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Books at Borders

I’ve got lots of book info coming up soon. Tomorrow I’ll have my very tardy (my fault) interview with Heidi Wyss, author of Gormglaith, and then we’ll start reading A 21st Century Rationalist in Medieval America: Essays on Religion, Science, Morality, and the Bush Administration by John Bice.

For now, here are a couple of interesting book-related things I’ve seen online recently:

1) Borders now has a special section for books on agnosticism and atheism, and has put up an aisle display to feature these books. I was going to take a picture of the display at my local Borders and write about it last week, but I forgot to take my camera to the store and now PZ has beat me to it. (pout)

2) Well, I forgot what 2 was going to be about. Sorry!

More tomorrow.

P.S. I hate this frakking blog software. I can never get images to show up. It keeps truncating my image tags to . What a pain in the ass. It took me 12 tries to get this image to show up. And when I click save it will probably disappear again.


Donna Druchunas is a freelance technical writer and editor and a knitwear designer. When she's not working, she blogs, studies Lithuanian, reads science and sci-fi books, mouths off on atheist forums, and checks her email every three minutes. (She does that when she's working, too.) Although she loves to chat, she can't keep an IM program open or she'd never get anything else done.

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  1. I always did like Borders more than B+N, even if Borders does also have a larger new age section.

    Maybe there is an infinitesimal glimmer of hope for the human species after all, and I won't need to build my "Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator!"

  2. So, I'm assuming that picture is not their entire Atheism section? Although it probably wouldn't surprise me if it was …

  3. speaking as a wordpress nerd—

    the images won't show up on an rss feed, unless your feed reader is configured for that. That's normal.

    I think our troubles relate mostly to the fixed width of this particular layout. What's the status of the "new" look, becca?

    (I might volunteer, if it's stalled…but I think I might be sorry I said that….)

  4. Here in North Texas there are around the same number of Borders as Barnes and Nobles. I'm going to go see what they have now.

  5. Last year, I counted shelves devoted to various subjects at our local Borders store:

    120: Christianity

    29: "Metaphysics", (palm reading, tarot cards, …)

    8: Magical Studies

    7: Buddhism

    7: Other Eastern religions (Zen, Hindu, …)

    4: Judaism

    3: Astrology

    2.5: Islam

    0.5: Atheism

    I think it has gotten better since then, perhaps two shelves for atheism now.

  6. This is good news – I went and checked out my local Borders (within walking distance even!) and they now have 2 shelves for atheism. I took a look and the selection is decent but I noticed a couple of titles I was familiar with were missing so I requested that they stock them – the asst. manager was enthused to have the suggestions and put the order in right then. I suggested he move some of the titles in Science into their own section as well – one titled Critical Thinking and he seemed receptive to that idea too… though that could have just been good customer service. ;) .

    B&N however… well… I was there about a month ago looking for a copy of Carl Sagan's "The Demon Haunted World" for a friend (who received it well and seems to have taken its lessons to heart! Yay!) and had a devil of a time (bad pun fully intended) finding it. With the help of a clerk I finally found it (8 copies even) in the New Age/Metaphysical section. The clerk asked if he should move it… and I briefly considered telling him it belonged in Science but then thought better of that idea. After all, if it's in the New Age/Metaphysical section perhaps it will be accidentally picked up by some misguided individual and it'll open their eyes. I've considered going back and slipping Dawkins, Hitchens, and Harris works into that section too! ;)

    Does anybody else find themselves giving out any books on critical thought regularly? I must have given away 20 copies of "Demon Haunted World" by now with mixed results and one copy was even returned to me ("It has DEMON in the title! I can't read that, it's about EVIL!"). I'm curious to know what works other folks recommend to help educate people who never learned critical thought/scientific method in school.

  7. exarch, the photo shows the display area. The atheism section, in my local Borders at least, is 1 and 1/2 shelves. Not really any comparison to the hundreds of shelves in the religion section, but at least it’s a start.

    MDH, that’s the second topic I was going to write about! Reshelving pseudo science books into their correct locations, such as new age, religion, and so forth!

  8. Do store clerks get annoyed if they catch you moving books to a different section? Just wondering.

    And do they move the books back where they think they belong on a regular basis?

  9. At Borders, the computer tells them where to shelve books, so reshelving them can actually backfire, because if they don't find a book a customer is looking for, then they may order more copies, thinking that they must have sold and just not shown up in the inventory update yet.

  10. So reshelving the right books might actually be a good idea? Like, as pointed out earlier, putting "Deamonhaunted world" in the bleever-sections.

  11. dd is, of course, correct about Borders and B&N as well.

    Typically clerks are assigned sections to maintain – much like librarians do – and they are supposed to scan their sections for things that don't belong and remove them. I think what happened in the case of "Demon Haunted" in my local B&N was that somebody was updating their catalog, saw the title, had no clue about what it actually was and made a guess that it belonged in the woo-woo section.

    I did reshelf a couple of works in my local Borders last night – just to see how long it takes for them to be moved back… I'll let you know. I tried to reshelf a couple of Sylvia Browne tomes but they didn't seem to have sections marked "Drivel", "Bullshit", or "Lies, More Lies, and Damned Lies". The closest they came to those was "Politics" but it seemed that putting Browne in a section that already has Ann Coulter might result in the death of a mind and I didn't want that on my conscience.

  12. StarkMad, I suspect the Sylvia Browne books are already in the section marked "Drivel" or "Bullshit", better known as the "paranormal" section.

    If you really want to move Sylvia Browne to a "safe" location, it's probably best to move her to the DIY section, inbetween the "toilet repair" books.

  13. Finding The Prison Diaries of Antonio Gramsci in the crime section is still a personal favourite.

  14. Hirschi Ali (bottom left of the display) lied all the way to a think-tank in Washington, she belongs somewhere in the fraud&crime-section too. (one cóuld call 'Washington' the fraud&crime-section… then she'd fit in perfectly)

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