Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Equal Time

We are sold out of Unfit for Command. We have been sold out since the day it arrived in the store. Why? Because apparently Regnery Publishing*, a marginal publisher which verges on being a vanity press for the extreme right-wing, did a first print run of 5,000 copies. I'll let the reader infer the level of incompetence inherent in that decision. You don't have to be a publishing genius to know that something so controversial, about a candidate, in an election year for Christ's sake, is going to sell well.

Anyway, Big Bookstore doesn't have any copies of Unfit for Command, and the publisher and distributors are unable to confirm when we will be getting additional copies, although I hear there is a new print run of 550,000 copies in the works. Not only is Big Bookstore sold out, but so are Big Bookstore Corp's competitors, Rival Bookstore Corp and Amazon.com. (Amazon says it will ship in 5 to 7 days, but Amazon will also sell you a book that isn't even due for publication for another year.)

Some people have come into my branch of Big Bookstore and accused us of refusing to sell Unfit for Command. As I've posted before, they think that Big Bookstore is part of a huge conspiracy to suppress the righteousness of the Right. In the hopes of forestalling this kind of unfounded criticism we put up a sign at our information desk and our registers which says something like this: "Unfit for Command is our #1 non-fiction bestseller, however we are sold out. We have ordered additional copies and are taking reserve requests."

Tonight, I had the following exchange with a customer, whom I shall call Shitty Old Man:

Shitty Old Man (pointing to the sign described above): You're promoting that anti-Kerry book. You are Bush-supporters.
Disgruntled Bookseller: No, sir. We're simply stating that we're sold out of the book.
Shitty Old Man (angrily): You're advertising for Bush.
DB: Actually, sir, we put the sign up because people were accusing us of just the opposite and saying that we were refusing to sell the book, when in fact we're just sold out and can't get our hands on more copies right now.
Shitty Old Man: You should have a sign up there advertising an anti-Bush book. Where are the anti-Bush books?
DB: Sir, the entire hardcover bestseller display and front table are covered in anti-Bush books. We have an entire display in the Political Science section which is mostly anti-Bush books. (Note: the display is not intentionally anti-Bush. It's just that most of the books being published right now happen to be anti-Bush. The few bestselling conservative titles that we have are on display too.)
Shitty Old Man: But you're advertising the anti-Kerry book up here.
DB: Sir, Big Bookstore has no political stance. We sell books.
Shitty Old Man (walking toward the door still angry): You need to provide equal time to anti-Bush books!

Lessons learned by Disgruntled Bookseller:

(1) We can't fucking win.
(2) There are totally bugfuck assholes on both sides of the electorate

*Recent titles published by Regnery: Absolute Power: The Legacy of Corruption in the Clinton-Reno Justice Department; At Any Cost: How Gore Tried to Steal the Election; The Bible Is History; and my favorite, Brighter than the Baghdad Sun: Saddam Hussein's Nuclear Threat to United States.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

“[W]hite-supremacist luminaries” (from the Regnery link) is almost as scary as the shite they promulgate.

10:22 AM  
Blogger Bookseller said...

Yea, whats even better, is the fact that since they didnt publish enough copies and everyone was freaking out over that fact for a number of reasons and complaints, what makes it even better is the fact that now we have so many fucking copies of that waste of 2 pieces of cardboard and many sheets of paper, and no one wants it anymore! (not that im complaining its not flying off the shelves mind you, the book is SHITE.) when the PDT says you have 50 in the store and 40 are to be sent back... its not exactly a "bestseller" anymore, is it pops?

1:29 AM  

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