading list, because we were using literature to reinforce what we were studying in history.
Anyhoo, when I went to pick it up at our local bookstore, I got a lecture from the bookstore employee how she thought it was improper reading for a teenager.
I don't think the clerk had ever read the book. I went on to explain why Harriet Beecher Stowe had written the book, etc. The clerk was clueless and was worried it would turn my kid into a racist, LOL!
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