Assholes, I swear.
I whined about this a few weeks back when it was a constant problem, but just today some jerk came into my bookstore and mentioned that there was a book that we'd recently "refused to stock." Unfit For Command. My manager said we don't "refuse to stock" ANY book. We just couldn't get a hold of the book because they didn't print enough of them, because the people who wrote it went with a really small publisher.
So, dude? We're capitalists. Our agenda is making money. We're based in Alabama. We're NOT liberal (at least not collectively). It would not behoove us to have a liberal agenda (or any agenda)--stocking what people want to read is a good idea for a bookstore that wants to survive. WE DON'T CARE what you read. And on top of that, we stock liberal and conservative books aplenty. Not to mention we stock books on Witchcraft as well as books on Christianity; books on vegetarianism and books on how to butcher a chicken. It's like saying Wal-Mart has an agenda to promote dry air just because they're out of humidifiers but have plenty of de-humidifiers. It just doesn't make any sense.
A while back I found THIS on a board at http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1192483/posts :
These booksellers lie! I was told over and over again when I tried to buy pro-Bush books that they were "sold out". That's total crap. The fact is that they highlight anti-Bush books and order only a few pro-Bush books and then hide them somewhere where people won't see them. Anyone that thinks they don't do this is crazy. Numerous times I questioned their policy and all I got was angry, sullen glares. I stopped buying books at Barnes & Noble last year after my continuous shabby treatment and the even shabbier treatment of the President.
See? People just love to put themselves at the center of a friggin' conspiracy. Did they bother to check the facts? No, obviously not. Yes, it's a big plot to make sure you don't find out what John Kerry did during the war--booksellers all over the country are conspiring to keep this information out of your hands, but YOU'VE seen through it and YOU know better. Dude? Shut up. We do not stockpile books we don't agree with in hard-to-find places and then make visible displays of liberal stuff hoping to influence your political beliefs. Do you really think you're that important to us? Do you really think that anyone you talk to at the store level of a retail store has any control over policy or gives a rat's ass who you vote for?
As a bookseller, I can confidently say NO, no one does give a crap about your choice of reading material. I even had a guy say we "took down" our top ten because we "didn't want to admit what was on it." (He just couldn't find the display, so he assumed we TOOK IT DOWN to avoid having to display the book.) I just have to say it is AMAZING to me what people will construct in the name of making it look like people are doing something unfair to them.
And we have tons of the stupid book now--now that the publishing company has realized it's written a bestseller and put some money into printing copies. How do you like them apples?
I like mine baked.
There have been incidents in the past where some book stores have either refused to stock or hidden away conservative books. I imagine it doesn't happen to much, but the few times it did happen got publicity and so now folks think it happens all the time. I know in the past I've gotten dirty looks for buy right-wing books, but frankly I don't care what the cashier thinks. [Notliberal]
It's not just the Bushies. Socialists complain that capitalist corporatism controls the bookstores, even though you can go into any Barnes and Noble and find dozens of copies of Das Kapital. [Zombywoof]