Pharyngula

This story is getting a lot of attention suddenly: it’s a blog about a biologist reshelving creationist crap in bookstores. It’s good stuff … but I thought we all did this. You mean most people don’t?

Comments

  1. #1 Silmarillion
    July 30, 2007

    I always do it, but I’m not so generous. Any Behe books get shelved in the closest section which I think no one will browse through. I can’t be bothered to go find the religion section!

  2. #2 catofmanyfaces
    July 30, 2007

    I must admit when i go to barnes and noble I pretty much head straight to the rpg section, check out the current games that have broken through to being carried widely, and just shake my head in sadness at it all.

  3. #3 Tom @Thoughtsic.com
    July 30, 2007

    Wow.. that’s awesome… that blog is now one of my favorites.

    I do hate, as a past student of philosophy, how book stores often group it in with New Age or Religion. Sure, some of it is fluff, but not all of it.

    This does give me a new reason to stop by the bookstore at malls. (Otherwise I order everything off of Amazon.)

  4. #4 Dave, very much, FCD
    July 30, 2007

    I’ve been doing this too, mostly moving Behe back to the religion section. I’d gotten tired of trying to convince the clerks that “Darwin’s Black Box” didn’t really belong in the special Charles Darwin display they’d set up.

  5. #5 kjupi
    July 30, 2007

    I work in an independent bookstore where we get to put books pretty much where we want. I’ve taken it upon myself to unofficially curate the science section and separate the wheat from the Capra, as it were. Unfortunately, it’s sometimes necessary to place commercial interests ahead of intellectual integrity. Currently, this means that the alternative medicine section is shelved with the rest of the medicine books, which is a shame, but apparently reflexologists and macrobiotics enthusiasts don’t like seeing their books next to Nostradamus in the occult section.

    Anyway, the moral is: shop at independent bookstores! We (speaking generally, as times are not good for most independents) need your business. Our stocking decisions aren’t made by faceless corporate overlords, and the more educated people buy from us, the less we have to pander to Reiki healers, et cetera.

  6. #6 Josh
    July 30, 2007

    I did this recently in a small bookstore in Keene, New Hampshire. I don’t remember the volume (it was one of the normal ID spouts), and I didn’t re-shelve it. I brought it up to the cashier and asked him why he was putting books on religion in the science section. He seemed rather shocked, as did the few other folks standing around. We had a short decent conversation where he stated that he simply didn’t know where to shelve books on this subject.

  7. #7 Bob
    July 30, 2007

    Religion, Philosophy, New Age? Shouldn’t Behe go in Fantasy?

  8. #8 Ian B Gibson
    July 30, 2007

    The New Age section wasn’t bigger than the science section! He’s definitely in a more civilised part of the country than poor old me here in South Carolina. Here, the New Age section is always at least twice the size of the science section in any bookstore you might find (but of course both are dwarfed by the aisles and aisles of religion shelving).

    Perhaps we can use the New Age/Science shelving ratio as a method of determining how advanced a particular area is?

  9. #9 Steve_C
    July 30, 2007

    I, at the minimum, turn the God Delusion cover facing out on whatever shelf it is on.

  10. He’s definitely in a more civilised part of the country than poor old me here in South Carolina. Here, the New Age section is always at least twice the size of the science section

    I’m also in South Carolina, and I sometimes find it difficult to find a bookstore with a science section.

    (This is why I normally buy books online …)

  11. #11 Bob
    July 30, 2007

    Ian at #8, call it the Delusion ratio.

  12. #12 Steve_C
    July 30, 2007

    New Age should be ranamed the Woo Section.

    Or the Contrived Nonsense section.

  13. #13 The Countess
    July 30, 2007

    I used to skim through the men’s rights “books”, and I was always tempted to reshelve them in the “comedy” section. In the long run it didn’t matter because most of those guys self-publish in obscurity.

    How do you reshelve Joe Lansdale? No one seems to know where he belongs. I’ve seen him in horror, mystery, and even in westerns.

    I’ve usually seen the New Age section next to the Occult section. It’s fun to screw with New Agers minds by putting their books in the Occult section. I do that all the time at a local used bookstore.

    Oh, I have a new blog, by the way, PZ. Click on the link to read my new stuff.

  14. #14 Tom @Thoughtsic.com
    July 30, 2007

    Non-bookstore related, but when I used to work at a library, we had a serial theist who would slip in Christian pamphlets in the science and in particular fictional sections. I always prayed (figuratively) for the day I would see him or her doing it. Instead, I would promptly take them out, rip them up, and throw them in the recycling bin.

  15. #15 Owen
    July 30, 2007

    Back in high school I used to move Bibles into the “Religious Fiction” section. The section labels could also be swapped, but I didn’t want to be permanently banned from the store.

  16. #16 Casey
    July 30, 2007

    I have done that several times. Usually, it just involves hiding books by Coulter and O’Reilly.

  17. #17 wjv
    July 30, 2007

    I once took the Complete Idiot’s Guide to Intelligent Design from the “Science” shelf and stuck it randomly in the “Religion” shelf. Upon closer inspection, I realised that I had accidentally (fortuitously?) shelved it right next to the Complete Idiot’s Guide to Faith.

    I think the cashiers were somewhat unsettled by the grin I wore as I left the bookshop.

  18. #18 Zeno
    July 30, 2007

    When I was a grad student I noticed that the “science” shelves in my university’s bookstore contained Velikovsky’s pseudoscientific volumes. Fortunately, there was a handy “occult/new age” section nearby, to which I promptly moved them.

    More recently I’ve improved a few displays of Kevin Trudeau’s bogus “health” books by placing more wholesome books in front of them.

    Considerate people don’t leave trash littering the landscape. This is the same thing.

  19. #19 T. Bruce McNeely
    July 30, 2007

    New Age should be ranamed the Woo Section.

    Or the Contrived Nonsense section.

    How about making it one word?

    Newage…rhymes with sewage.

  20. #20 harv
    July 30, 2007

    Those books still belong to the bookstore. The bookstores (even large chain stores) should have the opportunity to market and sell them as they see fit–just as us atheists should be able to use the pages of a bible or koran they own to line the bottom of a bird cage (I use the book of mormon, you can get them free quite easily). While reshelving does no damage to the books, you may be doing damage to a carefully, scientifically thought out marketing plan.

  21. #21 J-Dog
    July 30, 2007

    This also works at libraries… Behe and Guillermo Gonzalez fit nicely into the fiction area. Usually it is best to put them into Romantic Fiction area, as opposed to the Sci-Fi section, because they don’t really contain much science.
    Sometimes they go into the Children’s Fairy Tales section.

  22. #22 tony
    July 30, 2007

    J-Dog:

    Sometimes they go into the Children’s Fairy Tales section.

    Doncha think that’s awfully cruel in this supposedly enlighted age?

  23. #23 Brownian
    July 30, 2007

    Anyway, the moral is: shop at independent bookstores! We (speaking generally, as times are not good for most independents) need your business. Our stocking decisions aren’t made by faceless corporate overlords, and the more educated people buy from us, the less we have to pander to Reiki healers, et cetera.

    Hear, hear! Edmonton has a few really good independent bookstores (Audreys and Greenwoods’ to name two), but few bookstores outside of universities have science sections large enough to feed my appetite.

  24. #24 Max
    July 30, 2007

    I usually just hide the ID books behind real science books so I don’t have to be seen carrying them. I did once see a Behe book shelved in science fiction at a Barnes and Noble outlet store; I don’t know if the credit goes to the store or to another reshelver though…

  25. #25 The Commissar
    July 30, 2007

    I’m no creationist, not ID apologist. Matter of fact, I’ve been tempted to this myself.

    But it’s really just petty vandalism. The blogger is disrupting the bookstore’s inventory. Indeed, to the extent a book can’t be found, it is lost.

    If the bookstore’s organization called for filing “Evolution” in between “Eschatology” and “Fairies,” that’s their business. If you object to Creationist books, or how they are filed, write a letter or start a boycott.

    Petty criminal acts? Not so good.

  26. #26 Willo the Wisp
    July 30, 2007

    There’s pendantry and there’s pedantry. This fellow has too much time on his hands.

  27. #27 Karley
    July 30, 2007

    Wow, I thought I was the only person to do stuff like that. Instead of reshelving, I usually just hide the books behind better, bigger ones. Behe usually fits quite snugly behind Dawkins, for example.

  28. #28 Kristine
    July 30, 2007

    Yesterday I filed that perpetual wallflower, Politically Incorrect Guide to Intelligent Design in Current Events, next to a book entitled Bitchfest. It seems appropriate.

  29. #29 DaveX
    July 30, 2007

    Damn, this is the kind of crap that makes me really hate people. Doesn’t anyone see that this is just the same annoying, anal, nit-picky behavior of the Fundamentalists? I don’t enjoy living with a bunch of folks who just nag each other for their entire lives, gloating over their miniature victories like reshelving books or dropping a tract that looks like a dollar tip at the restaurant.

    Just go ahead, have a war, and get it over with. Call me when you’re all done.

  30. #30 Rich
    July 30, 2007

    Please don’t pollute the science fiction section with religious crap.

    Thank you. 😉

  31. #31 Tulse
    July 30, 2007

    it’s really just petty vandalism

    Yep. And lame. And kinda sad. And completely ineffectual. And only really inconveniences innocent third parties, the poor clerks in low wage jobs who have to re-re-shelve the material.

    I really hope that Dawkins and Dennett and Harris don’t engage in such small behaviour.

    Lame.

  32. #32 Chayanov
    July 30, 2007

    Behe clearly should be placed in “Juvenile Fiction”.

  33. #33 Traffic Demon
    July 30, 2007

    Fighting the good fight in a few SoFla stores, Behe’s junk, Pandas & People, Wells, & Schroeder mostly. I’ll put ’em in the religious fiction section if I’m pressed on time, but with time to kill, spreading the love across random sections works even better.

  34. #34 tony
    July 30, 2007

    Please don’t pollute the science fiction section with religious crap.

    Yes indeed!

    There’s already enough woo polluting science fiction…. If I see another freaking novel featuring elves & magic in ‘science fiction’ I’ll go (more) nuts! Put it in Fantasy! That’s where it belongs!

  35. #35 Abbie
    July 30, 2007

    Yeah if I worked in a bookstore, I would be annoyed by this.

    A better course would be to bring it up with the management. Complain. Pseudoscience should not be in the science section. I doubt large chains give each location the autonomy to fix it, but if enough people complain… maybe organize a few dozen people to hit a few dozen different B&N’s on the same day? I could hit Burlington VT…

  36. #36 zeekster
    July 30, 2007

    I agree with #34. Take it up with management or get on the phoen with someone at B&N headquarters to make the change (which def. needs to be done)

  37. #37 K. Engels
    July 30, 2007

    My local public library likes to change the dewey call numbers on books to ones that would appease the nuttiest Christian. If the LOC assigned a religion dewey number to a book about creationism, the local library will use a science call number instead. This same library also likes to pretend that the following religions do not exist: Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Christianity (Eastern Orthodox & Catholicism), anything else that isn’t Judaism (all books on Judaism are by Christian writers), Evangelical Protestant Christianity, and Islam (the entire collection on Islam consists of books published by the local fundie publishing house). The library tops off their betrayal of intellectual honesty, by having only conservative books displayed face out on the shelves. The 100s has “logacal proof why the Christian God is real” books facing out, not Plato or Socrates. The 200s have “why Islam is evil” by two guys who converted from Islam to Christianity when they were 10 and 12 years old. The 300s seem to think that we’re still fighting the evil commies by having all kinds of books that accuse liberals of being tools of the Soviet Union. 400s Biblical Hebrew and Biblical Greek. 500s God Created the Universe and It Was Good. And so forth up to the 900s with “nutty baseless theories about ancient Egypt that prove the Bible is correct.” Sigh, I so need to get out of this place…

  38. #38 Hoosier mama
    July 30, 2007

    …sure its petty, but at least the guy isn’t peeing or defecating in them

  39. #39 Scott Hatfield, OM
    July 30, 2007

    (raises hand, with sheepish expresssion)

    Many times. I don’t even think about it, if I see a book by Philip Johnson or Lee Strobel, it goes to the religious section. Wells and Behe aren’t overtly religious, of course, so that’s a tougher call. I feel sorry for the book chain people: they don’t have the context to know when something from Basic Books etc. is not science, despite being labeled as such.

    I don’t think too much of complaining to store management about misfiling, though. They don’t have the context to distinguish a legitimate protest from a crank with an ax to grind. Here’s my suggestion for ‘borderline’ books: insert an anonymous flier on cardstock into the front of the book, explaining in no uncertain terms why such books don’t pass scientific muster.

  40. #40 Josh
    July 30, 2007

    K.Engles in #37: Where is this library?

  41. #41 garth
    July 30, 2007

    so cal here. i generally confine my efforts in northern San Diego County to turning Ann Coulter books backwards and upside down, and moving NewsMax to the back of the rack. There’s one employee who’s on to me, and tails/re-rearranges stuff after i leave…but I buy a lot of stuff in general and they leave me alone.

  42. #42 arachnophilia
    July 30, 2007

    ok, i have mixed feelings about this.

    does it make the average person looking for a copy of “edge of evolution” more or less likely to browse the legitimate science titles?

  43. #43 Kristine
    July 30, 2007

    Damn, this is the kind of crap that makes me really hate people. Doesn’t anyone see that this is just the same annoying, anal, nit-picky behavior of the Fundamentalists?

    Oh yeah, we’re just like the fundies who ban/burn books, call in threats to bookstores, scream at librarians, etc. Man this behavior is indistinguishable – especially since bookstores are so impartial and objective. DaveX, when I said Bitchfest it was not a suggestion. But yeah, this is: go away, and we’ll make sure to call you when it’s over. We won’t, er, forget or anything. 😉

  44. #44 Tim Tesar
    July 30, 2007

    I can see it now. This is the start of the “Reshelving Wars”!

    Soon, creationists will be moving the evolution books to the philosophy section, New Agers will be moving their books to the science section, and Alternative Medicine fanatics will be moving conventional medicine books to whatever section has books about political conspiracies.

    It will be great fun to watch the progress of the “War” during my weekly visit to Barnes & Noble.

  45. #45 mothworm
    July 30, 2007

    If it makes you feel any better, I used to work at B&N, and I did this all the time. My only regret was that we didn’t have a “religious humor” section to put them in.

  46. #46 The Ridger
    July 30, 2007

    I used to work at a B Dalton and there wasn’t much I enjoyed less than the whole “the computer says we have two but I can’t find them” scene with a customer. Who probably wouldn’t come back. And considering how many books have to be reshelved at the end of every day I doubt anybody would have noticed that there was any sort of pattern going on.

  47. #47 K. Engels
    July 30, 2007

    K.Engles in #37: Where is this library?

    It is a mid-sized library in West Michigan (Grand Rapids area). Thankfully I have other libraries in the region, like the main branch of the Grand Rapids public library, that are actually decent repositories of knowledge.

  48. #48 Knave
    July 30, 2007

    Once upon a time I too worked for Barnes & Noble. It was rather amazing how often creationist/ID books would get “damaged” and sent back to the publisher… And since I did the shipping/receiving thing erratically, I got to experience the joy of packaging up that dreck and watching it leave the store.

  49. #49 Alex
    July 30, 2007

    How about reverse-re-shelving?

    This would be a compromise between those who feel compelled to re-shelve, and those who want the store to take action through complaint.

    Simply DO PUT all of the ID and creationist hooey right in with the science books – front and center, by the multitudes.

    This should have the effect of amplifying the complaints. Maybe the store would take such action is to have the sections as far away from each other as possible.

  50. #50 CalGeorge
    July 30, 2007

    My Borders has 58 shelves of religious crap.

    Maybe they could hang a huge inflated toilet bowl over this section and pipe periodic flushing sounds over the sound system.

    Only then would it be worth visiting this wasteland.

  51. #51 Tom @Thoughtsic.com
    July 30, 2007

    Alex wrote:

    This should have the effect of amplifying the complaints.

    I wouldn’t do it. Undoubtedly a theist would see that and expect the same at another store. The store will give-in, and suddenly we have an even worse problem.

  52. #52 Richard
    July 30, 2007

    This tactic could have the unwanted effect of forcing the bookstore to order more copies of the damn book when they assume the missing stock has been shoplifted.

    As a former bookseller I would say that a letter to the manager (preferably using humor) would be more effective. Independent booksellers aren’t averse to having a little fun with shelving. In the early 1990’s when the how-to-kill-yourself book, The Final Exit, came out, we put it in the hated “Self-Help” section, along with The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

  53. #53 RedMolly
    July 30, 2007

    Shouldn’t Behe go in Fantasy?

    No. We fantasy fans are quite big on realistic worldbuilding and internal consistency.

    Now, mythology, perhaps… or those dreadful “channeled” spirit guide books…

  54. #54 Bob L
    July 30, 2007

    I saw Bebe’s book in the local Boarder’s. Really sleazy how it cover tries to push itself off as a serious science book and not the ID tract it really is. The moral ethics of these guys is non existent. if they want to push ID admit to it instead of trying to trick people.

    But it did get me thinking; maybe this is an attempt to manufacture a scientific fraud so the theist can add Bebe to the list of why you can’t trust scientists?

  55. #55 fardels bear
    July 30, 2007

    No, it isn’t like burning books or screaming at librarians or whatever. It is much more like Bill O’Reilly getting all hot and bothered when people wish him “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.” It is, indeed, “annoying, anal, nit-picky behavior.”

    What about science that isn’t universally accepted as “good science?” Do Pinker/Wilson fans move the Gould and Lewontin books over to Marxist politics? Does Darwin, since it is so horribly dated, get moved over to history?

    Let the bookstores sell their books fer cryin’ out loud. These clerks get paid minimum wage to clean up after you.

  56. #56 Jeff Knapp
    July 30, 2007

    I have done this a number of times myself at the Barnes and Noble in Silverdale, WA. Further, I have gone to the manager of the store and explained what I did and why. They indicated that they were not very pleased with what I did but, a later check showed that the books had not been moved back. I have also moved books at the B&N in the Pacific Place in Seattle. I also complained very strongly about the very small science section in the Silverdale B&N vs, the very large religion and “new age” sections. I also sent an email to the B&N corporate offices registering the same complaint and explaining what I did in moving the books to their appropriate sections. As it happened, a couple of months later, the science section was increased about 3 or 4 fold (though books by Demski, Behe and other creationists continue to show up in the evolution section). I have no idea if my complaining played any role in that but, I would like to think it might have.

  57. #57 Stephen Wells
    July 30, 2007

    Inspired by these fine examples, I popped over to my nearest bookstore and reshelved three hardback copies of “The edge of evolution” in the “Christianity” section. I guess technically it should have gone under Satanism but they don’t seem to have that category 🙂

  58. #58 Stephen Wells
    July 30, 2007

    Inspired by these fine examples, I popped over to my nearest bookstore and reshelved three hardback copies of “The edge of evolution” in the “Christianity” section. I guess technically it should have gone under Satanism but they don’t seem to have that category 🙂

  59. #59 MikeM
    July 30, 2007

    It’s good stuff … but I thought we all did this. You mean most people don’t?

    Hah! I do now!

  60. #60 Spook
    July 30, 2007

    I used to do this until I realized that someone might have to reshelve this stuff and figured that it probably wasn’t really the nicest thing to do; after all, I got pretty sick of moving stuff around the store when customers would do it to me.

    That being said, I did occasionally move the Hitchhiker’s Guide and sometimes various Star Wars/Trek books to the religion section 🙂

  61. #61 rob
    July 30, 2007

    I used to do this until I realized that someone might have to reshelve this stuff and figured that it probably wasn’t really the nicest thing to do

    Look at it this way: they are paid by the hour, doesn’t really hurt them. The bookstore, on the other hand, will bear the cost, and they are the ones categorizing ID as science, etc. If they change their policies to only put real science in the science section, and sell the ID books alongside astrology and whatnot, they won’t have this extra financial burden.

  62. #62 Paguroidea
    July 30, 2007

    Look! On the Minnesota Atheists site at http://www.mnatheists.org/ !

    It has a post that says

    “If you’ve ever been frustrated in a search for books on nonbelief in your local bookstore or annoyed by their inclusion in the comparative religion section, Borders Books has remedied the situation. “Atheism and Agnosticism” has been added as a new section for the works of Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, and many others. We hope other bookstores will follow this example, and encourage our members to suggest they do.”

    Has anyone seen Borders Books with this new section?

  63. #63 Josh
    July 30, 2007

    A friend of mine commented over dinner this evening that perhaps re-shelving into the religion section is a mistake. Most people walking into a bookstore with a propensity toward believing a book on ID *might* head toward the science section, but might also be equally likely to head toward the religion section. Those with a propensity toward believing the really hard-core creationist literature and those just looking to purchase religious materials probably aren’t headed toward the science section…but are very likely to head over to religion. These people might not go after ID-related materials specifically, but might have a passing interest (perhaps enough to purchase) if they happen across them. If we re-shelve into the religion section, then all of this ID material suddenly ends up exactly in the section where the people who are mostly likely to buy into it are browsing, thereby exposing it to like-minded people who otherwise might not have come across the titles if they were in the science section. Is it not possible that you are actually *increasing* the frequency with which these titles end up in the hands of the people you’re trying to keep them out of, rather than decreasing it? Its a smug statement to make, putting those titles in religion, but perhaps it is “safer” to re-shelve them into something like…I don’t know…occult?

  64. #64 N.Wells
    July 30, 2007

    I told my local Borders that I was sufficiently annoyed at coming into the store for science books and always seeing religious garbage on the science shelves that I was shifting more of my book buying to Amazon. It had no effect on them.

  65. #65 BT Murtagh
    July 30, 2007

    Richard quoth:

    #52 This tactic could have the unwanted effect of forcing the bookstore to order more copies of the damn book when they assume the missing stock has been shoplifted.

    No, buying decisions beyond the initial stock are made on the basis of sales; if it didn’t go out via the register, it doesn’t generate a restocking request.

    The only exception would be if a bunch of people looking for a specific book made individual order requests because they couldn’t find it on the shelves. The number of people who will make that effort is pretty small compared to browsers who pick the book up when they happen to come across it, though.

  66. #66 Tom @Thoughtsic.com
    July 30, 2007

    How long until these stores catch on and Homeland Security gives them oodles of money to track “book terrists [sic]”?

  67. #67 Norman
    July 30, 2007

    Has anyone checked with their local Libraries where this Carp gets cataloged?
    Just curious.

  68. #68 the great and powerful oz
    July 31, 2007

    Actually, I’ve done this in reverse, moving a couple of copies of The God Delusion to the Religion section, which was already inhabited by The End of Faith and Letter to a Christian Nation.
    There were plenty of copies and I thought they might do some good there.

  69. #69 Tom @Thoughtsic.com
    July 31, 2007

    I looked up where Behe’s books are at my library and, you guessed it: they’re in the science section. Right next to genetics and evolution. Despicable.

  70. #70 J Daley
    July 31, 2007

    Why don’t we all get the stones to start a letter writing campaign to the corporate management offices of these stores and have them move the books themselves? This tactic solves nothing. If we are going to claim oppressed minority status, then we’d better go out and take our flippin’ civil rights. Otherwise, we are just whiny.

    Malcom X would not have approached this situation with petty vandalism.

  71. #71 Stephen
    July 31, 2007

    I’ll go along with the people who find reshelving childish (though ‘vandalism’ is rather an exaggeration). As suggested, approach the management – in a friendly fashion.

    However there’s nothing wrong with slipping cards into the dubious books, with links to more reliable information. Again, word them in a friendly fashion. A card which says something like “this book is rubbish” will go straight into the nearest bin.

  72. #72 Marion Delgado
    July 31, 2007

    If the coverage is thorough and random, no one bookseller is actually being relatively harmed. And as behavior modification, it probably works. One suggestion: while being random and thorough, hit the chain stores first. Do your talking to the independents.

  73. #73 DaveX
    July 31, 2007

    Oh yeah, we’re just like the fundies who ban/burn books, call in threats to bookstores, scream at librarians, etc.

    Oh? This wasn’t the blog that discussed urinating on a Koran just a couple days ago, then? I must be mistaken.

  74. #74 DSM
    July 31, 2007

    How childish.

  75. #75 Arnosium Upinarum
    August 1, 2007

    When I was a kid and young teen back in the latter half of the 60’s and early 70’s, all of the bookstores that I regularly frequented had the science/nature (NON-FICTION) sections unambiguously sequestered away from the “spiritual” and superstitious crap, which was in every case confined to the very back of the stores.

    The legitimate fiction and nature/science/philosophy stuff was always in the center near the front. The nearest fiction to the science/nature stuff was the science fiction racks that lined a wall that gradually morphed into the fantasy garbage which was STILL SEPARATED from the back wall of totally useless mystical baloney by an employee backdoor.

    Today I can’t enter any bookstore without seeing stinking festering mystical garbage right up front. They are barking right from the FRONT WINDOWS. They are placed there because it apparently sells.

    I always tremble upon how many trees have been sacrificed to such lunacy, but I (almost) reconcile that immediate heartsink by realizing that the printing of the bible has all by itself accounted for as much loss of forest as all the world’s daily newspapers combined.

    Talk about pointless redundancy.

  76. #76 incunabulum
    August 1, 2007

    Owen – I used to do the same thing when I was younger! I used to get such a kick out of putting bibles in “Religious Fiction”.

  77. #77 Keith Douglas
    August 1, 2007

    Norman: I understand that in LoC classification things “about” a given field are often with that field. So philosophy of science is in general science – Q[number]. Subsequently Behe’s crap no doubt counts as “about” biology and so appears in the biology section.

  78. #78 not today
    August 2, 2007

    Inspired by these fine examples, I popped over to my nearest bookstore and reshelved three hardback copies of “The edge of evolution” in the “Christianity” section. I guess technically it should have gone under Satanism but they don’t seem to have that category 🙂

    Satanism would be in the New Age section under witchcraft. Go fig’r.

  79. #79 not today, name withheld to protect my job
    August 2, 2007

    I must agree that this is childish and only hurts people who don’t enjoy having to put the bookstore back into order, it’s called recovery, and have no control over it anyway. The corporate overlords dictate trough the computer inventory system where they want books to go. Having said that, by all means, please call any and all levels of management to complain. We clerks have absolutely no input into such decisions in the big chain stores. Only the customers have their ear, though even that is minor.

    Fighting the good fight though; I have succeeded in selling a lot of Ken Miller to people who have come in looking for IDiot books by talking to them until they agree to read him. I have in many years only been forced to sell one IDiot book, and fortunately it was never replaced. I have also enjoyed the privilege of being able to open a box of new stock and pulling the anti-science books out only to put them right onto the returns shelf for reboxing and return to the publisher. I always enjoy that.

  80. #80 Eric
    August 9, 2007

    As both a current Borders employee (and former manager), I can assure you that, while it may feel good to move Behe, et al from science and put them in religion (or somewhere else), all you’re doing is making more work for the already overworked and underpaid employees of the bookstore. Such a “message” does not ever get communicated to anyone who can effect a change in the shelf location. For Borders, they are somewhat unique in that the individual stores do not get to decide where to shelve certain books. Those decisions are made at the corporate level – usually by the buyer who is responsible for a particular section – and can be greatly influenced by how a particular book is pitched by the publisher. In the case of Behe’s “Edge of Evolution”, it is published by Simon & Schuster, not Tyndale, Thomas Nelson, or one of the other major christian houses. Plus, distasteful as it is to have to admit it, Behe does hold a faculty position in biochemistry, which for someone who is not familiar with the substance (or the lack therof) of his argument, would make his book seem more like science than not.

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