Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Facing Declining Sales and Possible Bankruptcy, Dumbo Books of Brooklyn Announces "Buy One, Shoplift One Free" Policy

At a time of economic crisis and sputtering holiday sales, today's New York Times has a front-page story detailing how the only rising retail trend is shoplifting ("As Economy Dips, Arrests for Shoplifting Soar").

According to a nationwide nonprofit association, more than $35 million in merchandise is stolen each day nationwide, and about one in 11 people in America have shoplifted.

Authors, publishers and bookstores are urging people to buy, buy, buy books to keep the industry afloat -- to little avail, it seems, as Borders teeters on bankruptcy and New York publishers announce massive layoffs. As our very smart friend Jason Boog writes today in Salon:

On Dec. 3, now known as "Black Wednesday," several major American publishers were dramatically downsized, leaving many celebrated editors and their colleagues jobless. The bad news stretches from the unemployment line to bookstores to literature itself.

As Tom Engelhardt writes in The Atlantic:
Traffic at many bookstores nationwide has evidently slowed to a trickle. Book orders have reportedly fallen off a cliff. It's now being said that, in this Christmas season, no popular book is selling so well as to be unavailable. In other words, if you want it, it's going to be at your local Barnes & Noble. For publishing, that's like an obituary.

As at most retail outfits, the only action in bookstores these days is shoplifters surreptitiously stuffing volumes under their coats. Melville House has announced the publication of Tao Lin's how-to guide Shoplifting from American Apparel in 2009.

Dumbo Books is facing the same problems as General Motors. People are not buying our quality American-made products. So, in order to stave off bankruptcy and financial ruin and disgrace, etc., we are announcing this new policy:


That's right. Dumbo Books has made arrangements with the retail outlets that carry our books that any shopper buying one Dumbo Books book will be allowed to shoplift a second Dumbo Books book of equal, greater or lesser literary value absolutely FREE -- free of any chance of criminal prosecution.

So you too can experience the thrill of shoplifting without putting yourself in legal jeopardy if you buy a Dumbo Books book today!

(Illustration stolen from the very talented artist James Yamasaki.)


Happy holidays!

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(This offer not valid for any other publisher's books. Limited by availability. Contact Richard Grayson, Esq. for any legal advice.)

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